I've created a new section on my website Botanical Art and Artists for information about and recommendations of Art Materials used by Botanical Artists and Illustrators. The aim is to
Many of you will be aware that I've been steadily compiling tips, techniques and recommendations about the use of art media, materials and equipment for botanical art and illustration. If not, take a look for example at:
I've got a number of NEW PAGES to develop in this section.
One of the ones I'd like to develop first is a new page about Favourite Art Materials - the ones people openly recommend. The new page will cover both favourite art supplies and favoured art materials suppliers - to the extend that these have been independently identified by botanical artists and illustrators on their own sites.
What I'm now trying to do is identify all those webpages and/or blog posts created by reputable botanical artists that provide information about
I've highlighted some examples below.
Highlight favourite art supplies.
For example a post which provides a compendium of recommendations is
Others highlight one specific type of art material, the options available and what they've noticed about them. This includes products where you really like them right up until the point at which they need to be misplaced (often relating to comments on brushes)
While others provide information on the tests they've done on different options eg for paper
Nominate favoured suppliers.
Others will highlight the art supplier they favour as being reliable and stocking good quality products.
If you have a recommendation
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Two FREE botanical art demonstrations are scheduled next week at the GreatArt store in the heart of Shoreditch - at 41-49 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8AG on the 3rd and 4th October 2017. (Store hours 10:00 to 19:00)
Amber Halsall and Angeline De Meester will be at the store, one on each day, for a day's residency to demonstrate contemporary botanical art techniques and brief you about their tips for effective paintings.
These residencies have been organised in partnership with The Society of Botanical Artists, ahead of their annual open exhibition 'Changing Seasons' which opens on the 13th of October at Central Hall, Westminster.
I know both artists and they're both extremely competent and experienced teachers. I'm absolutely positive you'll find both very helpful in answering any of your queries about botanical art.
Following on from yesterday's post (see VIDEO: Lizzie Harper compares painting on different watercolour papers), Wendy Hollender contacted me to tell me she had also produced a video about testing different papers.
Her video (and blog post) display
Some comments on the video before you watch it:
Perhaps the most important conclusion she makes is that taking time to get to know a paper properly is necessary if you really want to make a proper assessment. In other words she could work with all the papers in the list if she adjusted how she worked.
So here's the video (which you can also view bigger via YouTube - click the YouTube bottom right in the video when you start it).
Her blog post provides more details about Evaluating Hotpressed watercolor papers for botanical drawing. It covers:
Both this video and the one from yesterday are now included on my page in the Education section about Paper for botanical artists. This also offers guidance on how to test paper.
The most important advice I have to offer is that only YOU can work out the best paper for your work. That's because everybody works slightly differently and what works best for one artist will not suit another.
So take your time and do some testing:
DO YOU HAVE A VIDEO OF YOUR PAPER TESTING?
If so, please do let me know.
If it adds value to the ongoing debate I'm happy to share it via this blog and my website.
From discussion to testing!
There has been much discussion amongst botanical artists in recent weeks and months due to what appeared to be some significant changes in the quality, surface and performance of Fabriano papers much used by botanical artists.
See my blog post Fabriano, R K Burt and St Cuthberts Mill - and fine art watercolour paper for precision painting for a discussion of some of the aspects of what has been happening.
As a result we're now beginning to see artists writing about and showing the results of controlled tests done on the various papers.
Dianne Sutherland has produced an excellent blog post - Paper Matters: St Cuthbert Mill vs Fabriano. It covers:
I'll be pleased to highlight other reviews of papers much used by botanical artists.
Just leave a comment or contact me and let me know if you have also done a review that you'd like to share.
Changes to the surface of Fabriano HP Papers
Obviously artists wanting to find a surface comparable to that they have been used in the past are going to start looking at alternatives if Fabriano do not address the problem people have been experiencing.
I'll certainly be wanting to highlight possible alternatives as and when they are identified on this website.
Two new possibilities are papers just starting production at St Cuthberts Mill in Somerset - which produces Saunders Waterford and Bockingford.
Papers by Saunders Waterford have not been popular with botanical artists in the past mainly due to the fact that:
I'm led to understand by RK Burt, who are a wholesale paper supplier of all makes of fine art paper to retailers in the UK, that St Cuthberts Mill has recently changed its technology and can now produce much smoother paper.
As a result they have produced two new papers:
Samples of the paper have already been distributed to artists at the recent RHS show and more samples will be available at the Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists. Feedback about the papers in use is now being generated - and is also welcomed.
Obviously whether or not you have yet experienced any problems with stocks of Fabriano paper will very much depend on:
Do please feel free to comment on your own personal experience - and your preferred surfaces for botanical art.
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Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
© Katherine Tyrrell 2015-17
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