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The Creative Process # 1

Hi !

Its a strange world we are living in at the moment but I hope you are all keeping safe, well and finding some positivity in the lock down days. 

I get asked a fair bit, which paints I use, which paper I use and do I use knives or brushes, so I thought I would shed a little light on my creative process in a series of blogs... hope you find it enjoyable and informative. 

Today I thought I would run through the equipment I am using at present, hopefully with links to buy ( most art suppliers are delivering online safely still ) if you would like to try some of the bits I use.

First off, paints...I love the stuff, it liquidly in a thick way and comes in so many colours now a days. I predominantly use acrylics so will show you my go to types.

 

From bottom to top, kind of in price order as well, we have System 3 acrylics. I like these because they are very fluid and are great for leaving wet brush marks. The pigment content isn't that high so you have to use quite a bit to cover any large areas but they are relatively cheap. Available to but online at JacksonsArt or if you are in Cornwall visit Truro Arts. Secondly, Again a Daler Rowney product, is Cryla acrylics, a heavy body artist quality paint with a  high pigment level. They are a lot thicker than the System 3 so are great for adding texture and holding brush marks, but you can also water them down for large washes. Again they are available to buy from JacksonsArt. These paints are price banded depending on pigment which can be quite pricey. Thirdly, Golden Acrylics, I love these paints. They are high quality, rich pigment and go a long way. Again they are perfect to use straight out of the tube or watered down for large washes. The most expensive out of the three but if you can afford a few they are well worth it. Check the range of colours they have here . The technique I use with all these paints is to water them down with a tiny touch of washing up liquid dissolved in the water.

 

Secondly, my brushes. These are my three favourites at the moment although I can't remember for the life of me where I bought them !

From the bottom, the first is a little chisel edged brush, approx 1/4 inch. It is pretty much the smallest brush I use, I can use it flat to give angled texture or spin it round and use the point for details. In the middle is my most used, 1/2 inch flat brush. It is quite stiff and works really well for large areas of cliffs or clouds in the sky. Lastly is my favourite, a big flat 2 and 1/2 ish inch watercolour brush that I use for large areas of sky and sea. I mix my colours on the paper and this blends large areas really well and doesn't leave many brush marks behind. There are so many brushes available and it is a very tactile thing to purchase so I would advise a hands on approx but if you can't there are loads on Jacksons website.

Lastly paper. I try a lot of surfaces, heavy watercolour paper, acrylic paper, canvas, wood... acrylics will bond to pretty much anything so experiment with different surfaces to find one you like. My go to paper at the moment is this 

This is a lovely paper to use and can take a lot of water without cockling which is a massive bonus for me, and its made in the UK so another bonus. I normally buy it from Truro Arts  but you can but it online here on the Seawhite website. They also have a look of exciting looking products so its probably worth having a browse. 

A basic setup with maybe 4 brushes, 10 colours and a pad will probably cost around £75 but that will give you enough material for quite a few paintings and experiments. I know its quite a bit of money but the enjoyment from taking part in a creative process is well worth it in my humble opinion. 

So that's the equipment I use, I hope you find my ramblings informative and forgive my bad grammar and spelling !

Have fun and stay safe. 

2 comments

  • Hi Andy, I really love your work and your very distinctive style. I’m coming back to painting now that I have retired, The last time I used a paintbrush in “anger” was the 1970’s , and how things have changed as far as the products and equipment, much more choice now. Thank you for such an informative blog. Best regards Colin

    Colin
  • Thanks for the technical info.
    Any chance you can illustrate your thought processes as you start with a blank canvas & paint something like Watergate with the beach reflection?

    Jim Clarey

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