Hello all! My name is André Mangabeira and I live in Brazil (visit my website). I define myself as an enthusiastic and experimental painter who occasionally has some fun with art. I had worked for quite a few years with digital media, illustrating educational books and other small commissions, but always keeping in the back of my mind the desire of improving something more geared towards the traditional techniques. Very recently (two or three years ago) I was introduced to watercolor and ever since, it has been a pleasure and a struggle at the same time.
I’ve taken workshops and studied by myself through videos and books in order to learn more about this magical painting method. The only frustration is not having enough time, because I work during the week in something completely different.
I have read somewhere that watercolor is the art of light. I agree, but due to a natural tendency, my painting style is more geared towards the dark and strong values. Mood and Atmosphere is what really draw my attention and my main rule is that I never use pure black in my paintings.
There is no reason for using a dull black, once you can achieve very interesting darks just mixing pigments like Ultramarine blue, Burnt Sienna, Alizarin crimson, Hooker Green and so on. It is important not to mix more than three pigments in order to avoid the undesirable muddy effect.
- A very light and loose sketch using 6B pencil.
- A first weak wash. Thinking and shapes and soft edges. Letting the colors merge.
- After absolutely dry, I go with the second and thick wash combining dry and wet brush strokes.
- A bit of details here and there with a smaller rigger and some highlights using chinese white.
I basically use four brushes.
The next is a size 12 synthetic brush. It is pretty decent and allows me work with details too.
Next is a PERLA White Toray Synthetic from Escoda. It holds the exact point shape even after hours of heavy use and provides a nice job with medium and fine details.
The smallest is a simple and ordinary rigger brush for very tiny and fine details like wires, for example.
My paper preference is Arches. Cold press and rough 300gsm. I like to use a plastic palette rarely cleaned and the main pigments are those I have mentioned above with some others like Dioxazine Violet, reds, Cobalt Blue and Neutral Tint. One nice thing about the palette is that I love to use the leftover pigments to make sketches with black ink on sketchbooks. It’s a real therapy for me.
My inspiration comes from everywhere. Urban scenes, everyday life or even fantasy. Plus, there is another natural tendency for decay stuff, horror and nostalgia. I work mostly in my studio, although I would like to practice more plein air paintings. It is a bit complicated especially in my country where sometimes the temperatures can make you burn. Literally.
One last thing I would like to share is how I choose what I want to paint. As much as possible, I try to get involved with the subject of my desire looking from different angles or even in different hours. Within the morning lights for example. I also like to take pictures with my smartphone and then print out some copies to study the values. Once the subject has drawn my attention, I try to build up a kind of obsession with it in order to make a good painting.
Well, that’s it. Thank you for reading my piece and thanks so much for Charlie O’Shields from Doodlewash®! I am waiting for your visit at my blog later: mangabeirainkblog.wordpress.com.
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Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!