Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Framing Watercolours

Today I collected some framing material for the two paintings I've entered into the Rotary Club of Sorrento Art Show in January [more of that later]. I always buy my framing material from Gary and the crew from FrameCo in Nunawading. Earlier this year I attended on of their framing courses and found it really helpful in understanding what is involved in Framing. Dianna is a very encouraging teacher and has been extremely helpful whenever I have a question or in putting together an order for me.

Whenever I now visit an exhibition I find myself spending as much time examining the framing as much as the painting. But I am learning a lot from watching how others solve some of the problems I also come across.
The FrameCo website is very helpful too with tips and suggestions for framing - Free 'how-to' notes, video segments and so on. The SmartFramer section is especially helpful in allowing "try-before-you-buy" matting and framing combinations. Gary and his team go out of their way to help make framing your own work as easy as possible.
You may want to have a look at their site for yourself so click here to have a look. I will also add a link to my list of sites to visit.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Books for Watercolour Artists

When I began this wonderful journey with watercolour I took a book from the library to see what it was all about and how to start. I'm not sure I remember the book title but it began a love of books relating to all things watercolor.
The range of books to do with watercolour is huge. Not only did I exhaust the local library but worked my way through the library branches in our area and then moved on to libraries in the region.
I soon ran out of 'new' books borrow and began to buy watercolour books for myself. I now have a library of my own!
In the beginning I found books really helpful as a guide to painting - tools, materials, techniques and so on. Later I looked for specific and more advanced techniques and different painting styles. I must admit this was a confusing time as I tried the different approaches each artist described.
I'd like to share some of my books with you on a regular basis so look out for the Watercolour Book Review pages.
If you have a favourite Watercolour book I'd love to hear about it.

Just to whet your appetite one of the books I'm reading at the moment is by American Watercolour artist, Nita Engle. She has a book with the title "How to make Watercolor Paint Itself"  If ever there was an enticing book title this is it! Sad to say the watercolour masterpiece doesn't magically appear without any input from the artist and Nita Engle is a master with years of experience. Anyhow watch out for the review or, if you can't wait you can get your own copy here

Monday, November 8, 2010

Watercolour - The Technical bits

I've really appreciated the technical side of watercolour. The way the pigment is distributed by the water, the density of the water/pigment mix, the dampness of the paper and the way in which it all interacts is both a mystery and a marvel. I'm told that experience and years of practice ['brush miles' says artist Malcolm Beattie] is what lessens the mystery.
One website that really helps and is a wonderful resource is Handprint This excellent site contains some of the most helpful information about pigments, setups and history.Bruce MacEvoy is the author of Handprint and his explanations are extensive and easy to follow.
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