What’s on my drawing board, Oct 14 2017

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Karen Smith - what's on my drawing board this week? October 14 2017

Leaves, vines and new watercolour paints.

This weeks drawing board is full of patterns featuring leaves and vines and pink flowers, inspired by a recent trip to country Victoria. Combined with 2 products new to me: Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolour paints and De Atramentis waterproof drawing ink.

Top row: Sketch book with colour swatches, colour copy of a nearly finished watercolour of a Fairy Wren - I made this copy to try out some finishing details I wanted to make to the original. Vine leaf patterns in a AS Draw & Wash pad (Smooth finish). Field sketchbook open at a rose painting.

Middle row: Loose large watercolour sheets with vine leaf pattern designs, trying out watercolour paper as the ground this time, and adding buds to the pattern so I can add some pink colours. Long skinny piece of paper - vine leaves on watercolour adding extra pink along the stems (not so sure about this). Original vine leaf design, (clipped to A3 sketchbook) with some more ink pen flower designs based on mid 15th Century tapestry crewel work designs, this will probably form the ground work for my next project.

Bottom row: My A3 rough sketch pad - with colour swatches from my new Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, these Japanese paints are my new favourite. They are an interesting mix between watercolour and gouache paints - very free flowing yet a little opaque. The 36 pan set is full of colours that are great for painting botanic subjects - there are 9 greens!
I have been trying them out on different papers, as my natural instinct for patterns is to use smooth card, but these paints are developed for painting on Japanese mulberry papers and other thirsty surfaces, and the paint can tend to sit on top of the smooth card and pool. So far I'm finding rough (cold pressed) watercolour paper and even heavy cartridge papers are best.
Dipping pens for a new ink I'm trying (on stool below board) - a German document waterproof ink from De Atramentis, I'm finding it very water fast - once it has fully dried. Square card with inked pattern in the process of being coloured. Mixing palette, colour swatches and Winsor & Newton paints, plus a small stack of greeting cards with vine leaf patterns drawn on them ready for colouring.

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