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September 2013



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Making do...

As usual, on my recent trip, I took more art supplies than I used or needed, and didn't have some things I wanted--particularly after I lost my favorite little lightweight plastic folding palette! I had just tweaked it, getting rid of some colors I never used, refining the ones I did, and adding back a couple I'd done away with...I'd refilled it a couple of days before the trip.

Then my love and I went out on the Pier at San Clemente, a glorious place to be. Of COURSE I had to sketch in my journal. He went back once to feed the meter in the parking lot, but eventually, it was time to go. My palette was still puddlied with wet washes, so I walked toward the lot with it open. We made one more pitstop, and I'm reasonably sure I put the palette down on the concrete block divider between stalls....

Didn't realize it was missing till the next day...

This is the lost love--obviously well used!:
October Palette Tweaks

Serendipitously, he had found me a small art supply store as we were leaving San Clemente proper to find the Mission of San Juan Capistrano. I had wanted to work some in gouache in my newest sampler journal, but wasn't keen on taking a large tube of paint in my suitcase, given the security issues now in place. Once in California, I'd realized that a watercolor pencil in white would do!

Once in the shop, I realized as well that one of the nice big watercolor crayons would work even better as a kind of tubular pan of white qouache, so I bought a couple of open-stock Neocolor II Watersoluble Wax Pastel crayons along with this small tin of Lyra Aquacolors.

I'd worked with Aquacolors before--they make great "pan" watercolors if you touch the wet brush to the tip and then mix your washes as usual, and the lid of the tin worked adequately as a mixing palette--back in business!

It would be a bit tedious to work this way on a larger painting, but it was great to add color to this little pencil sketch done the day before at Newport Beach!

The small set of Aquacolors has some colors I'd never choose myself, but I did manage to mix the hues I needed for my sketch, and really they come with a range of colors that aren't bad--just different from what I'm used to:

Still, a nice range of colors...mostly...

The white crayon worked as I'd hoped for the gouache effect, too, and Joseph lent me his little Winsor & Newton travel box I'd given him a few weeks before for some of the paintings in the book...between us, we had it covered!

Thanksgiving Lantern (gouache)


I lived in San Juan Capistrano growing up, and I wish you could have seen that mission with the natural world all around it, as it was many years ago - and the swallows everywhere! But I am glad you enjoyed it, and I do like the beach over there quite a bit.

Also if you don't mind, Kate m'dear, will you tell me what you mean by "white gouache"? I know gouache is not see-through, so I assume you mean that the wax crayon was opaque as opposed to watercolor, which is see-through. Am I right? Do you use the white as highlights, or do you dilute the white with color (as in the above picture, with blue perhaps)?
Oh, I wish I could have too! I know it's grown up everywhere...here too! I still remember so many charming little shops and buildings and old barns on the edge of town, and now we have McDonald's and Pizza Hut and Westlake and Ford and Walmart and bleah.

Yes, the white is opaque, as are some of the other colors--the black, light blue and the reddish brown, particularly. I used it directly to draw with, I drew with it and then wet the result to spread the paint, and I also touched the tip of it with my wet brush and painted with that as if it were a big pan of white pigment, as in the little lantern. I mixed it with other colors here and there for that one. They're quite versatile!
Oh! Thank you, that helps me understand. I rather jumped into sketchcrawling and because I don't know any better, I just do whatever I want with whatever I have around. I work in a coffeeshop so sometimes? I have pictures done in coffee!

I am sad for your little set of paints. My only hope is that someone will have a very enjoyable next year playing when perhaps they may never have touched painting again. Or better yet, some young thing will find the set and get bitten by the bug, you know? Every time I lose some art-thing of mine, I hope that fate has nice things like this in store for it. :)
Yes, I've worked with coffee, mud, and the remains of someone's campfire--found charcoal!

And that's exactly how I feel about the palette...I hope someone found it who will enjoy it! Maybe not give it to a toddler to poke in, with those lovely paints, but someone who'd delight in the rich, buttery colors...
Do you use the white crayon on its own dry on dry like a colored pencil or do you mix it with the other colors to create opacity or how does that work? I've never worked with opaques before but I love seeing how other people are able to use them.
I use it both ways. Sometimes I draw it on and leave it, sometimes wet it, sometimes touch my wet brush to it to lift some color and paint with that, either directly or by first mixing it with other colors on my palette. I used the painting directly and mixing with other colors technique on the little lantern. Very versatile!

Edited at 2007-12-03 01:44 pm (UTC)


What a pair you are! Be prepared and be resourceful and never say die! Love this story. Will now have to check out those Lyra crayons. Does it ever end, this art supply drama we're all part of? Hope not!
Hi sweet Xoxa! Well, we both come from the kind of background that encourages improv, that's for sure! I used to prefer making or building my own toys to buying them, when I was a kid...

And no, I think there are ALWAYS new--or old, classic--art supplies and techniques to explore. Now I want some of Roz's metallic gold paint...

I think the Lyras would be GLORIOUS in a life drawing class where you could work large...yum! They're soft and buttery and blend readily...