Hello! Lovely to see you! Here you will find random posts about living a creative life in country Australia. I am an illustrator. I create, take photos, faff, collect, teach. Watercolour, collage, colour, cheese, travel and dreaming are my faves. And Turkish delight. And cushions. And gardening. And op-shops...

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

My art essential bits and bobs


My Art Essential Bits and Bobs

When I play around with painting and making mess, drawing and coming up with new stuff I sometimes get a bit lost. What do I paint? What will I do on this vast piece of empty paper? I try to just get on with it, and not think too much about it.  

And inevitably by my elbows, next to me on the table will be my paintbrushes, ranging from 0 to 000 size, flathead and round. Expensive brushes mingle and mix with the cheap - they are a motley crew. I go through fine ones at a rate of knots! I keep them upright in random glasses picked up from op-shops, old coffee cups, and my fave Fowler jars.

Fowler preserving jars are also the chosen fave for for my pencils and pens, my rulers, and all sorts of bits and bobs. I have been collecting Fowler jars since I was at uni, when I used them as vases. They are wonderfully useful!(Even for bottling and preserving things too, so I am told).


Then there are my paints, which are like old friends. I know how certain colours will react and respond when water touches them. 

Some need only a little water and are very potent, some need lots of mixing and soak up oodles of water, thirsty and granular. Some are smooth and mix easily.I know them. 


For many many years I have carried around my trusty dried pan watercolours. My first set I bought before I went to Europe over 20 years ago, the second set I bought in Birmingham, England, and stored them away for later use. They ended up being stored for over a decade before I broke them out, excited and happy and thrilled to break open those babies!


I still buy little pans to refill them and extend my range. They last for ages and are so awesome. Just love them!

But I also use Koh-In-Nor rounds, which I discovered when teaching. I love their intensity, especially the blues. I now have several sets, thanks to Micador (who kindly sent me some, as well as some paper and brushes) and I never get sick of them. I actually seem to use them more and more, finding them reliable and beautiful.

When I do start, I often wet my watercolour paper first, and let the colour wash over it. Sometimes I let it dry and paint over the top later, and sometimes I just keep adding colour and watching it bleed all together beautifully.It depends on the effect and the mood of me that I am chasing.

Then again, I might play around with watercolour pencils, which are so easy to use. They fill up an Ikea box with their cousins the plain old but brilliant coloured pencils. 

The other permanent fixtures at the back and call of my creative will are my collection of lead pencils ranging from 2H through to 7B, the wonderful black felt tip pens that seem to disappear into the cosmos very rapidly (I suspect my family takes them wandering...)and double sided tape and scissors. Oh, and a stash of different papers and canvas to paint on too.

So these are my basic tools, but I do  experiment with inks, gouache and acrylic etc. Truth is, I am not too proud to try almost anything. I have also made paper by hand, up cycled tiles into jewellery, printed, sewn, weaved, beaded, embroidered, worked with pastels and acrylics and I still do collage. And take photos. And blog!


It certainly means I have a huge stash of supplies, and sometimes I feel a jack of lots of things master of none! But it keeps me inspired. At least that's what I tell myself. 

I have wondered if I should do some videos of me painting. People often ask me how I do it. The kids I teach love watching me draw. What do you think? What you like to see how I work up a picture? Let me know! Perhaps this is something to throw into the mix?

What do you use to create? Do you chop and change and have way too many supplies. Or are you like those lovely Instagram photos with a perfectly co-ordinated and tidy workroom or desk?

I know there are websites out there that are all about looking into other creatives spaces. Think I will go and Google them right now... see you in a few hours!(she says hopefully)