Below is my first attempt at the the second motive for practicing to use the three main brushes Ransons recommends (the hake, the flat, and the rigger).
|My first attempt at motive 2 for brush practice|
|The rough paper|
While painting, I realised it would have been so much easier if i didn’t have to stop and mix up new colours as went along. The hake sucks up all color it can. I am using my old set of student quality half pans. Afterwards I also realised that I had used cadmium yellow instead of lemon yellow as Ranson had instructed. That doesn’t matter at all though, it just created a scene that was slightly warmer in colour.
It was difficult to do this one, and I thought that perhaps it would have been easier if the paper I am using isn’t so rough. Ranson recommends the NOT paper, which is just a little bit rough. I don’t have that at home, but for my next attempt I switched to hot pressed, completely smooth paper. This is a pad that I found in one of my old boxes, the paper is more than 20 years old.
In my next attempt I premixed the colours, (Lemon Yellow, Ultramarine, Burnt Umber) and laid out the hot pressed pad of paper on the desk. This time I started with the flat, and ended up using that one mostly, not using the hake at all. In the end, when I was filling in details with the rigger I couldn’t help myself from doing a little rigging on the boats. Oh well. It was fun!
It was much easier to paint when the colours where already mixed. I made another change too, that was to go get a plate from the kitchen and use that as a mixing space. It was much easier like that, and while I only used the flat this time, a big mixing space will be better for the hake-blob, the big colour gobbler.
It was also easier to paint on the hot pressed paper, but the down-side was that without the structure of the paper, i didn’t get the effect where fast brushstrokes create little spots of white, where the colour doesn’t reach.
|My second attempt with Motive 2 of the 7 brush practice vignettes|
After having done these two practice paintings I went on a shopping spree online; ordered a
- 1 inch W&N golden sceptre flat. The one I have is a synthetic Pro Arte 1/2 inch flat, and that is too small (otherwise its a nice brush though). The golden sceptre series is a mix of natural and synthetic hair. It will be interesting to try it when i get it.
- a W&N Sable size 2 rigger. The italian one I have is full length – great for superfine long lines, but hard to work thicker lines with. For figure details I need a half long rigger, so that’s what I ordered.
- a tube of professional quality French Ultramarine – my old half pan is now empty, so i could order it with a good conscience
- Bockingford NOT – i.e. the paper that Ranson recommends that is between Rough and the very smooth hot pressed paper. I also had a look at the other paper he recommends, Archers, but that was very expensive. Perhaps I can use that a few years down the line, in case it won’t feel wasteful by then.
- pre-mix the colours into a palette
- use a large mixing space when using the hake, such as a plate