Category Archives: Tips & Ideas

Pencil Study

Today I decided it was about time I did a little pencil study to better understand the behaviour of my pencils. I use mark making a great deal in my work and sometimes I want the pencil mark to move or bleed into my paints and other times I want it to remain on the painting as a sharp line.

I have a large range of pencils that I have accumulated over time and generally I don’t spend a great deal of time choosing which one I want to use. But sometimes they don’t behave on the artwork the way I had intended, so I thought it was about time I did another little pencil experiment.

You will see here that I have quickly drawn out a few boxes and with each pencil I have drawn inside a box with a few straight lines and another with a solid scribbled line. Then with each box I have painted over with clear water to see how water soluble they were.

Pencil study
Pencil Study
Pencil Sudy

It was interesting to see that different brands of the same type of pencil can behave differently. You will see here that the Koh – I -Noor HB pencil bled less with water than the Royal Graphite HB pencil. That is why it is important to know your pencils.

From the 28 pencils that I experimented with the ONLY pencil that did not move or bleed with water was the Chinamarker, which I guess I already knew.

The most water soluble ones that I used, that is the ones that bled the darkest black, were the ArtGraf and Stabilo Woody.

These were closely followed by:

Graphite LYRA Water Soluble
Stabilo Aquarellable 8046
Derwent Inktense
Stabilo Carbathello
Conte à Paris

Water soluble art pencils

And my final conclusion was that I have far too may pencils!

I probably could whittle them down to about 5 or 6 different types. So I may just keep that selection in a different container so that I can easily find the one that I want.

I hope you have found this little experiment useful.

My You Tube Channel

Today I created my You Tube channel and I have added my first video tutorial.

It is a very useful little tutorial on how to solve the problem of buckled or warped artwork on paper.

Buckled or warped watercolour paper

I always used to struggle with my watercolour paper buckling and had read many tips and watched videos on how to prevent this happening. I had tried most of them without very good results and always found it very frustrating. Nobody would want to purchase artwork on a distorted piece of paper. So I came up with my own method, which I have shared with you in this video.

I should also add, as I mention in the video, that the better quality watercolour paper that you use makes a huge difference in preventing buckling in the first place. I now always buy 120lb or 140lb watercolour paper. It really is worth paying the extra.But if you are having problems with your watercolour paper buckling do pop over to You Tube and watch my video. It is only 7 minutes long and demonstrates this very simple but effective solution of mine.

Hope you enjoy it.

Mark Making Idea – Roller Ball Bottles

I came up with a new mark making idea with these roller ball bottles.

Roller ball bottles used for mark making

I had received a bottle of cuticle oil for Christmas in a bottle with a stainless steel roller ball tip and whilst I was using it I suddenly had a lightbulb moment. I thought these bottles would be a great way of rolling paint. So, I found some empty refillable bottles on Amazon, filled one up with acrylic paint and gave it a try. And as you can see it worked a treat.

I filled the bottles with acrylic paint.

Refillable bottle with stainless steel roller ball tip filled with acrylic paint

I used High Flow acrylic for one and Fluid Acrylic for the other but watered down so that it would flow better.

Roller ball bottles filled with acrylic paint

I have decided it is probably best to store them upside down so that the paint doesn’t dry out on the roller ball which may make it difficult to roll.

Roller ball bottles stored upside down to prevent dried out paint clogging the roller

I have added the Amazon links for the bottles on my Favourite Art Supplies page Tools & Equipment

I love it when I come up with a new mark making idea. I hope you like it. Give it a go and let me know what you think.

My favourite Easel – Leap Day Sale

Artristic Easel is so versatile for using in many positions and angles

I have just noticed that Artristic Easel – my favourite easel are having a Leap Day Sale for 29th February only. I know many of you have shown an interest in the easel that I use and know how much I love it! So, if you are thinking of buying one then today would definitely be a good day to do so. Use LEAPSALE10 at checkout.
You will see that I have written more about it on my Tools & Equipment page and will know that it is my favourite easel for its versatility of height and angle. My post will give you some idea of why I love it so much. The most versatile easel I have ever encountered. I can easily change it to use at any height or angle. It was definitely one of my best purchases.

If you buy one, let me know how you get on with it.
I KNOW you will be pleased.

Painting Process Videos on Instagram

I have been very poor at updating my website of late and focussing on Instagram which is so easy to add quick updates. I am endeavouring to make more time to update the blog pages here more often and show my painting process. But in the meantime do take a look at my Instagram page for lots more updates. I try to add posts daily

One of the great things about Instagram is that I can add videos easily. If you are interested in my painting process you will find videos there on my posts and IGTV.

Video showing some of my painting process

You will also find lots of tips and ideas on my IG pages and close ups of some of my work.

Close up from one of my abstract meadow Paintings

There is more of me too, which may or may not be a good thing. Ha Ha! I will let you be the judge of that. I will be adding more posts here soon and updating my gallery pages to showcase more of my art. I have already added a couple more photos of my latest abstract meadow paintings on the Buy Art page. My abstract meadows are now the focus of my work. I hope you like them. Let me know what you think.

And if you should come and visit me on Instagram please do leave me a comment to say hello. And I hope you enjoy my IG page enough to follow me.

I will be adding more content to the website here too, so stay tuned!