How To: QoR Masking Fluid

QoR offers a latex-based Masking Fluid to complement their range of modern watercolors and mediums. Masking Fluid is ideal for hard-edges and highlights with watercolor compositions. Have you tried using masking fluid when working with watercolors? If you haven’t yet, now is the time to try! QoR Masking Fluid and all QoR Mediums and Grounds are on sale for 40% off through March 31st!

Introducing QoR Watercolor Ground

Watercolor Ground by QoR is a fluid acrylic primer that creates a porous surface similar to hot press paper on many different materials, including canvas and panel. You don’t have to limit your watermedia-based art to only paper, you have options. Watercolor Ground dries to an absorbent, lightfast, and flexible surface that withstands repeated lifting and scrubbing. Suitable for a full range of watercolor techniques, including wash and staining effects, Watercolor Ground can also be used to return stained areas to an absorbent white surface. During the month of March, QoR Modern Watercolors, Mediums, and Grounds are on sale for 40% off !!!

How-To: Neocolor II Water-soluble Wax Pastels

This video covers various basic techniques with NEOCOLOR® II Water-soluble Wax Pastel by Caran d’Ache: drawing, graded applications, washes, watercolour effects and techniques. Soft, velvety texture, ultra-high pigment concentration, luminous colours, excellent light resistance, and superior covering power – these are more than just crayons. The NEOCOLOR II Water-soluble Wax Pastels have the widest color range on the market – perfect for dry or wet drawings, water color effects, washes and sgraffito. On sale for 20% off through March 31st!!!

How-To Video: Getting Started with Water-Soluble Colored Pencils

Strathmore’s Artist Educator Sarah Becktel shares her tips for using watercolor pencils.

Check out this video where Strathmore’s Artist Educator Sarah Becktel shares her tips for using watercolor pencils. This video has become the top video on Strathmore’s YouTube Channel because of Sarah’s straightforward method of teaching both classic and unique ways to get the most from watercolor pencils.

Raw Materials carries a carefully-curated selection of water-soluble or watercolor pencils, but below are three we love, including the artist-grade watercolor pencil that Sarah uses in the video, Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencils.

Supracolor Soft Aquarelle Pencils by Caran d’Ache

Supracolor Soft Aquarelle Pencils by Caran d’Ache

Superior-quality water-soluble color pencils for the most exacting requirements by artists, illustrators, and graphic artists. Perfect for mixed media applications, and can be used with Pablo permanent colored pencils, watercolor, gouache, and Neocolor pastels. Available in 120 colors, the soft water-soluble lead is 3.7mm, with a high breaking-strength. Encased in premium-quality, FSC-certified cedar, the colors are bright and have excellent lightfastness. Throughout the month of March, all Supracolor Soft Aquarelle Pencils and Pencil Sets are on sale for 20% off!

Goldfaber Aqua Watercolor Pencils by Faber-Castell

The fully water-soluble lead of the Goldfaber Aqua Watercolor Pencils have vibrant colors, optimum opacity and good lightfastness. High-quality materials and innovative production technology provide high tip-breakage resistance with SV bonding along the 3.3mm lead. Using a wet paintbrush drawings can be transformed into stunning watercolor paintings. Dry drawing techniques of colored pencils can also be used with these watercolor pencils. These hexagonal pencils are easily sharpened with all common sharpeners.

Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencils by Faber-Castell

Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencils by Faber-Castell contain the highest quality pigments for unsurpassed lightfastness. They feature a buttery smooth color laydown and are easily blended and layered without waxy build up. The thick 3.8mm break-resistant and fully water-soluble leads can be easily blended when wet for rich watercolor effects and become permanent when dry. The lead is housed in premium California cedar wood casing with SV bonding to strengthen lead and resist breakage, while providing sharp fine lines and excellent point retention. Available by Special Order.

Aqua Elite Synthetic Kolinsky Sable Watercolor Brushes are 40% off

Did you catch our IG post from the other day where we showed how much water the Aqua Elite Synthetic Kolinsky Sable Watercolor Brushes by Princeton could hold? We showed how these brushes perform like genuine Kolinsky; the round shape has a belly for maximum color holding capacity and an amazing point for fine detail work. In this video from a trade show we attended last year, you Howard, the president of Princeton Brushes, shows how thirsty these brushes are, and floral painter Jenna Rainey shows how/why she uses Princeton brushes every day. Did we mention that the Aqua Elite Synthetic Kolinsky Sable Watercolor Brushes by Princeton are on sale for 40% off? These brushes are an amazing value. Come in and try the brush on our Buddha Board, you can see for yourself.

Painting with STABILO Pen 68 Markers: A little color goes a long way

Let’s talk about STABILO! Join Emilee Rudd for a fun hands-on project using the Pen 68 Markers and a water brush. With just a light touch and a dab of water, watch the saturated dye of these pens extend and blend just like watercolor. Discover how STABILO’s pens and markers, known for coloring, design and illustration, can be used in new ways and incoporated into mixed media work!

Pen 68 Marker Sets by Stabilo

With their sturdy bullet tips and brilliant, intense colors, these fiber tip pens are perfect for layout detail and sketching. The odorless water-based ink will not bleed. It also will not dissolve toner or ink of permanent markers. Pens can be left without their cap for 24 hours without drying out. Stabilo Pen 68 Markers are available in sets, which come in convenient plastic wallets, tin sets, parade sets (case folds out into a fun stand-up easel making it easier to choose pens and keep them organized), and mini sets (a compact version for when you’re on the go).

What is a good basic watercolor set for beginners and for artists who want to start painting with watercolors?

Some questions we are often asked:

“What colors do you suggest for a beginner to get started?”
“What colors should I get if I want to paint with watercolors?” 

Choosing a palette of colors is very personal, and at its most basic, the choice needs to include a yellow, red and blue for a primary mixing set. 

“Which yellow, red and blue to get started with?” 

We recommend the DANIEL SMITH Sketcher Half Pan Watercolor Set

This handy, thoughtfully selected group of 6 DANIEL SMITH colors was developed over several years by Sketcher Artist Liz Steel (with helpful feedback from other artists) to be an excellent starter palette of watercolors, perfect for the beginner, the artist who wants to upgrade to DANIEL SMITH Watercolors and the on-the-go artist who needs a good basic set to take with them.  

Because the set is made up of half pans, it is an excellent value to get started with six DANIEL SMITH Watercolors at a lower price than six 15ml tubes would be, and well priced for gift giving too! Currently, Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors are on sale for 30% off! Woo hoo!

The colors in the set were carefully chosen for their ability to mix beautifully making gorgeous and useful secondary colors as well as huge spectrum of other colors.  An important part of choosing the colors was including 2 primary triads [yellow, red & blue] in what Liz Steel calls a “Bright Primary Triad” and an “Earth Primary Triad“. Having two different primary mixing triads within the set makes color mixing fast, easy and successful for painting.   

Bright Primary Triad”, for quickly mixing bright colors:

Earth Primary Triad“, for quickly mixing earthly colors:

Color mixing grid of the Sketcher Half Pan Watercolor Set
organized by Liz Steel’s 2 primary triads:  “bright primary triad” and “earth primary triad”

With these two primary triads you can confidently mix a huge range of useful and beautiful colors, both within each of the triads and mixing combinations of the two triad colors together. 

The Sketcher Half Pan Watercolor Set was designed to be a solid foundation palette of colors to get started painting with watercolors for beginners, and are a great introduction to DANIEL SMITH Watercolors for more experienced artists.  The Set was also designed to work wonderfully with add on colors as each artist later chooses additional colors to personalize their palette for their particular subjects. The Set even includes 9 empty half pans ready to fill with additional colors from DANIEL SMITH tube watercolors! Now that you know these are on sale for 30% off, what are you waiting for?!

A symphony of color with Marabu Graphix Aqua Inks

National Artist Educator Celia Buchanan of Marabu presents an interactive, Kandinsky-inspired demo that produces beautiful, vibrant artwork in thirty minutes or less – no drawing skills necessary! Settle into this inspirational encounter with Marabu Graphix Aqua Inks and Marabu Graphix Aqua Ink Pens. A background of intense colors are applied onto watercolor paper, then transformed into a memorable Kandinsky-esque abstract collage.

While the Graphix Aqua Inks are on sale for 10% off at $2.69 (list price $2.99) the Marabu Graphix Aqua Pen Sets are 40% off! Sweet! Naturally transparent with high lightfastness, Graphix Aqua Inks are ideal for watercolor techniques with brush or drawing pen.