Seriously, I was so tired today that my eyes fell shut as soon as I sat behind my new painting. My body just didn’t want to do it anymore. So, my husband encouraged me to go to bed and take a small nap. And I did. I can’t say my powernap made my day, but it sure was good to just let myself drift into the ultimate relaxation and let my body rest for a while. And who knows…maybe my body will want to work a bit for me this evening…playing a bit with colours……

But…before you think all my day has been about, is my bed, I’d like to tell you that I got spoilt rotten this morning! I set out to buy a few tubes of watercolour at the local Art Supply Shop. I walked in straight after opening in between taking my daughter to swimming class and picking her back up again. I was greeted merrily and before I knew it, I was chatting away the wee minutes I had to spend. Then, setting my mind back to business, I remembered I came for an electric eraser. Yes, an electric eraser. Are you having the same fit of laughter I had when I first heard of it? What good is an electric eraser, for crying out loud?! Well, the owner of the store said: “It’s great for precision erasing and you don’t damage your paper and your sketch.” So, then this week I did a lot of detailed drawing and what do you know? My erasing activities constantly blurred the rest of my sketch and here and there frequent erasing seemed to touch the quality of the paper somewhat. So, that silly electric eraser kept popping to mind until yesterday  I decided I should have one. So I told the owner of the Art Supply Shop and then she says: “You can try this one out on me! I’m giving it to you for free!” Wow! I was flabbergasted! Here it was…an electric eraser with a package of refills. A fine gift! I was  so curious to try it out!

And I did try it out, earlier today. And you know what? It’s great! It allows for precision erasing just as the seller said, so I don’t have to erase full figures anymore to get an annoying little detail out of the way, just that little bit I want away. It’s really great! It’s by Derwent (not a brand I’m otherwise very enthusiastic about) and I think it’s rather cheap. The device itself costs 4,95 euros including 8 erasers; the refill package I believe was 1,95 euros. So, all in all, I thought it was well worth a try for that money. And then it was given to me as a present! Hurray! So here I am, spreading the news! Also for free! (hehehe)

Then the tubes of watercolour! In my collection light blues were missing. I had a few that meant to be light blue, but they were all very dull and dried up hazy and well, not very bright, light blue. So, after some research on the internet, I discovered that Winsor & Newton carry a few light blues and I decided to have them all. So I bought myself Manganese Blue Hue, Ceruleun Blue and Cobalt Turquoise Light. And I’m so pleased! Especially the last two are fantastically bright and light and not dull at all! Bingo!

(left bottom is Manganese Blue; above that on the left Ceruleun Blue and to the right of that is the Cobalt Turquoise Light)

Of course I didn’t manage to stick to just those three colours! The Indian Yellow is juicy like a good Valencia Orange! And pinks and violets…oh, they just do so well with olive green…

Now that I’ve tried the Winsor & Newton tubes so soon after the Schmincke Horadam, the Rembrandt, the Cotman and the St. Petersburg, I have found a point of comparison that I found rather surprising. Colorwise I have to say that these three light blues are awesome. They are perfectly bright and I’m so happy with it. BUT!!! Once dry, compared to all the other brands, it’s  pretty hard work picking up color from the dry Winsor & Newton Artists’ watercolour! It takes a fair bit of rubbing your brush over the dried paint in your palette to dissolve it so that your brush can absorb the colour. It’s not dramatic, but it is a significant difference between this paint and Schmincke Horadam. And in the process of finding my favorite palette, I find this interesting information. The Schminke comes off like warm butter, really smooth and easily. Winsor & Newton Artists’ demands a little more working. I think my ideal palette is going to consist of some Cotman colours that are good enough…some Horadam ones (the warmer and fuller tones and the light fast red tones), some St. Petersburg ones (the earth tones and olive green) and definitely the light blues by Winsor & Newton.

Hehe…how’s that for a watercolour paint investigation?!

Well, to round off my long entry (sorry, can’t help it, I love blabbing and once I start, I find it hard to stop, even when I’m tired, or maybe beCAUSE I’m tired…hehe), I just wanted to leave you with some inspiration from a watercolour illustrator that I’ve only discovered today when I received a very beautiful postcard by my friend Lizelot. I can’t show you the card itself, but I’ll leave you with an image of her work. Her name is Moniek Peek. If you click on the image, you can visit her website to see more of her colourful and inspiring work!

I find Moniek’s work very inspiring because it both oozes colour and brightness and is painted so loosely…oh, it’s just wonderful. I’m going to give this style a try for sure! Quick, go and have a look yourself!