October 28, 2017 at 2:37 pm #113247
I wish I were so wise. I keep buying because I’m curious about colors I haven’t used. I like to switch things up often so they all get used sooner or later. And if there is ever a severe paint shortage, I’m in good shape for years, lol.October 28, 2017 at 2:37 pm #113248October 28, 2017 at 2:44 pm #113250October 28, 2017 at 2:44 pm #113251October 28, 2017 at 2:44 pm #113252October 28, 2017 at 3:51 pm #113265Tonya LParticipant@tonya
I’ve had the same problem with M. Graham running out of my pans. When we lived at the coast with crazy nasty humidity, I never had a problem. We moved to the mountains a year ago, and I can’t keep them in my palette here. They pour out like cream soup. I never could figure it out, so I finally had to give them up. So sad, because I love that brand otherwise!October 28, 2017 at 3:59 pm #113266Tonya LParticipant@tonya
You posted such an interesting question and observation! I’ve only been painting about 2-3 years, and I can tell a huge difference in paints, brushes, papers and brands. But I really test my materials and look for differences, so that may be why I notice it more.
There really is a big quality difference between most “student” and “professional/artist” grade tools. However, once you move up into artist-grade stuff, most of those work really well. At that point, the paints/brushes/papers you prefer becomes more a personal preference, so you may not notice much of a difference unless you’re looking for it.
Also, whether or not you notice a huge difference may be due to how you paint. I have a friend that uses watercolors almost like acrylics, so she doesn’t notice much variation. (She’s so free with her media! I totally admire that.) I tend to paint in lots of thin layers and glazes, and often I build my paintings almost like oils, so I may notice more differences because I do heavy dilution etc.
I would just say that if what you use doesn’t bother you, be thankful for it and keep at it! We picky folks probably could take some tips from you. 🙂
October 28, 2017 at 4:32 pm #113279
- This reply was modified 2 years ago by Tonya L.
If I come away from Doodlewash having learned anything, it is how much personal preference and location can affect what works best for people. I thought I already knew it, but the conversations here have really driven it home.October 28, 2017 at 5:17 pm #113290Teri CasperParticipant@teric
Wow, so much information here. Thank you all for sharing.
I use a couple different brands: D. Smith, Graham, QoR, Schmincke and a few hand made watercolors. I admit I just use them indiscriminately for whatever I happen to be painting and one is closer than the other 😄😄October 28, 2017 at 5:23 pm #113293
I think the size you are working at can make a difference too.October 28, 2017 at 10:18 pm #113363Dawn AshParticipant@dawn-ash
wow.. big differenceOctober 29, 2017 at 2:00 am #113368Kate PowellParticipant@kate-powell
Yes, location and how or what you paint — style…October 29, 2017 at 3:03 am #113371Elizabeth MetzParticipant@elizabeth-metz
I notice the setting thing more with some colors than others. Most of them will eventually dry for me (though I just got them this summer, and it was hotter than the surface of the sun itself this year for some reason, which may have affected that), but a couple colors are still roughly the consistency of slime mold. (Mostly gelled, but if ignored while not level, will migrate a little toward the side it’s tipped toward.)
I’ve seen the same thing with some QoR colors, and just recently, with a couple Sennelier tubes. (I’ve always bought half-pans of Sennelier before this, but the Prussian Blue pan I filled from the tube is STILL wet. I bought them in August.)October 29, 2017 at 3:14 am #113374Elizabeth MetzParticipant@elizabeth-metz
I’m totally going to admit something that will probably place a giant scarlet A on my chest.
The first four or so years I painted, I did so with a cheapie kids’ set I got from a local-at-the-time art supply shop. From the kids section. On clearance.
I had every bit as much fun as I do now, though now, because I’m a giant snob and I understand more about transparency/flow/pigments/etc., I probably couldn’t go back to those without wanting to repeatedly light them on fire. (My husband HAS a flamethrower. I am not afraid to use it.)
Like other people have said, I think it’s all about what you expect and what you want your paints to do. There definitely ARE differences, but some of those differences might only be evident if you’re using them in a certain way/for a certain thing. When I was using the kiddie set, I didn’t know about granulation; therefore, I wasn’t expecting my paints to do that. Same with rewetting (which totally varies by brand/color within brands), or lifting, etc..
I think the key is to try a lot of stuff in your style, and when you find what works, do all the happydances. 🙂October 31, 2017 at 12:11 pm #115939Daniel MacBrideParticipant@daniel-macbride
Interesting discussion! I absolutely ADORE my Sennelier pans, they are transparent and luminous and just perfect for the layering I like to do. I also have some DS tubes which I love for different reasons – the granulation being a big one; and some W&N Cotman tubes that were one of the paints I started with (like Elizabeth, the first set of paints I started with was a kiddie one with 36 cakes – that early in my painting, I didn’t know if I was going to stick with it or enjoy it so I wasn’t willing to drop a lot of money on materials until I had some idea of what I was doing). I still have the first set of paints I ever bought – mostly because I’ve only been painting since May lol (I have an obscene amount of paint for not even 6 months as an artist LOL, mostly because I just love to experiment with it!) But now the kiddie cakes are reserved for my grandson when he wants to paint with me 🙂
Then I bought a Sakura Koi field box which I still have (although I find the Koi paint a bit chalky, it’s a great set for outdoors); and some metallic and pearlescent paints in a few different brands which I use for special effects or fish scales – and then when I started to get a feel for how I wanted to work, I went big and bought the 48 half pan set of Sennelier, followed very closely by about a dozen tubes of basic colours of DS.
I use different paints for different things – my Sennelier are stunning for fruit, flowers and anything where I want a lot of intense colour because I can layer them and they are beautifully smooth and don’t tend to granulate much if at all. The DS are my go-to for landscapes because of the colours and the beautiful granulation – gives me a lot of texture for things like rocks and sand or foliage without too much work lol, and makes the landscapes much more interesting. Many of the other brands of paint mentioned (Schmincke, QoR, Graham etc) are very hard to get here in Perth and are very expensive – although given how much my Sennelier set cost me I probably shouldn’t complain too loud about the cost of other brands LOL! So I haven’t tried those brands yet – and tbh I don’t know if I want to bother, because Sennelier and DS seem to be a very good combination for me that cover everything I want to do so far, and I don’t feel like I have even come close to finding the limits of what I can do with those paints just yet 🙂
I will say though that I have a couple of friends who are both professional artists and mentored me a bit in the beginning when I was a complete noob to watercolour, and they have both said to me that when I switched from cheaper paint to the Sennelier and DS, the improvement in my painting was absolutely phenomenal, solely from the change in paint quality (I’m talking literally the difference between 2 paintings done on the same day, one with Sakura Koi and the other with Sennelier) 🙂
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