A record of my Schmincke Desire, Acquisition and First Dips
I waited a long time to buy my first set of Schmincke watercolour pans. I was first made aware of them back in 2014 while doing an online course (Supplies Me!) with Jane Davenport. She made me aware of a whole lot of other art supplies too for that matter, but my means, like most, can be very limiting at times, so I put a set of these artist quality watercolours on my dream wish list. What I did buy two years ago was some good quality watercolour brushes and paper for the day I would get my paints. And then I waited. Patiently.
A couple of weeks ago I made good sales on a decluttering purge of some of my older craft supplies, followed by trip to the city where a good art supply shop was, and I soon found myself walking out with my long desired set. To be more accurate, the set wasn’t exactly in my original vision. I knew I wanted a large tin but I was thinking half pans filling the slots. I jumped on the 12 full pan set because it was marginally cheaper than the 12 half pan set. Something to do with ‘special buying’, ‘never to be repeated’, ‘once they are gone, they’re gone’. I was sold!
Usually if I get a new art supply I’m quick to rip it open and take it for a test run. I think I must had waited so long for these to come into my ownership that I delayed that whole experience. First thing I did was remove the black and two browns from my set and stowed them away. I did this for two reasons. One, I just don’t want to use them, yet. The other, I wanted to see how much space was left in the tin for future half pan purchases, like pinks and purples.
I waited a couple of days to ceremoniously unwrap the individual remaining pans in my tin. It was like unwrapping sweets. Then I waited another couple of days to get the paintbrush wet and start dipping in. I am no fine artist, and I have at this time no great aspirations to be one. I just like to play with colour and I have a fascination with how some mediums react with different techniques. It’s the same fascination with discoveries I had made when using dye inks for art stamping that kept me hooked for years. And so begins my first wobbly steps with my Schminckes.
First I dipped into the blues and migrated into the greens and yellows. There is no plan here to make colour mixing wheels for future references. That’ll come on another day. Play first! I filled my whole page with triangles in random order and mixing recipes. I used a Pental Aquash brush for these.
Then I moved over to the reds, oranges, and yellows. I discovered some nice peachy skin tones with this lot. Again painted with the Aquash brush.
Stripes was an interesting exercise in seeing how the colour traveled down a wet mark, what happens when it crosses over another wet or dry mark, and what changes when I lift the brush off the paper and put it back into the line.
Next, I put in a little brush lettering practice with my favourite Anais Nin quote, “And then the day came when to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”. There is the odd smudge and a few spelling mistakes as I was distracted with concentrating on brush control. I’d like to do more of this, so practice is definitely required.
This pattern was inspired by strings of hanging beads I saw in a bead shop on a recent day out at Highfields, Toowoomba. This time I started to use a Neef No 4 watercolour brush.
After I was done making more patterns and doodles it was time to play with imaginative face making. And that’s about as far as my watercolouring skills can carry me at this time, as far as face making is concerned. If I was going to develop her further I’d start bringing in the pens and pencils about now. But I think I’ll just leave her be to remind myself of how far I’ve come in being able to style a face in the first place. Like my art work, my skills are always a work in progress.
Do you have an art supply on your wish list? Tell me about it in the comments below. Don’t ever wait until you are ‘good enough’ to put your resources and desires into that which will bring you joy. Practice your craft, use the tools you have and acquire the best tools you can get your hands on, even if it takes a long time to get them. It’ll be worth it.