Tag Archives: kunst

Make Your Own Pocket Watercolour Paintbox

19 Aug

box 4

I did a blog recently about a little watercolour paintbox I made from an old tin. Lots of people were interested so I thought I’d put up instructions for it. I do a few hours teaching each week for a charity working with homeless people and I did this with the people in our watercolour group, so they each have their own kit.

You’ll need:

  • A small rectangular hinged tin – I used a vintage ink stamp tin
  • A watercolour brush
  • A junior hacksaw
  • Sandpaper
  • DAS self-hardening clay
  • An Inhaler or large round-bottomed pen
  • A plastic lid from a margarine tub, or similar
  • Blu Tack
  • White acrylic paint
  • A hog hair brush or similar
  • Some reasonable quality tubes of watercolour paint

 

  1. Clean and dry the tin
  2. Cut a watercolour brush to size with a junior hacksaw
  3. Sand off the cut top with sand paper
  4. Press self-hardening clay evenly into the deeper (bottom) side, smoothing it up the sides a bit to seal it.
  5. Make a channel with the cut brush in the centre of the clay.

box 1

6. Press six dips with the bottom of a pen, such as a Sharpie or an Inhaler. The dips should not go to the bottom.

box 2

7. Leave the clay to dry – it might take a few days

8. Cut the white plastic to fit the lid and press it in. A smidgen of blue tack or similar might be needed.

9. If you’ve used coloured clay, give it two coats of white acrylic paint, leaving it to dry between coats.

box 3

10. Blob some good quality watercolours into the dips – one each of red, yellow and blue; purple, orange and green and leave them to dry before you carry the tin around. Pop the brush in and off you go.

box 5

Have a great time with it …..

My Geographic Palette #5 – Australian Ochre

17 Aug

ochre 9

This Australian Ochre is the fifth pigment I’m trying out from my geographic palette – plants and minerals from different places that I’m converting into paint and/or ink. I’m using them to develop work that I’m doing with Swansea University’s FIRE Lab project, which brings together science and the arts to do research and engagement along Swansea’s River Tawe. The ochre is in the little bag at the bottom of the picture.
equipment

 

I was very moved to be gifted this Australian ochre which was collected by Aunty Anna Duncan, a Gomeroi/Kamilaroi artist. She gave the ochre to researcher Emily O’Gorman to bring to Swansea and collected it from a dry river bed near Terri Hei Hei (part of her Country) in north-western New South Wales, a special area that includes very old grinding grooves near a long-dry creek, a birthing tree, some grave sites, and a colonial-Aboriginal mission. Aunty Anna collected the ochre in the traditional way to ensure that it is spiritually safe. I am honoured to receive it and excited to use it.

 

I put a couple of the smaller fragments into a small pestle and mortar (bought in Pakistan and marble I think) and crushed them – they are much harder than I was expecting and there was a lot of grit in the powder at the end which I think was the marble not the ochre!!!

 

 

I looked up some tips for how to turn it into paint – traditionally it is ground up and mixed with spittle or blood, but I decided to adapt a recipe for printing ink from Shannon Yost and added some gin and water to the powder, mixing it well. Then I mixed in a dob of Japanese Nori paste, which is made from seaweed. Finally, I put some of the rather stiff mixture into a small pot and added more water to make it thin enough to use with a brush.

 

ochre 7

I did a quick brushwork sketch based on some sketchbook drawings inspired by culverts I had visited in the Brecon Beacons a few weeks ago with colleagues in the FIRE Lab team. It worked beautifully – the pigment is thin enough to flow but thick enough to hold the brushstrokes and give a wide variation of density and colour. Well chuffed. I used a Langdon watercolour paper, 300 gsm and quite heavily textured.

 

Here’s a link to one of the FIRE Lab blogs – this is about a regular Twitter game about Dams.

 

OOOH….

16 Aug

equipment

What am I going to do with this little lot then? Something to do with my geographic palette …….

 

 

 

Heavy Metal

15 Aug

metal

I spent a happy afternoon at Swansea Print Workshop, starting to prepare for a new series of printmaking for my artist residency at The FIRE Lab. I’m planning a mixed bag of techniques based on my drawings en plein air of Victorian culverts. I rummaged around in the drawers of my plans chest to find some metal plates and came up with three copper (one partially used) and an aluminium. So my next stage is to prepare them for use. I’ll use Andrew Baldwin’s Sandpaper Aquatint technique for the copper and then a coffee resist combined with spit-bite for the aluminium.

Here’s a short video of Andrew demonstrating how to do Spit Bite.

And here’s one about the Sandpaper Aquatint

The Dog Had A Bath

14 Aug

 

1565811273492-218850879.png

 

The dog had a bath and now she’s running around like a maniac! Husb and I are dog-sitting while her people are on holiday. She’s a Pomerpoo – a Pomeranian / Toy Poodle cross – very small with lots of black fluffy fur. When we bathed her it stuck up all over the place. She’s not too pleased about it. Sparta Puss thinks it’s quite funny though.

 

Sparta 2018

 

 

Squirting Blobs

13 Aug

 

paintbox crop

I recently made myself a tiny watercolour paintbox, using an old tin that originally had a dried up stamping ink pad in it. I filled one side with DAS airdry clay and pushed 6 semi-circular depressions into it with the round end of a menthol inhaler. And let it dry – it took about a week. Then I gave it a couple of coats of white acrylic paint to seal it. Once it was dry, I squirted a blob of good quality liquid watercolour from tubes into the little holes – Lemon Yellow, Vermilion, Crimson, Pthalo Blue, Purple and Green. Then I let them dry out before taking it out into the field.

Maggie's Garden

It works pretty well. The paints get wet, dry out, get wet again with no impact upon their quality. Here’s one I did earlier in the summer using ballpoint pen with the watercolours.

 

 

 

In The Graft Garden

12 Aug

Graft 2

Here’s another quick sketch in ballpoint pen and watercolour from the summer supper event at Swansea’s Graft garden yesterday evening. It’s been developed in the grounds of the National Waterfront Museum, started by artist Owen Griffiths as part of last year’s “Nawr Yr Arwr” art festival. Pop in and have a look. The museum is great anyway and the Graft garden has loads of food plants, wild flowers, bees and a cob oven … and other stuff too.

 

The Beekeepers

11 Aug

graft 1

Husb and I spend a good evening at the Graft garden at Swansea’s National Waterfront Museum. It was Graft’s summer supper event, with food grown in the garden and cooked in the new cob oven. There was a very interesting honey extraction demo from local beekeepers Alyson and Chelsea. And a little boy put on a bee suit to help out – I scribbled him …

graft 1

 

 

 

The Last Heads

8 Aug

 

folk club 6

And here are the last two heads that I drew at the Riverside Folk Club in Loughor last week. It’s right by, well, the river side.

Gigs are a good opportunity for drawing as people are usually engrossed in what’s going on and keep reasonably still. Unless it’s a heavy metal gig. I’m usually too busy headbanging to draw then.

 

folk club 4

 

 

A Nice Bit Of Perspective

7 Aug

folk club 5.jpg

Scribbling away at Loughor folk club the other evening, I saw this interesting arrangement of a hand in the foreground and a head in the back ground. Nice bit of perspective, I thought. So I scribbled it…..

%d bloggers like this: