Friday, October 09, 2009

Artistic Musings

I've been having a serious problem with time lately, as in, where the hell is it all going? (Do you know it's eleven weeks until Christmas?!)

Anyway, a couple of things for today's post:

  • Watercolor Travel Kits (A Winsor & Netwon Rant)
  • Daler Rowney Pastels
Watercolor Travel Kits
Today, a fellow artist showed me her latest little 'splurge' - a W&N Artists' Watercolour Field Box Set. Now, I love a cute paint box as much as the next person, and I have a W&N Bijou Box which I really like, but when I saw the W&N box my friend has purchased, I was quietly horrified. The set retails near $200AU, but you can get it for around $160 or so if you look around.
Now, that kind of money would make me think that you were getting something rather decent indeed - except that you don't. The whole thing was plastic. I found this very surprising because plastic automatically makes me think of Cotman. Usually, W&N Artists' means a robust metal box with lots of shiny black enamel... but I can assure you that there was no black enamel to be found, and I think I even saw a seam in the plastic! Horror!
Personally, I think that unless you find these kind of kits deeply discounted, a budget DIY kit or case like this which you can fill yourself is a better choice.

Daler Rowney Pastels
Pastel painting seems to be my new artistic thing, so I have been expanding my pastel palette. A interesting purchase so far has been a set of Daler Rowney 'Hard' Sketching Pastels, which are square pastels sticks generally used for underpainting or drawing layers. To my surprise I found the 'Hard' DR pastels to be far softer than the 'Semi-Hard' Nouvel Carré pastels I have been using for underpainting. They handle beautifully! I was so impressed that I am now waiting for my local supplier to see what other DR pastels they can order. :)