Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Preparing for Sketching in Watercolor: Materials

Pen or Pencil? They leave different looks to your finished sketch.
Whether you plan to sketch at your favorite park or local coffee shop, or prefer to curl up at home and paint your favorite plant, you want to make it easy to grab your materials. I recommend a small back pack, all packed and ready to go.

I also recommend working small, on a size that can be easily carried and easily matted. You will need:
  • A sketch book of watercolor paper or hand made paper, no bigger than 6"x9" ( I currently prefer 6"x8" to fit a mat with a 5.5"x7.5" window). It is easier to remove sketches for matting and framing from a spiral bound sketchbook.  A hard cover sketchbook with perfect binding, on the other hand, is great for those travel moments you want to keep together.
  • One or two brushes. I use a #8 flat and a #8 round. Sometimes I do a whole painting with just one brush.
  • Four colors of paint: the primaries and Burnt Umber. I like Alizeran Crimson, New Gambouge, and Ultramarine Blue. Eventually you will want to add a warm red, a cool yellow, and Cerulian Blue. I'll talk more about warm and cool colors later. 
  • A water tight container with water
  • Paper towel
  • Two or Three yogurt lids for palates (or any lid at least 3" in diameter) and a plastic bag to keep them in (so they won't get paint all over the inside of your back pack when you are finished painting)
  • Pen or Pencil and eraser
  • masking tape (optional)
Keep these packed and you are ready to go at a moment's notice!

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