Sunday, May 18, 2014

New Art Supplies!

There is nothing better than new art supplies, and this month I have indulged myself a little. I read about the Princeton Select Filbert Grainer brushes, and wanted to give them a try. These brushes have divided bristles at the tip. I think they were originally intended to help with painting grass, but I want to see how they worked for painting fur. These brushes are very soft, ideal for watercolor. I found that they were good especially for doing the fur underpainting, where you want to cover larger areas. Since they make parallel lines, the fur does come out looking a little stiff. I went in and used my beloved Silver Brush Ultra Mini round brushes for the details and everything else. I used a #10 round and a #6. That is the beauty of these brushes: even on a fairly large brush, the point is incredibly fine.

I also bought some new watercolors, just for fun. They are a Russian brand, White Nights, that was recommended to me by Helen Dardik. I purchased them on eBay. They were quite nice, but I have to say, the Mission Mijello Gold are still my favorites. The White Nights are good, and have a broad selection of colors. However, they are made with honey, which I hadn't encountered before, which gives them a slightly unusual texture. And some of the colors, the earth tones especially, didn't have the strength of pigment that I get from the Mijellos that I usually use. The reds and yellows however, are beautifully bright. One thing I was unable to find out was the toxicity levels. I am pretty vigilant about using non-toxic colors, because I am dreadfully untidy and end up with paint all over my hands most days! So I was a bit uncertain about Russian quality control on that, and didn't sample any of the cadmium colors ( I use Cadmium Hues in other brands, because they are a non-toxic version of the color). But I did have a wonderful time exploring and playing with these new toys!