Hahnemuhle Watercolor Paper Review!

Hi friends! Today I’m reviewing a few cold pressed watercolor papers from Hahnemuhle. I have been hearing about this line of papers from my European viewers for years citing their availability and affordability so I was excited to test them out.

American viewers can find some of these papers on Amazon. These papers are common in Europe in shops and online retailers. Find out more on their official website.

I had a few question on the video on the difference between the Cezanne and Expression paper as they are both #140 CP cotton paper and the only difference I could find was in the texture. The Cezanne is mould made which yields a lovely random natural texture where the expression has a more uniform machine-made texture.

I was really pleased with the cotton papers by Hahnemuhle. The sketchbook and post cards were a bit thin however they still preformed nicely. This brand has other papers too but I was very impressed with the assortment of cold pressed papers they sent. I was sent these papers for free for review purposes but I was not paid to review them, this is not a sponsored post. I hope you found this overview useful. Thank for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

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Help me finish this art journal page & marker winner announced!

Hi Friends! Today I will show you some more coloring techniques with the fabulous Spectrum Aqua Markers, I’ll show you how I colored this:

markerface3

But first I need to pick 4 winners for the Spectrum Aqua Marker giveaway sponsored by Hallmark Scrapbook! If you are a winner please check your email because I have sent you info to claim your prize!

The winners are:

Ramona Wallace (USA-Nature Set)

Barb Macaskill (USA-Essential Set)

grandmastovall (USA-Floral Set)

Juliana H. (Germany-Primary Set)

Congratulations to all the winners! If you missed out don’t worry, the Spectrum Aqua markers are still on sale and available at Hallmark Scrapbook. I know a lot of you have picked up these marker sets so today I want to share how to color and blend skin tones since they seem to give people the most trouble. Color along with whatever watercolor markers you have.

I have heard from many of you that your paper tends to “pill” when you try to color with watercolor markers. To avoid that you want to use a paper that can handle the water that is in the markers. Typing paper and most cardstock are not sized enough to handle the water. A watercolor paper or mixed media pad works much better. When you are shopping for paper look for pads that say “can handle light washes” there are many papers that are designed for kids that will work well (like the cheap white sulphite paper I used on the jellyfish last week.) If you are still having trouble with your paper scribble your markers on a dish and use a damp brush to color with, a soft paintbrush will be less abrasive on your paper. Also notice how I did not work any of the paper on today’s sample too long. I use a Canson XL Mixed Media pad which is an affordable option and most craft stores, even Wal-Mart has it.

SAM_2534

As always try out these techniques with what you have, practice and do not be discouraged. It takes a bit to get the feel for how long you can let the marker set and how much water you need. One of my favorite things to do with new markers is to scribble some out and try blending them with a wet brush. Just playing with the colors on paper will teach you a lot and you won’t worry about making a mistake. I hope you found this helpful! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

Tutorial: How to watercolor with markers!

Hi friends! Today I am going to show you how to watercolor with watercolor markers. You can follow along with any watercolor markers you have and I say watercolor instead of water-based because there are some acrylic and poster paint markers and pens out there too and technically they are water-based but not watercolor. That means you are good to go with any of your basic watercolor markers, even the kids kind. That said, I will be using the extremely lovely Spectrum Aqua pens that I got from Hallmark Scrapbook. They work with any of the other watercolor markers you have so if you are considering buying some get a set with colors unlike what you already own. It’s a great way to start out! The only other thing that is important is to use watercolor paper, it is essential for blending, Today I am working on the same 140lb Strathmore cold pressed cards I use for most of my watercolor tutorials.

When you are choosing a brush you want a synthetic. A natural sable/camel/pony hair brush will hold too much water for this technique and not be stiff enough to push the color around and a natural hog hair brush is too rough and can damage your paper. A waterbrush is a synthetic but any nylon round in the #5 to #8 range will suit you just fine. Don’t stress about it, if you want to learn how to paint you have to put that brush to paper!

Tips!

  • Sketch with the fine point to avoid depositing too much color on the paper.
  • Work on small areas at a time, it is easier to blend if the ink is wet.
  • For larger soft washes with no streaks scribble the markers on a plastic palette, plate or tile and add water and use a brush to apply it.
  • Wet the paper before adding the wash for a smoother blend.
  • You can vary the line (aka stroke) of the brush marker by working on the tip for a tiny line or applying more pressure for a thicker line. Practice this technique to get experience with your markers!
  • For extra control when water-coloring stamped images (make sure to stamp them with waterproof ink) use a brush tip blender pen, many companies make them but I enjoy the Stampin Up and Tombow brands. The Dove Blender can also be used, I have not tried it but it but many stampers I trust love the it plus it comes with extra nibs and a bottle of blending ink so you might be set for life there! The blenders for alcohol markers will not work for this. To color with a blender you need to scribble the marks on a palette or dish and pick up the ink with the blender pen then start to color your image, start at the darkest area because it will gradually fade as you color with it. It is a great way to get a soft blend. Hot press (aka smooth) watercolor paper is best for this but cardstock can also be used pretty successfully. *If your blending pen goes dry or you run out of blending solution you can make your own by mixing equal parts glycerin and water.
  • Play. You won’t learn unless you use your markers. You will not harm them or use them up… well, if you do use them enough to use them up you deserve another set LOL! You buy supplies to use them so make sure you don’t let them become too precious to use!

I hope this tutorial helped you get more from your watercolor markers! Thanks to Hallmark Scrapbook for sending me the new Spectrum Aqua markers, I am having quite a bit of fun with them. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Look what my husband did! {he’s kinda corny…}

Hi friends! My husband attend one of my watercolor classes (for the first time and we have been together 16 years!) last week and see what he made. He painted the one with the green background.

DCF 1.0

Isn’t that awesome? He thought trying the pen & Ink watercolor decorative corn project would be fun. I think he has a hidden talent! If he can try it so can you! Grab some waterproof pens and any watercolors and some watercolor paper (you can use cardstock in a pinch because this technique is very gentle on paper but watercolor paper is best) and let’s paint!

I hope today’s post gave you the extra push to pick up a paintbrush, heck, maybe ask your partner to paint with you! It is lots of fun. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

 

Lookie! Cheap watercolor paper and pencils that are awesome!

Hi Friends! I know I have been sharing a lot of new stuff lately. I tend to go in cycles with my shopping. I have been looking for inexpensive watercolor pencils that I can use in my kids classes but are nice enough to recommend to adult painters and stampers too and I think I found them!

tulip

I picked up this set of 36 Reeves watercolor pencils on my last Blick supply order. I had a coupon so the set cost me only $11. I have used Reeves brand watercolor and gouache paints in my kids classes because the colors are really nice and they are non-toxic, easy to lift for beginners and a steal of a deal. Also the local craft stores carried them so people could get their hands on them easily. The paper was a new find too, I have been using the 75 sheet pads of the Fabriano studio 90# cold pressed for years and I see they now have big pads of hot press watercolor paper for the same price. The paper feels like silk and is simply lovely. I bought a pack of 75 sheets of 90# and a pack of 50 sheets of the #140 in 11″x14 size for $23 each. If you can only get one I recommend the 90# for stampers because it is plenty thick for stamping and painting and the 140# for painters because you are likely to use larger sheets and get it wetter. Hot press paper also seems to buckle more easily than cold pressed or rough papers so painters will want the thicker paper. Want to see these items in action? Watch the video:

I am not affiliated with Blick Art Materials but I do order from them regularly for my art business. I just wanted to share a deal and some inexpensive options for those looking for watercolor pencils and paper. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Tutorial: How to Stretch Watercolor Paper!

Howdy friends! I hope you had an awesome weekend. I did! I spent the day hanging out with mom friends as out daughters swam ALL DAY. The girls entertained themselves so well. They are all at an age where we can just let them go and have fun. We sat comfortably on the shore with our beverages and kept an eye on them as they swam and we got to have wonderful female adult conversation:) Gotta love easy summer days like that! Summer is also the perfect time to get outside and watercolor paint and a useful skill to have is stretching watercolor paper. For one it gives you a beautifully flat paper to paint on and for two you can use less expensive lighter weight paper. In this video I will demonstrate how to stretch 90# watercolor paper:

After I uploaded this video on YouTube I received quite a few questions, one was how to remove the paper. I decided to do a follow up video and answer those questions here:

This may be a bit of overkill for quick paintings and sketches but for paintings that you want to spend a lot of time on and frame it is worth the extra effort. If you are stretching larger than 11″x14″ sheets of paper I recommend using wider gummed tape. If you are stretching 140# paper I recommend soaking the paper for 10 minutes in cold water to fully expand the paper since it is thicker. My biggest recommendation is if this seems like too much work and you don’t want to bother with it than don’t, it’s OK, painting should be fun, not a chore. You can now find inexpensive blocks (I just got Strathmore 400 series watercolor blocks for under $10 at Blick last week) that will remain flat without stretching. I will talk about blocks in another video, I just wanted to give you this option but by no means tell you you have to do it. It’s nice to have choices in our art. I hope you have a fantastic night and til next time happy crafting!

YOU can paint these wildflowers! {yes, you!}

Hi Friends! Today is the first day of summer vacations for the kids. After we took the dog for a walk I decided to paint some of the wildflowers we saw. You can follow along with any watercolors (even the children’s water paints will work!) and watercolor paper:

I hope you enjoyed this simple watercolor painting tutorial of daisies, buttercups and clover. I think it is important to take a little time to create everyday. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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