When your watercolor pills turn runny wet
In a few posts before this one, I showed how my watercolor paints melted, some solutions (no puns intended!), and maybe what I’ve found. In the meantime, my sketchbooks are full of just line drawings and little color.
I could wait until our new home is built. When we will have air conditioning on low in my studio. A week indoors with air conditioning and then a few hours daily outside with me and all will be ok.
I asked other artists in my Make Big Art Community and Kathy Whitehorn offered that I try Golden’s Qor Watercolor paints. I bought some in February and been using them since.
What I like about Qor paint is that the binder seems to be synthetic. I don’t have to keep my paint in a Ziploc bag because it has no honey to attract ants. I tossed this paint kit in my purse and it’s been ok: no mess. I have to get used to the paint…it’s different colors, consistency, saturation, and feelings than my other kits. Yes, watercolors and any paints have a feeling, the way they apply to the paper…lol, to me.
Next up is rainy season. Humidity ramps up about 10%...and every fabric from chair cushion to hung up clean tank top will feel damp no matter if inside or outside of the house. This will be the biggest test of my Qor watercolor paints. I filled up all the pans since I took this photo.
I think the paint will be just fine. I’ll check in with an update later this year, probably with a sketchbook page, lol! My sketchbook gets color, again!
Last post, I showed how my watercolor paints melted.
Here’s what I’ve learned to get my watercolor paints dry:
I’m not one to really give up on adding color to my sketchbooks.
I’ve added color pencils. Dissatisfying between the sharpening and how much color it really adds compared to effort, but at least it’s color.
I guess I have little choice than to wait until our new home is built. When we will have air conditioning on low in my studio. A week indoors with air conditioning and then a few hours daily will be ok.
I’ve asked other artists in my Make Big Art Community if they’ve had this problem. Artist Kathy Whitehorn offered that I try a particular paint brand. I’ll be trying it…but for now it’s dry season…and rainy season will be the real test.
Being in dry season didn’t help the watercolor paint that’s already melted…as I just keep laughing!
When your watercolor pills turn into sticky caramel taffy, the watercolor paint stays home. I keep this kit and a few others inside a very well sealed Ziploc bag, flat, on a shelf. With this kit, I’m lucky it’s taffy caramel like…because my other kit’s paint turns into thick water and runs into the other pans.
Andy and I used to live in humid in Miami, Florida. The average humidity in Miami is between 50ish% - 70ish% year-round, like in Ojochal, Costa Rica where are living. The HUGE difference is that Miami has air conditioning everywhere. In Costa Rica, air conditioning is rarely found or used, no matter how hot or rainy. Air conditioning acts as a dehumidifier as it allows the air to dry out. Since there’s no air conditioning…the air stays humid…and…
Andy and I are renting a house that has NO glass in the windows. The windows have a decorative and practical ironwork and screens. We have lots of fans to keep the air circulating in our home. The fans keep things dryer and us cooler: double win.
The bad is that we also have a lot of humidity, no matter how many fans move the air around…so we use a lot of Ziploc bags to keep things as dry as possible. Sadly, many things stay damp…and there isn’t a way to dry them (no oven, no iron). One of these things are the watercolors that I loved to use with my sketchbooks.
I learned that watercolors melt. The binder (glue), that holds the pigment (color) melts when the paint is kept in humid conditions. It takes just a couple of days for most of the colors to turn runny.
I’m writing this not to complain but more to laugh. Laugh because no one ever mentions melting watercolor paints. I did Google this…and found only One artist writing about it.
In the meantime, my sketchbooks will only have blue or brown line drawings and little if any color. My next post will be how I can maybe fix my watercolor kits…maybe….
Once the paint goes on the canvas, the grid disappears.
These cats are done in my “goofy cats” style, meaning I use collaged acrylics to draw them.
So how do I use a grid when the original penciled in grid is gone?
Using one of those quilting rules, I drew up grids with a permanent marker on cut down pieces of used laminating plastic sheets. I hold up my plastic grid to my painting and compare my painting to a digital photo with a grid on it.
As I compare my painting to my digital photograph, it’s easier to fix lines and colors by flipping the plastic grid sheet on and off my painting.
If you’d like to see some of the custom dog and cat paintings I’ve done, please visit my webpage about them. Click on these sentences to see and get a free eBook of how to work with me for your custom pet painting.
How I make grids on canvas
I now begin every custom pet painting with a grid as I learned from painting dog Nakita.
The ruler is a quilting ruler, if you’re wondering. If you need straight lines for any project,
this type of ruler beats the school ruler hands down for ease of use!
1. After adding my own layer of gesso, I take out my ruler and pencil in one-inch squares.
2. Using an app, I add a layer of squares onto the digital photo of the pet I’m painting.
3. Once the grid is penciled, I can draw the cats onto these canvases.
The unique part of these cat paintings are that they are going to be done in “goofy style,” not “realistically.” The lines will blur when I add the acrylic skins and papers. The grid will still help as I paint and collage in the cats. I’ll show you how I keep using grids in later blog post.
If you’d like to see some of the custom dog and cat paintings I’ve done, please visit my
webpage about them. Click on these sentences to see and get a free ebook of how to
work with me for your custom pet painting.
This is the 2nd quilt ruler I have because my blue one was in storage. As you can see, it doesn’t have the lines across in grid style, which makes using this particular ruler very difficult when measuring out smaller than an inch increments. It’s in my studio…but it will spend more time hanging out than being used. If you want a quilt ruler, try to find a version of my favorite one!
Drawing, painting both analog and digital, and other artsy things while living in Costa Rica.
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