Okay, so my creative muse decided to just up and leave me; perhaps I stepped on his foot once too many times while dancing? Nevertheless, I've decided to keep going and I'll apologize profusely the next time I see him. What to do when nothing is working and nothing is inspiring?Well, I did this horrendous self-portrait. It was from a picture which wasn't so good to begin with, but then I proceeded to accidentally get out of lines here and there; and then it started looking a bit like a villain from a Batman movie. I'm posting it though, to prove that I can take what I dish out to my loved ones. I now think I understand why they run from me when my sketchbook is in hand!
You may recall, if you've been around long enough, that last year around my birthday I got a full-pan set of Yarka professional watercolors (above). I was asked my opinion of them and never got around to answering. I cannot say, with any real knowledge, how they compare to other artist quality paints, since mine were all student grade prior to this. I have since purchased a few tube paints, some Sennelier, some Dick Blick, and I do like both of these brands a little better but it could be due to them being tube paints. My biggest complaint about Yarka is the palette. If you have carried them around, it is very likely that when you open them again that the pans have come loose and scattered. They are set into some cheap plastic that can easily crack. And the 24 color, full-pan set is enormous. Not great for urban sketching.
Solution:I found a company called Kremer who sells empty palette boxes for a reasonable price. I could have ordered the large one for only three dollars more, but being more interested in portability, ordered the small one which holds eight full-pans. In my mind, this meant it held sixteen half-pans, but not so; I wasn't considering the width of the pan sides! It holds fourteen. I stayed with this format for about a week but found myself missing some favored colors, so I made a few modifications and now it holds 21 half-pans. I LOVE this setup! It is tiny and I can take it anywhere! (I filled most of the half-pans by cutting out half of the full pans from my Yarka set. It was a tedious process, but I'm happy.)
I also replaced my cheapo waterbrush (on the top) with some kuretakes from jetpens. The difference in quality between these two brands is incredible. The cheapo version was just too stingy with the water and my hand would shake while trying to paint and squeeze at the same time. It was frustrating and I couldn't see why everyone loved waterbrushes. The ones from jetpens are perfect. The plastic is soft and squeezable. Don't waste your money on the cheaper version (even if it is all your art supply store carries!)...for only a little more you get something that works the way it was meant to work! I will not be leaving home without them!
Okay, I'm off in search of my muse. Take care!