cotman watercolor

Croyland Abbey, Lincolnshire
John Sell Cotman (British; 1782–1842)
Graphite and watercolor
The British Museum, London | © Trustees of the British Museum

Here’s the babies!
I’ll give a detailed breakdown in time like I did for the coloured pencils but for now: I believe almost any paint can work if you’re patient and cheap paints are FINE for work that will be reproduced or for practice!
Due to lightfast and permanence issues however, I do recommend people comfortable with watercolour and willing to invest in it get at least student grade for selling originals (professional is obv. Better)
The only paint I have nothing positive to say about is Daler Rowney: simply watercolour (cake version). They were tough to get off the palette, super opaque, not very vibrant, don’t mix well, and when dry are super chalky and will rub off of the page (which is forgivable if there’s at least one pro to it). They were fairly cheap but the reeves, Staedtler, and Artists Loft were around the same price are each at least had one strength. Can’t say the same for DR lol I really hated them
Anyway, I hope you enjoy these baby whales :3

Watercolor materials for beginners.

I’m so sorry, @wrought-thought, the Tumblr App ate my replies again and then snacked on your original ask! All I can see of it now is this excerpt in my phone, and nowhere else. Fortunately I’d taken notes in my sketchbook that I can work from, because it was impossible to write and view the ask at the same time on my phone. After finally losing the ask itself to the voracious bowels of The App, I elected to wait until I was back in front of a desktop computer to try again. I hope you and others may find the reply useful heading into the new year!

The gist of the Ask was this:

“Christmas has come and gone…” (paraphrasing begins here) and I want to spend some money on art supplies. I have experience in other media but I want to try watercolors and I’d like your recommendations for paints, paper, and inks that don’t bleed.

My sincere apologies to @wrought-thought for butchering the original ask, I hope you find the reply useful! 

Paint: I like to recommend Cotman watercolor sets for people who are just starting with the medium. They come in both dry pans (very portable and they tend to come with a decent small brush), and in tubes(great for being able to mix a large amount of a darkly colored wash, though you will need to buy a pallet if you get this version). The paints are inexpensive but very decent quality and you don’t have to worry about which colors to pick right off the bat.

Once you’re having fun and you’re sure you want to splurge a bit on some “artist quality” paints, I have been slowly converting my original W&N set to Holbein as my pigments run out.

Paint Shopping Tip: If you are looking to match one color of paint in two different brands, look for the pigment code instead of the name. Different companies give different names to the same pigments, and use different pigments under the same name. In example, my W&N “French Ultramarine” and Holbein “Ultramarine Deep” both carry the code “PIGMENT: PB29” and are the same type of blue.

Paper: My go-to is Strathmore cold press paper. It’s a good weight, and I like the texture/tooth on it. Perhaps most importantly, the surface quality has been very consistent from batch to batch for me. I have never had trouble with any water-based pigments bleeding into the paper fibers, and it stands up to a fair amount of abuse. I do not use any coated papers, like “vellum” or “mixed-media,” as the evenness of the coating will be inconsistant from piece to piece and it will always start resisting my washes in exactly the wrong place. I had a bad batch of this sort of paper once that cost me weeks of time to work around on a professional project. It was a nightmare. Never again!

Pens and ink: I don’t use nib pens because my hand pressure is too heavy. The sharp tips catch on the papers I like to use and make a big splattery sobbing-worthy mess. I use felt tipped liners like Micron, and round synthetic watercolor brushes to do my inking. For brushed inks, I’ve found that acrylic-based bleed the least, because the acrylic doesn’t dissolve as easily as some other binding agents.

Inking tips to keep bleeding to a minimum: Always give your ink drawing enough time to dry before you do anything else to it, including erasing pencil lines. To be safe with felt pens, let it be for five minutes. For ink, at least ten. When in doubt, wait a little longer. Avoid sharpies - they fade more quickly in the sun than other pigments and like other alcohol-based dye inks they will more easily bleed/bloom into the paper fibers.

Brushes: I’m adding this one in because I feel that having a decent brush is key to controlling your watercolors. A 6 or 8 round synthetic sable brush is a great place to start. You can do many paintings with just that one brush. My favorite inexpensive brand is Princeton Art & Brush Co. I prefer their series with the red handles.

On Overloaded Brushes: If you find that the paints feel a little too sloppy you may have overloaded your brush. Try letting of if the paint run back onto your pallet, and if they isn’t enough, blot out some of the extra on a folded paper towel.

For when sloppy is what you really DO want: While not strictly necessary, a large flat sable (1.5 inches or larger) or camelhair brush is great for laying in a large wet wash quickly. If you want to do larger work, it will save you time and frustration if you want to get the whole painting wet at the same time so that you can use salt, or do wet-on-wet blending techniques.

Once again, thank you for the Ask @wrought-thought! Happy Holidays and my wishes for a great New Year to everyone. :)

- Emma

I was so annoyed by the volume of Ladybug fanart I’ve seen, I wanted so bad to dislike the show. I told myself I wasn’t even going to watch it…but I did…and it’s too stinkin cute not to love. And of course I fall for the cat boy <3

cotman watercolors | memento marker | gel pen | fabriano hot press watercolor paper


Hi, guys! It’s been a while since I did a proper blog post here. Today’s topic is ”My favourite art supplies". Lots of people on instagram have been asking me to show tools that I use and I’ve been struggling with it for a while. Because I’m a true hoarder artist (but not hardcore one), just thinking about everything I have scares me.
So, instead of showing you ALL tools, I decided to make a list of art supplies that I love and use in my daily doodling.

Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Sketcher’s Pocket Box
• Holbein Artists watecolor in Jaune Brilliant #1 and #2 (those two I use for skin) and Leaf Green
Pentel Aquash Watercolor brush
• COPIC Sketch and Chiao markers

Prismacolor Col-Erase pencils in Carmine Red and Lavender • Any kind of pencil type eraser
Moo Eraser
• Sharpener (brand doesn’t matter)
• Tiny bulldog clip for holding pages of sketchbook when I draw outside

• COPIC Multiliner 0.1 in Brown
• Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen XS in Black
• Micron liner 01 in Brown
• COPIC Multiliner 0.1 in Black
• Faber-Castell Brush Pen in Black and
Sakura White Gellyroll

• Target notebook that cost $1 and absolutely terrible, but I love it for brainstorming ideas and Raw sketches (do not recommend unless you like to struggle)
Global Art Materials Square Drawing Book in Ivory Black (all of my latest watercolor sketches are done in it)
Cottonwood Designer Sketchbook (my second absolutely favorite book)
Crescent RENDR No Show Thru Spiral Sketchbook (I use it with copics and so far its the only paper that doesn’t bleed alcohol markers on the back side of the page. The paper itself is weird and a bit grayish, but I got used to it)

I’d like to tell you more about every particular item and why I love them so much.. probably next time! ●ᴥ●
But if you’re really curious and can’t wait forever, feel free to ask me anything about listed products and I’ll try to help you.