I’m still very far from where I’d like to be and still learning about watercolours.
However, I’ve found some gadgets useful for my experiments, and maybe they can help someone else.
(Feel free to skip this post if you are looking for technical advice: I’m just fumbling my way at the moment)
Plastic palettes are handy for many media, but not for watercolours. They are often too small and paint gets dirty easily.
Nowadays I use an ice-cube tray to pour the paint, quite generously, straight from the tube. I let it dry in between uses and top it up with more paint or water when needed.
I prefer not to use the empty wells for mixing paint as they are too close together. I use plastic pots instead (from shop-bought puddings, transparent and easy to stack, leaving just enough room in between to keep some paint mixes). I don’t bother washing the pots as I often use them for later work just adding water or paint. They are specially good if you want to mix washes , as they fit quite a lot of liquid.
I use a plastic jug as water container: It’s easy to hold by the handle, it’s light weight and there’s no risk of broken glass if I ever drop it.
Another tool I’ve tried lately is a waterbrush pen. Ideal if you want to apply pure water to the paper before introducing splashes of colour. Also useful to create controlled blooms with clear water on dark areas.
I haven’t reached the stage of stretching my papers, so I let them crimple when wet. I often use a clipboard so I can lay my drawings flat or at an angle.
By the way, the pic above is in my kitchen, next to the sink and with floor that can be scrubbed clean.
And, for the sake of sharing, these are my most recent experiments:
I think I’m going to stop with these for a while. I’ve realised I don’t have enough work surfaces to keep papers drying flat. I prefer to work on an easel or small sketchbook and get my work tidied away when I’m finished.
Still, I’m glad I tried and failed -in so many ways- and learned something for next time.
Thanks for reading this.