Saturday, February 10, 2018

Arches history and watercolors

So, despite feeling a bit like a long wet week in Wigan, I did manage to keep my promise to myself and paint two small fast watercolors, one per day.  I had to get a new pad of watercolor paper, so I chose Arches.

I love Arches paper, though I know there are all sorts of great papers aside from Arches, but I just have a good feeling for them. I used to give out little samples of (very expensive) Arches hotpress paper, when I was introducing students to ink and wash.

When I told them Arches has been making paper since 1492, that is not a typo, they'd look at me funny, wondering what the joke was. But they really have.  So by now they're pretty good at it. 

The basic surfaces of watercolor are hot press, where the paper is run through hot rollers to finish it with a glassy smooth surface, cold press, known in the UK as "not", which is textured, and rough, which is a bit like painting on rough concrete. 

People like each for different reasons.  Mostly cold press is great for letting color flow and mix, hot press is great for ink drawing and washes, and I have never found out what the virtue of rough is, since I don't see eye to eye with it for painting purposes.

So here's the cover of the Arches pad which just arrived, all written in several languages, not, as far as I can see, including English.  That'll teach us to think everyone should speak English!

So despite feeling a bit weak and not so good with a fluey thing going on, I do feel better if I manage to make a bit of art.  This includes climbing up to the third floor to work, since that's where I've got all the doings set up ready.  Once I get there, I'm under way.

The goal with this series, all to be 8 x 5, or 5 x 8, depending on which way you see it,  measurement of height always precedes measurement of width,  is to get back my watercolor chops, and stay loose and calm with it.  At least, as usual, that's the plan! Also to start each painting with, well, here goes nothing!


  1. Liz, these are lovely, especially the white flower. Very delicate.

    Just take care of you, please. No picture is worth you ending up in the hospital. (frowny worried face here)

  2. Yes, will do. Resting a lot, chicken broth, ginger lemonade, warm cat in place!

  3. Oh man these are gorgeous! Glad to hear you are taking care of yourself as well. *hugs)


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