Bryan Burk

Painting Methods & Materials

121 posts in this topic

thought I'd start a thread about things people use & know about Watercolor (& Gouache, Ink, FW etc)

after painting several things on actual loose Arches paper, I'm doing a big piece on one of their blocks and I think it SUCKS!! The quality of the paper just doesn't seem as good, everything is just sticking so hard, have to pre-wet everything til it practically seeps through the lines...

I remember Bob talking about how even in the rolls it's never as good as the individual sheets. I just scored a big sheet of 400lb, haven't used it yet.

anyway, I like Speedballs, Chinese/Japanese lining brushes (MenSou), Daniel Smith watercolors, some Holbien, squirrel hair brushes for watering, series 7 brushes, although DaVinci's are nice too. There's a lady in england I found out about who's supposed to make amazing brushes that are reasonable, haven't tried her out yet.

paining wise, as it relates to tattoos, I really love Hokusai, Kyosai, Ed, Roper, Ichibay, Lehi, Nick Rodin

if you wanna read a lot about different watercolor brands, this is rad:

handprint : watercolor brands

anyone have material/technique stuff to share?

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um, i don't have a lot to share. i've only been painting with watercolours for a few years. i pretty much use whatever watercolours i have and try out different paper quite often. i destroy my brushes all the time, but i use davinci brushes quite often too. i prefer to use a no. 2 or no. 3 for doing lines. the only technique that is a mainstay in what i do is that i use liquid acrylic for the black. watercolour black is not very black. liquid acrylic is also water fast, so i can then paint over it with my colours and not have it turn into a mess. everytime i paint i do something a little different. i believe in chance.

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I've been using PH martins for the majority of my paintings. The problems is I mostly like to paint Japanese imagery and the PH Martins are way too vibrant. I'll start with the outline and black shading, be perfectly happy until I lay that first color and it shines like a rainbow. That being said if you dont mind super vibrant color PH Martins are incredibly easy to work with and settle very evenly. However I recently started using FW Acrylics and I'm Much happier with the look. It's a bit more opaque, Doesnt blend as easy as watercolor and once it dries its no longer workable but the subtle colors are what I've been trying to achieve for years its a way more "traditional" look I guess. Plus they are lightfast where PH Martins are not.

As far as Brushes go I've used tons and settled on Sable being maybe favorite. Alot of guys will tell you it doesnt matter but I can tell the difference.

The Arches blocks are what I use about 90% of the time and I've been pretty happy with them. Cant tell much of a difference between that and the big loose sheets.

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I am not an artist by any means. My wife however is a fine artist, with a degree from Queens University. (I put a link in the paintings for sale thread to her website.)

She was reading over my shoulder and said there is a really good water colour paper that is made in France. out of crushed bone. The paper needs to be wet to work on but not for long periods as it is animal based paper and it can start to get an odor and it can mold quicker than normal paper. But with that all said the application of the paint on the paper is of a higher quality with much better results.

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i use a mix of different water colors, and fw's. for black i usually use fw or talens, but i really like how the ph martin black kinda has that blue tint when you blend it out, whereas the talens or what not has a true grey wash. i would like to find more blacks that have that blue hue to them if anyone knows of any...

i usually like to mix things up every time i paint, but i think it's because i am still looking for painting methods that i truly prefer.

i am also curious to know how people out there are transferring their images onto watercolor paper for painting? i have yet to tackle anything bigger than 11x14, so i have just been using a light table, but i am interested to see how others go about it.

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Richard and Clay Decker are who I have to thank for what I know so far... And Bob Roberts, "it's not painting if it's not outlined with a brush", he told Richard when he was using a marker to use for some fine outlining stuff... We no longer use sharpies for paintings... Um...and I have been using Oil Colors and doing landscape paintings since I was 8 years old... My Uncle taught me he was amazing...

I just recently started learning to use Water Color...

Transferring images some use: graphite, others colored paper, I won't say what we have found to work best b/c that's us, everyone is different: graphite is harder to erase from paper, and you only have to lightly trace over with a ball point pen, but once it's down, it's down... I like colored tranfers, easier to correct, and they don't bleed...Saral Wax Free Transfer Paper - BLICK art materials

As far as laying down outlines: some like speedballs, nibs, or quills, but we use brushes, and it's a learning process.

Paints, try EVERYTHING it's fun, and no pressure like skin... but tubes are the way to go as you aren't writing down paint recipes for drops of dr.martins, or other liquids, they may dry out but you still have that one color you need to finish an old project you left on the table 4 months ago, and can't remember what you used to mix it... I can't get the knack of liquids still... I am a "watch your dap" and make sure your brush is lubed type, so water into liquid freaks me out... (still learning).

Blick is the best for finding paper... Rolls are awesome, but we have been finding good deals on big sheets, and as far as blocks are concerned, I always keep a block around for Richard, Arches... Usually Clay has a dude that comes by the shop selling blocks at like 20.00 instead of the 60.oo they run at a chain store... So he's been stocking up and I buy em off him. We travel so much, guerilla paint sessions usually happen on a block.

The last time I painted anything seriously it was helping out Richard with the signs at Spotlight... We painted until 30 mins prior to getting in a cab and heading to LAX to catch a flight, Steve stayed all nite to lend a hand too... It's still not done but attached are pics.

Being around the Man, and Decker are really huge gifts, they have soo much talent, and know soo much, I'd be using tempera and being lame if it weren't for them.

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Jennifer,

that panther is perfect, kinda wish it was on me, HUGE. I think there's a panther in my future.

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Jennifer,

that panther is perfect, kinda wish it was on me, HUGE. I think there's a panther in my future.

I second that. both sides are so fucking rad

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Tattoo flash painting isn't really painting even if you use a brush. It's "illustration colored with a brush". I mean people didn't even really consider Rockwell a painter. He was an illustrator and his paintings(illustrations) were far better than what 99.999999% of us are all putting out. Outside of flash, and flash style paintings I don't really do that stuff much anymore. I did it for years before I was a tattooer so I'm going the other way that a lot of people are going. I'm not branching into painting, I'm leaving it alone for more tattoo based illustrations.

Weird.

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those signs are rad! thanks for the tips too, i think that transfer paper is the answer i've been looking for. -duh....

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Jennifer,

that panther is perfect, kinda wish it was on me, HUGE. I think there's a panther in my future.

Consider Black Heart for that. I know some guys there.

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i used to use nothing but watercolor blocks or tubes even after i started painting for tattoo flash. it looked good enough but after being persuaded to use liquid watercolors/acrylics, i havent looked back.

its easy to kill the vibrancy of the watercolors if they are too bright (they look even brighter fresh on the paper, so when mixing colors i always try it out on paper and wait til they dry to decide if i like the color) use sepia, or a green or a brown to muddy them slightly, or water them down further. its all about trying shit out.

so anyway i use liquid acrylic for the black and take good care to blend it smoothly, i used to use indian ink but stopped when i realised how shiny it looked when dry against the opaque colors next to it. i also use ph martins liquid watercolors, any old bit of watercolor paper i have lying around and windsor and newton paintbrushes. also my secret weapon is this: Water Brush Pen from Art Supplies Online

they hold water and help my blends loads. the brush tip is cheap acrylic but for the price and the ease of use means i dont mind buying a couple when the other ones run out.

for lining i use a brush pen (to stop from wasting time dipping into ink) or sometimes a brush if im working on something largescale, if its small ill use a staedler pen. i keep hearing about speedballs but not sure im familiar with them, if anyone could enlighten me thatd be great!

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Consider Black Heart for that. I know some guys there.

Or you could talk Bob or Richard into doing it, it's a mix of each one of their panthers... It was funny to watch them actually, they were kinda grabbing the red sharpie from one another like siblings... But it ended up cool, I saw Richard half the two correction lines, and meet in the middle and make something a bit different so it wasn't one or the others panther...

Blackheart is prolly a better option though, both Bob and Ricardo are working on a new set of flash together with Aaron Coleman... So it's crunch time. Okay, non sequitor. I need to be packing boxes or something.

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Jennifer, last pic in that set rules, the way they're checking the panther out.

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I used to use the tube watercolor on 400lb cold press. But lately I've been easing into using liquitex (I think) liquid acrylic on arches. The arches allows me to blend WAY more smoothly than the cheap watercolor paper does. Also, the liquid acrylic's color is so vibrant, and I feel they're better suited for solid fields of color, unlike the tube watercolors. As far as brushes, I use a cheap flat brush that's roughly the size of a 9 mag for everything I do. I use a Faber-Castille brush pen to line with, and a micron for finer lines, or smaller pieces.

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I use to love winsor and newton everything untill l worked for Bob and he introduced me to liquid paints.....after that l stopped using tube stuff and now its almost all fw for me. Winsor paper is hard to find so now it's arches for me, and after a learning curve l like it. As for brushes l like the shitty winsor cotman stuff...l used full sable for awhile but l find the blends suit me best.

The other thing l learned from Bob 'always try and mix your own tones...the last thing you want is someone looking at your painting saying that looks like it came out of a tube.'

It's still a constant learning curve, but l can't stop!

FLiP

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I

The other thing l learned from Bob 'always try and mix your own tones...the last thing you want is someone looking at your painting saying that looks like it came out of a tube.'

It's still a constant learning curve, but l can't stop!

FLiP

man, so true. i've been trying so hard to find "my" colors...all in due time i suppose.

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awesome thread, can learn a lot in here about using different techniques. anyway this is what i use to make a painting i think i will start from very first step:

Tracing paper for the intial sketch

Trace over that with clean lines, reverse it onto my Arches Water colour block cold press

i use a waterproof WHSmith Fine Marker to go over the traced images which is now on my block, with these i find i get very smooth lines, they don't bleed into the paper

i use a winsor & newton watercolour brush and start black shading with black PW liquid acrylic i found this is blacker than a lot of other stuff i have used and can get a nice blend, i dont get any shades of blues, but if anyone knows anything easier to use than this please let me know! i also keep a cup of water and an old cotton tshirt next to me when i paint so i dont end up over compensating the amount of water on my brush and over do it

when the black is all down i then use winsor & newton Indian ink (very vibrant) and a choice of Dr PH Martins for the colours, depending on what i am painting

i think that is more or less the process i take. sounds a lot easier than it is looking at it now

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Jerry's Artarama.com is having a sale right now.... Water color paper: Arches: Blocks, rolls, and sheets, super affordable, but the prices go up in like 3 days... I am ordering a few rolls and what not while I have the funds in Paypal... You can never have enough paper in this household.

Also: Anyone over in the UK, or Europe heard of "Talens Ecoline Watercolour Inks/ Liquids? I need to find some stuff, but I am not having too much luck in the states...

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i like ph martins hydrus more than the FWs,never had a problem using hydrus

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Bumping this thread, super informative. I've been doodling with sharpie and stuff and wanting to start actually painting, can anyone recommend me a "starter kit", just some basic stuff to buy to start doodling and experimenting.

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Bumping this thread, super informative. I've been doodling with sharpie and stuff and wanting to start actually painting, can anyone recommend me a "starter kit", just some basic stuff to buy to start doodling and experimenting.

Patrick, read the thread, you will find some common names, I don't know of starter kits, but it's always fun to grab the cheap shit on sale and play with it you can grow your supply set as you do as well...

"There is also books, and other paintings, and prints, look at stuff, don't just start tracing, and thinking it's as easy as replication, see the images, draw..." and he muttered some other shit before walking out to smoke... , Richard had to add...

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Not really a starter kit, just the bare essentials of what to get to start experimenting and getting a feel. I read the thread and see the same brands repeated, just don't necessarily know which of it to get.

As for drawings, I've just been kinda copying (not tracing) some Sailor Jerry designs and stuff along those lines to just get a feel for the basics, and then get my style as I go. I've been searching for some cool books to get ideas from, also, but get a lot of mixed opinions on that too.

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Not really a starter kit, just the bare essentials of what to get to start experimenting and getting a feel. I read the thread and see the same brands repeated, just don't necessarily know which of it to get.

As for drawings, I've just been kinda copying (not tracing) some Sailor Jerry designs and stuff along those lines to just get a feel for the basics, and then get my style as I go. I've been searching for some cool books to get ideas from, also, but get a lot of mixed opinions on that too.

-cold-press paper in the weights listed in the thread

-liquid acrylic (I like FW) in black,red,yellow,green,sepia,blue. I use purple and bright pink, too, because I like purple and pink

-watercolor round brushes in sizes 2,3,4

Book-wise, pick up the Dietzel books (Amund Dietzel). If you have the SJ books, you can just look at those-pretty much everything you need there as far as shading and layout. It kind of depends on what you're trying to do.

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