Saturday, September 27, 2014

I have been an artist for more than 50 years. My first attempt at drawing was potato people on the back page of my mother's old Webster's Dictionary for which I received a paddling. The page is still in the dictionary today which is in my sister's possession. Her son had also successfully drew a couple of potato people along side mine. They're not bad looking either.

I've come along way since then, using oils for many of those years. Then I fell in love with watercolor. It is a challenging medium and can be very unforgiving; make a mistake and you start over. Some can be rescued however. During this time of developing my watercolor skills and techniques I also developed my style of fine detailing. I love it, the more detail I can put in the better. I'm always experimenting with different brands, colors, techniques, and brushes. Which brings me to the reason for this article.

I have tried all of the top names in watercolor brushes, sables, synthetics and blends of both. There is one brand in particular that has held up better than any other brushes I've used. Utrecht's Red Sable Blend Series 238. These brushes are amazing. I bought my first few of these in 2000 at the Utrecht store on East Carson St. in Pittsburgh, a 6, 1, and 0. I am still using them and they are just as nice as the first day I brought them home. However, my number 6 is just now starting to show some minor ware. I must say I love these brushes over all others and just bought a backup set this morning in case Utrecht decides to discontinue them. The only drawback is that the brush sizing only goes down in size to 0. I use another brand that has good quality finer brushes and that is Escoda 1212 Kolinsky-Tajmir. I use the 1/0 through 5/0 and these also hold up well. Although I have had to replace my 5/0 as I use the heck out of it. I purchase these through Dick Blick.

I think it is very important to share good information, especially information that will help encourage, inspire and promote success of one's work and efforts. My next article will be on the different brands of watercolors I prefer to use. I will also touch on the subject of pencil and watercolor.

Happy painting!