Colouring owl with markers and media summary

Colouring owl with markers and media summary
Owls coloured with 3 different media. See their separate posts: AcrylicsWatercolours – Markers (below)

So I finished the third and the last version of my little owl, which, this time, I coloured with alcohol-based markers (and coloured pencils). Finishing the project makes me really happy but I also feel kind of… empty? I think it’s because I was very excited to see each version finished and then all the versions next to each other, but now the excitement of anticipation is missing. I guess it’s a sign that I should make more arts with the experiment’s techniques (not necessarily 3 versions of the same drawing though 😀 ).

Back to the last version of the owl though. As I said before – this one was coloured with alcohol-based markers and I enjoyed the process a lot – it was quick and fun. But even though I specifically bought some additional marker colours that I thought would be great for this project, it still felt like they were not exactly what I wanted. I think with some adjustments (an additional marker layer changing the hue of the main colour and coloured pencils on the top of the markers colouring) I could get the right colours but it obviously was taking more time than using the right colours from the start would have been. Even so – I still have a feeling that the whole process was a bit faster or about the same time as the watercolours were and definitely faster than acrylics.

Below you can see the steps of markers (and pencils) colouring or you can SKIP directly to the media summary:


The experiment and media summary

I think it was a great idea to try colouring a simple lineart with 3 different media and mimicking the colours of my original, digital drawing. I didn’t only learn a lot but, because I tried media or techniques I don’t use often, I’m now less scared of them – on the contrary, I’m looking forward to trying them again so I can learn even more.

Watercolours were almost a completely new medium for me, I use them very rarely, mostly because I know they are difficult. Now after I made myself use them we are not complete strangers to each other anymore and even though I still have a lot to learn about them I can say I enjoy colouring with them a lot.

Colouring with markers was a nice learning experience, especially that I had a reference image that I was trying to mimic and before markers I’ve done 2 types of paints colouring so I could compare them all. Conclusions of the comparison came to me pretty quickly: with enough paints you can mix them until you get the right one colour, and with markers – you have to buy the exact colours you want or use some tricks to change the marker’s hues, which, in comparison to just getting the right colour of paints through mixing, is much more effort. On the other hand, the alcohol-based markers were definitely the quickest medium to use of the 3 I tried and they work great with coloured pencils, so there is that.

I normally use acrylics for my paintings so I just may know this medium better than the other media used in the experiment, but for me, the acrylic paints do feel easier than both markers and watercolours. I love the fact that acrylic paints are opaque – any mistakes can be easily covered. Also because of the opaqueness – the finished acrylics painting on paper looks like a print. It’s definitely worth mentioning that you can use them like watercolours too and you can (fairly) easily mix them to get the exact colour you need.

I think my observations of the media I’ve used during the experiment will be the easiest to summarise in quick Pros and Cons form:

Watercolours

Pros:

  • Relatively quick
  • Look awesome
  • Infinite colours
  • A lot of possible special effects

Cons:

  • not easy to use
  • pretty much unforgiving

Acrylics

Pros:

  • Infinite colours
  • Look like a print
  • Mistakes are easy to cover
  • Diluted can be used like watercolours

Cons:

  • Slow process

Markers

Pros:

  • Very quick process
  • Work great with dry media
  • Easy to control
  • If done well look like a print

Cons:

  • They bleed through paper
  • Limited amount of colours
  • Mistakes are hard to fix

So these are my thoughts on the experiment and media I’ve tried out (watercolours, acrylics, markers). Do you have different experiences with them? Have you ever done a similar experiment? Or maybe next time I should compare something else? Let me know what you think!

 

Testing Phoenix Artist’s Palette

Testing Phoenix Artist’s Palette
The result of my latest supplies hunt: Copics, Brushmarkers, Promarkers, SM-LT Start Pads, painting brushes, masking tape and drawing gum in a marker, water brushes, Pablo art supplies case and Phoenix palette

As expected, my Mijello palette lost its easy peel-off feature after a while, and because I don’t want to waste my time neither on scratching the paint off it nor on destroying my poor nails while doing it, recently I came back to my old “budget” setting (clipboard + white piece of paper + tracing paper) while looking for a new palette.

I tried a small round paper palette earlier but after giving it a few tries I realized it’s just too small for me (size matters! 😉 ). I have to admit though I generally liked the idea of the easy cleaning (you just tear off the top sheet!) palette so I thought I could try out something similar but more matching the kind of palettes I’m used to, so rectangle and A3 size.

Since  I was on an art supplies buying spree recently I decided to also add a new painting palette to the shopping cart, so I could test it and hopefully use in the future. After comparing prices and sizes I decided to get the acceptable priced one close to the A3 size I’m used to – Phoenix Artist’s Palette (paper one). I was very curious of it because I don’t know much about the company’s products and I don’t own any. I’ve only heard their oil paints are not very good (can’t confirm it though) but nothing besides that.

I still didn’t manage to try out yet some of the things I bought (like the SM-LT Start Pads that look very pretty by the way!) because of the lack of time. Yesterday though I had my painting session and finally got to try that Phoenix Artist Palette.

Phoenix Artist’s Palette 30,5 x 40,5cm

The first thing I noticed about the palette was that it was very… bendy. My sarcastic side immediately thought that by the phrase “Fine Artist Materials” (you can see it on the palette’s cover) the producer meant that they are thin rather than good quality. Either way it wasn’t a good start of my relationship with the palette.

Phoenix Artist’s Palette: Bendy palette is bendy

If you’re a person who paints while holding the palette in your hand you may consider getting either a different palette or a board you could put under the Phoenix palette to prevent it from bending. And that’s what I decided to do too – even though I usually sit while painting and I keep the palettes on my lap, I still don’t want the palette to bend.

Trying to come up with a solution to the “bendy” problem, I remembered I had an A3 rectangle Leniar board palette that I don’t use anymore because scratching the paint off it is more time consuming than painting itself. The Leniar palette has the thumb hole and the dimensions are similar to the Phoenix palette, therefore it should work perfectly as a board under the latter one…

Old Leniar palette that I gave up on scratching the paint off

…except the thumb opening is aligned to the top of it instead of to the bottom like in the Phoenix palette. But fortunately everything is aligned on an acceptable level when the Leniar palette is flipped upside-down.

So, moving to the most important part – what are Phoenix Artist’s Palette’s sheets like? Here the answer comes immediately too and it also is concerning – the sheets are VERY thin. Somewhere between tracing paper and carbon paper thin. On the top surface the sheets are thickly covered with wax (or a similar substance) so they could keep the paint on them instead of absorbing it so there is hope the palette will actually work like it’s intended to.

Phoenix Artist’s Palette with Leniar palette underneath.

Because the sheets were very thin and the whole palette is very bendy I lowered my expectations from the palette and assumed my sarcastic side had to be right about the quality but still I had to test the palette in practice because you can’t make your opinion on something basing solely on assumptions.

Once I put my paints on this palette I realized it’s not actually that bad! I initially thought the paint would soak in the paper through the wax coat or of some sort of a chemical reaction would start but nothing like that happened. In fact, because of the waxy, and therefore partly smooth but also partly sticky surface of the sheets, mixing the colours was actually very pleasant. The paper is water repellent too so you can spray your paints with water without worrying about destroying the sheet. That gives the Phoenix palette a big advantage over regular tracing paper – the latter one bends and wrinkles under water and small amounts of paints soak in it, which makes the tracing paper almost impossible to use it again later

Phoenix Artist’s Palette test run with acrylic paints. Wax coat makes the paper shiny!

As you can see on the right picture above the corner of the palette is bent but it’s not because of the bad quality of the paper. Rather than that, it’s because the paper is so thin – we’re having a hot summer currently and I had my fan on while painting and the stream of air temporarily bent the palette paper. So, another tip today – if you decide to use this palette outside: staple the palette to the board underneath so you can still tear off the sheets but the wind can’t bend the paper.

During the testing I noticed another feature of the palette that is also a result of the wax coat – the dried paint was not fully sticking to the paper so after it dried completely you could peel it off! Actually, the paint started peeling while still drying out so make sure you don’t mix your paint on an area already covered with a dried paint if you don’t want clumps of dried paint on your brush.

Phoenix Artist’s Palette during and after peeling the paint off

The peel-off process with Phoenix paper palette is not as easy as it was at the beginning with Mijello palette but it’s still quite ok, especially that this one wasn’t meant to be peeled – it was meant to be disposed of after use. Since the art supplies are expensive though, the possibility of reusing the paper sheets of this palette is a nice surprise and a chance to save some money as you pretty much get at least 2 palettes at the price of one.


Overall it was a rollercoaster with this palette: several disappointments but also several awesome discoveries. I think the upsides in this case are stronger than downsides and I will continue using Phoenix Artist’s Palette. I may buy a matching board though because it’s what I’ll definitely need as the palette pad is very bendy and needs a firm support underneath. The palette won’t work too good outside on a windy day either because of the extremely thin paper. If used correctly though the palette can be very helpful and reusing the paper will let you save some money. 4 stars from me! ★★★★☆

 

Pencil eraser or Eraser pencil?

Pencil eraser or Eraser pencil?
The sketch that made me discover the eraser pencil

So what’s the difference between a pencil eraser and eraser pencil?
Well, one is an eraser and the other one is… also an eraser. Just in a pencil form. And it’s pretty awesome! I bought one a while ago but never really used it seriously, only to test it out. But now as I’m trying to delve more into mixed media traditional art I needed to make a sketch and that’s when I discovered this awesomeness.

The eraser (in) pencil I have is the simplest possible Koh-I-Noor Era eraser which it’s super cheap and, surprisingly, super good. It erases pencils really well and is extremely handy when you have to erase only a small detail and your regular big eraser would mess up the other details around. You may say it’s a special task eraser for demanding.

I really have no words to express how much I’m in love with this eraser. I think though that next time I’ll get one with a brush at the other end of the pencil, because as awesome as it is, this eraser leaves some small shavings and brushing them off with hand may smudge the pencil sketch which I’d prefer to avoid.

Koh-I-Noor Era eraser pencil

So, to summarize this super super short (for once!) post – if you’ve ever wondered if an eraser in pencil is any good, if it’s worth it and if you should buy it – I can tell you that it is indeed very good and if you’ve ever struggled with erasing small details with big eraser then you should definitely give the eraser pencil a try, especially that it doesn’t cost more than a regular eraser.

I hope it was helpful to anyone but let me know if something was unclear or you’d like to know more!

~LW

Acrylic painting: Little Sisters (WIP + finished version)

Acrylic painting: Little Sisters (WIP + finished version)

I was posting some WIP photos of my newest acrylics work on my social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) for a while and now I’m very proud to say I finished the painting with two cute little girls (that are my work colleague’s daughters). I did work on it for quite a lot and I had a lot of fun with the painting but I’m happy it’s finally finished and I can move on to the next paintings WIP photos of which you can also expect to be posted on this blog in… a while 😀 For the time being please check the below progress shots of the little girls painting and the finished painting you can see in my Gallery.

Details:

Acrylics painting: details #01
Acrylics painting: details #02