A smattering of supply stuff today- a travel palette, watercolors, and a journal. For anyone new to these supply posts- they are written to help those who are trying to figure things out, there are lots of supplies out there. We all learn as we go and these are dedicated to the folks finding themselves through artistic expression, no matter how they came to it- formal or informally educated, just starting out, been at it for a while, or however you identify yourself. Art is for everyone.
The first three items presented, were purchased online from The Merri Artist. They are located in McMinnville, Oregon, USA. No products were received in exchange for a review, or anything like that. I have consistently had a great experience ordering from them. And when you do art supply reviews, you pretty much write about what you’re getting for yourself.
The Merri Artist has free shipping in contiguous US with a $90 order. Every so often I stop by their site to see anything unusual that they might be carrying. Their customer service is fantastic, and they ship super-fast. Same day shipping on orders received by 2pm PST Monday-Friday. They also have the best selection of FineTec mica watercolors. Their prices are very good. Besides the FineTec, I ordered a travel palette made from an ArtBin Slim Line case and a tube of Daniel Smith Raw Umber Violet. All items are available elsewhere.
I think this thing is a bit ingenious. The entire bottom is a slab of adhesive magnet. It’s marketed and sold to catch metal objects like Exact-o Knife blades, needles and the like. The Merri Artist also sells metal pans so it can be used as a watercolor travel palette. Fits up to 18 metal pans. Turn it upside down and whack it, they won’t fall out. The box is $6.49 and the 18 pans to fill it are $7.20, for a total of $13.69- overall size: 7 3/8″ x 3 5/8″ x 11/16″. The mental pans are sold individually. Such a good deal for a travel palette!
The ArtBin Slim Line case looks to be available all over the place, but the metal palette tins are a little more difficult to come by. I found these round metal palette pans meant for eyeshadow on Amazon- $9.99 for 25ct. They probably won’t quite line up as nicely as the square ones. Found these square ones from Ulta Beauty- $4.50 for 10ct. Easiest and less expensive to get the set-up from The Merri Artist.
Half and full pans fit in it and the lid closes. I have magnets on the backs of a couple of these half pans, and they fit in as well. Without magnets or some type of adhesive, they won’t stay put. The metal pans are way more secure.
A post on another idea for a cheap travel palette, which includes the 18 half pans to fill with your own paints, can be found here, one on metal palettes here, and another one on how to make your own from mint tins and various things here.
A quick overview of the FineTec Pearl Watercolor 6 Metallic Color Set- $18.75. A lot of calligraphy artists use these, but they are watercolor. I chose this set over the newish Kuretake Gansai Tambi Starry Colors because I’ve used both of these brands before and the FineTec shimmers more. The Gansai Tambi seems like it has more filler and less mica. With the FineTec, a little goes a long way and they will last a long time. I’ve reviewed another FineTec set, and other gold and luminous paint and ink options here.
These swatches were done on Bee Paper Company 100 % Cotton Watercolor Paper– cold press.
Tibet Gold, Inca Gold, Arabic Gold, Gold Pearl, Moon Gold, Sterling Silver
This example uses mostly Moon Gold for the mythical creature, and a little color from other FineTec set and Winsor & Newton Watercolors pictured in the photo. The luminosity of these can be difficult to capture in a photo. A small Pentalic Aqua Journal was used.
Raw Umber Violet– 15ml tube $10.04. I’ve had my eye on this color for a while, but kept telling myself no. Then when I placed the order for the stuff above, I told myself- Jes…yes! There are reviews on the Daniel Smith lines here on Doodlewash- Part I and Part II. Kind of odd to feature only one color, but it’s not one I’ve seen in use much.
“This Daniel Smith exclusive is a blend of Raw Umber with Quinacridone Violet, creating a semi-transparent medium to high tinting pigment with a beautiful deep burgundy-brown color.”
The swatch also has regular Raw Umber- both from the DS line. If you already have the two colors mentioned above, try mixing for it. Swatch done on the same Bee Paper mentioned above.
This example is in a Stillman & Birn 4″x 6″ Gamma Series, the sky is Raw Umber Violet. For the brush curious- it’s a Rosemary & Co. Series 170. Pure Squirrel Mop size 10/0 and is a super sloppy brush. If you like wet washes, this one’s good for it. A post on brushes can be found here.
The long awaited re-release of the new and improved softcovers has arrived. I was a little slow and getting one, but here it is. The Alpha Series 150 gsm is my favorite and this little one is the 3.5”x 5.5” size. I purchased it from Amazon, but other places sell them and I’ve heard many brick & mortar stores do as well. I would like it if my local art store did.
I’d like to share a little something life and people related rather than supply related. I yammer on about supplies, but my thoughts run much deeper.
As a result of participating in social media more than ever before, I’ve been thinking about freedom from artistic criticism, easing up in that area on ourselves and others. Don’t we get that enough in life, criticism? It’s pretty much an automatic inward and outward response for a lot of us. Does it ever feel good? How would it feel to just not go there, or not stay there for very long once you are aware of it? It would be liberating! Art and painting aren’t just about putting something out there that looks talented or sell-able or admirable or pretty or amazing or cool. It’s about creative spirit and creative expression. Criticism can crush that spirit before it gets a chance to soar. We all want our art to improve and it does over time when we keep working with it, not by criticism- which does nothing to improve our art, or are personal development. Like many of you, I create because I can’t help it, it’s part of my makeup. I’m choosing to do myself a kindness by doing my best to let go of being critical of myself and others. Encouragement and support are where it’s at- everyone benefits from this! I thank you for taking the time to read this and giving it some consideration.
“What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within us out into the world, miracles happen.”
The quote is widely attributed to either Ralph Waldo Emerson or Henry David Thoreau, or Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., but probably originated from much lesser known Henry Stanley Haskins, or possibly a few others. Whomever it came from- thank you mystery man for your wisdom.
Normally I don’t announce what I’m reviewing next in case I change my mind. I don’t want to promise and then not deliver. But! Sometimes there are sneak peeks on my Instagram- @jessicaseacrest because I’m using the products in the weeks prior so that I can write about them and I usually tag what I’m using. The cat, it never wants to stay in the bag.All previous review posts can be found under “Reviews” on the menu or click here. Doodlewash has a Facebook group called World Watercolor Group. Huge variety of folks from all over, and a wide variety of painting styles. We have a lot of fun over there, join in if you haven’t already!
Supply posts are every other Saturday. See you next time!
Hi I’m the Doodlewash Supply Blogger and offer reviews of various types of art supplies, watercolors, and helpful tips. I approach artistic expression with a light-hearted point of view. I love to see, and support others opening up to, and embracing their creative process with any medium or creative expression. Follow me on Instagram!