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On the amateur front, I bought an Arches board and I'm really amazed at how much easier it is to work with than what I'm used to. I don't know how it compares to the rolls or the blocks, but I am very satisfied with it.

I also bought a water brush and am finding it difficult to get a feel for, so I need to keep on trying.

Question: for those of you using FW liquid acrylics, do you use a UV spray on your finished work to protect it from light damage or are the paints lightfast enough as is that it doesn't need one?

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@Graeme I have recently started using the FW acrylics as I was told that they were light fast in comparison to the PH Martins that I had been using previously which apparently don't last long at all if exposed to UV.

I got a water brush and also had trouble with it and have gone back to regular spit shading for the most part.

I might give arches another go in the future if I can afford it!

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On the amateur front, I bought an Arches board and I'm really amazed at how much easier it is to work with than what I'm used to. I don't know how it compares to the rolls or the blocks, but I am very satisfied with it.

I also bought a water brush and am finding it difficult to get a feel for, so I need to keep on trying.

Question: for those of you using FW liquid acrylics, do you use a UV spray on your finished work to protect it from light damage or are the paints lightfast enough as is that it doesn't need one?

I use Arches block and I like it quite a bit. Also, I am going to try out a water brush when I can get my hands on one. I don't know if it wilkl produce anything better than spit shading, but we'll see how it goes.

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Where did people buy there water brushes from and what size have people been using?

I got a Sakura Koi water brush from my local art supply chain store. I bought the medium with the long handle and I want to say that it's a bit too broad for my liking and that I should have bought the small, but I'd like to be able to better use it before I make those calls.

For what it's worth, I always use brushes that are too small and I'm trying to get out of the habit.

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  • 9 months later...

I'm bumping this because I just started with watercolors last week ... what a learning curve! I am practicing on the shitty paper that balls up, hopefully if I can get decent blends on that stuff it will be easier when I move up to the Arches (just so much cheaper since I can't get much right just yet) --

my question is about spitshading ... does anyone spit into a cup? I am getting the most consistent light to dark shading this way. Yesterday I spent about an hour swallowing ink before I got grossed out. I can't find much info other than artists pretty much saying "fuck it" ... it's really non-toxic? How would you know? The FW inks don't even have a label .....

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The best deal for paper I have found so far is Michael's, They sell packages of three 22x30 arches and with their 40% off coupon (which you can always print from their website.) it comes to $8.00 or so. Out of those three sheets you can get twelve 11x14 sheets.

I just did this .... If you are willing to cut the paper it's a great deal. I got 12 10x8 sheets for $9 .... Which is about a quarter the cost of a block of 20 sheets retail.

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the only packs of 3 they have at the michaels near me are 16x20" and it's like $15 but with the 40% off it's around $9. better than one 22x30" sheet from hobby lobby for $8. i've been contemplating the blocks but i never draw straight onto the paper so it would defeat the purpose for me to get a block and take a sheet off each time i wanna paint.

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the only packs of 3 they have at the michaels near me are 16x20" and it's like $15 but with the 40% off it's around $9. better than one 22x30" sheet from hobby lobby for $8. i've been contemplating the blocks but i never draw straight onto the paper so it would defeat the purpose for me to get a block and take a sheet off each time i wanna paint.

Yeah the sheets I found were 16x20. Worked out pretty well so far. Man cotton paper makes all the difference!

Sorry to be dense, but why are the blocks less useful because you don't pencil directly onto the paper? (I don't either I use a carbon transfer) .... Just wondering because I was about to fork over the cash for a block next time I used the 40% off coupon.

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Yeah the sheets I found were 16x20. Worked out pretty well so far. Man cotton paper makes all the difference!

Sorry to be dense, but why are the blocks less useful because you don't pencil directly onto the paper? (I don't either I use a carbon transfer) .... Just wondering because I was about to fork over the cash for a block next time I used the 40% off coupon.

When the paper is on the block it keeps it from warping when you paint on it. If I drew straight onto the paper it would be helpful since I could leave the page on the block til I finished.

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When the paper is on the block it keeps it from warping when you paint on it. If I drew straight onto the paper it would be helpful since I could leave the page on the block til I finished.

Ah I see. I might try it, I hate the warping. It does seem a little unwieldy to trace a carbon transfer onto the block but it might be worth the effort for me. I usually just transfer the basic lines and finish it off with a cartooning pencil before I paint.

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Ah I see. I might try it, I hate the warping. It does seem a little unwieldy to trace a carbon transfer onto the block but it might be worth the effort for me. I usually just transfer the basic lines and finish it off with a cartooning pencil before I paint.

see what i do is making the line drawing on regular computer paper or tracing paper, tape it to the back of the arches and use a light table & micron to line on the arches. whatever works i guess haha

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see what i do is making the line drawing on regular computer paper or tracing paper, tape it to the back of the arches and use a light table & micron to line on the arches. whatever works i guess haha

Yeah I paint, then do the linework. I think I do the opposite of most people but I REALLY prefer painting first then cleaning up the excess graphite/pencil before I do any "inking" .... It's nice to know a light table will shine thru the Arches. Several people told me to forget the light table because the cotton paper was too thick. I would love to pencil the designs instead of using the graphite paper. Thanks for your help sorry to ask so many questions. I have been mulling over the best way tobdo a transfer for a long time.

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I always make a poor man's transfer. I take the back of my line drawing and rub lots of graphite down onto it. Then I tape it down onto the watercolor paper (graphite side down) and go over my line drawing again. When you take off the line drawing, you have a light transfer.

I need to give that a try. I use transfer paper which does the trick but I find it to be really difficult to erase the transferred lines, maybe because I press too hard when I go over the lines, but I'm not really satisfied with doing things that way. Mostly lately I've just been trying to get better at drawing, and I'll figure out the painting stuff later.

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I need to give that a try. I use transfer paper which does the trick but I find it to be really difficult to erase the transferred lines, maybe because I press too hard when I go over the lines, but I'm not really satisfied with doing things that way. Mostly lately I've just been trying to get better at drawing, and I'll figure out the painting stuff later.

No you are right the graphite sucks to erase ..... I can never get it off completely. That's why I only trae the basic lines (like a tattoo stencil) then use the "copy not" blue cartooning pencils for the detail. But the drawing has to be just right before I start. By the time I get to the last step (lining) the graphite and blue pencil is so buried you can't really see it. Then I'm basically just erasing stray lines here and there. Works ok.

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I am mildly confused, does painting flash not fall into trade secret turf?

Apparently not? Since the thread was started and responded to by quite a few well respected tattooers, I (a non-tattooer) imagine it's not that big a deal. Maybe I'm wrong, what's your take on it?

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Apparently not? Since the thread was started and responded to by quite a few well respected tattooers, I (a non-tattooer) imagine it's not that big a deal. Maybe I'm wrong, what's your take on it?

I actually have no idea. It seems like a grey area because on one hand, painting is painting and art is for everyone. At the same time, painting flash as a means to advertise your designs, make prints, etc., is part of the business side of tattooing. Would love to know a more experienced person's take on it.

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anyone here mess around with charcoal at all? i've been using it a little on some of my paintings and i like how it turns out but like graphite, it smears & smudges. was thinking about using a clear coat i've got lying around in an aerosol can and doing a layer at the very end to keep the charcoal from smudging but i don't wanna end up messing the painting up. not sure if i should bother clear coating or not.

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I am mildly confused, does painting flash not fall into trade secret turf?

Haha! No way. It's just watercolor painting. Tons and tons of old ladies do it for fun! Besides, watercolor artists aren't gonna give anyone a disease (which is the primary reason I buy into to tattoo trade secrets idea, although there aren't really many secrets left anyway)

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