Sunday, January 19, 2020

Revisiting an old (I originally thought dreadful) drawing


I had a drawing in an old sketchbook. I didn't like it so I never finished it but recently revisited it to run my new ink through its paces. I rather like the results.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Oregon Arts Commission

Since I was in the area today I dropped in to chat with the Oregon Arts Commission in Salem. My longtime motto has always been any day I learn something new is a good day. I learned LOTS so mark this as a VERY good day.

Something that changed from years ago is the public doesn't have ready access to this area.  It's now behind a key coded door.  They were nice and paged someone to come out and talk to me about the program I had previously emailed about and never got a reply.  Turns out the program no longer exists.  But I did learn about a new avenue to research so I'll be starting that in the near future.  

Saturday, January 11, 2020

The ink dilemma

The cabinet at Oblation Papers and Press is filled beautiful glass bottles. Different shapes and sizes with drop dead beautiful colors of ink inside. Can I say they were delicious? They absolutely were. I was actually there to buy just one but I couldn't bring myself to decide between the two inks I had narrowed my choice down to (one from France, one from Japan). Both were BEAUTIFUL. Had I won the lottery (that I keep forgetting to even buy a ticket for) I would literally buy one of each all the beautiful inks in the cabinet. Since that's not the case, I was waffling over which one to take home today. Ric said buy both. Not being an impulsive type person I had to pause to think about it so I asked the clerk to hold the two bottles behind the counter so I could look around the store since I still had 40 minutes on the parking meter. That should be adequate time for me to weigh the pros and cons of buying both. But I know myself, I would have tortured myself later over being utterly ridiculous for not just buying both, saving myself a future annoying drive in to Portland with next to impossible parking for one bottle of ink of all things. I can't begin to count how many times I've repeated this pattern. 




I did something different today. 
 I bought both.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Watercolor paint versus watercolor pencils. What's the difference?

I wrote this last year. It popped up on my timeline again so I thought I'd share it again because it is super helpful: 

Given the marketing spins companies put on their products I think there is a lot of confusion for what colored pencils are and aren't especially for the folks just beginning their journey with colored pencils. Hopefully this helps clear up some of the confusion. 

COLORED PENCILS: 
The dictionary definition: "Unlike graphite and charcoal pencils, colored pencils' cores are wax or oil-based and contain varying proportions of pigments, additives, and binding agents." Although they can be manipulated with heat, thinners like Gamesol and depending on the binder, dissolved with water or alcohol, colored pencils are not a mixed media. They are colored pencils that can be applied in a variety of ways. The following should help understand colored pencils. 

INK: 
According to the Cornell Center for Material Research (CCMR) inks are colored liquids that have been in use since the inception of writing and drawing and are used to write or print on surfaces. The most important part of the ink-making process is the dye or pigment that gives ink its color. Colored pencils like the brand Inktense have a high proportion of pigment to binder so when dissolved with water they resemble the color intensity of ink but they are still in fact colored pencil. In spite of its water soluble property, Inktense is not a watercolor nor is it an ink. It is a water soluble colored pencil. 

WATERCOLOR: 
A painting method in which the paints are made of pigments suspended in a water-based solution. There are "watercolor" pencils. Because the binder used with the pigments is water soluble, they can give an appearance of being watercolor but they are still colored pencil. 

Water soluble colored pencils use a binder that when wetted and then dries, the pigment is then permanent. Once set with water, the pigment is washable. For this reason water soluble colored pencils (and sticks) are often used on fabrics for wearable art and quilts, etc. The word permanent doesn't make water soluble colored pencil archival quality. The word permanent means if you put it somewhere you might want to remove it later, it's not going to wash off after it has been set. Archival quality is an entirely different conversation. 

Still not convinced?

Watercolor is truly water soluble. Even after it dries it can be wetted and then altered. Depending on the staining factor of a particular pigment it can even be lifted from the paper it was previously applied to. 

If you just want the simple answer to what these are and aren't: 

The Watercolor Society of America will not accept pieces created with watercolor pencils because they aren't watercolor. Recently they have added to their entry criteria by making the distinction the media must be water soluble and reworkable. Watercolor pencils don't meet this criteria. 

The Colored Pencil Society of America will accept pieces created with watercolor pencils - they are colored pencils with water soluble pigment.