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I love love LOVE the watercolor look on cards, and I do have loads of materials to achieve that (Derwent Inktense, wc markers, subtle colored wc pencils) but it looks horrible everytime I use them.
I use watercolorpaper, aquapainter or blending pen. But these are my problems:
1. Picking up color from a sheet and color will leave stains. Guess of to much moist?
2. Less water will leave streaks which won't blend anymore.
3. Coloring with wc pencil on paper will leave pigment residue I think looks horrible.
4. Marker on paper won't blend that good.
5. Using blending pen will make my paper pill.
I think you did a great job too. I really loved the shading.
I always practice on a scrap of the same paper type I am using for my project until I get the right color formula. I have found that paper reacts differently every time you color even if it's the same brand, same type. Weather conditions are the biggest culprit to paper behavior.
I do use aquapainters but not for watercoloring. I prefer traditional brushes. I feel like I have better control. I have friends who prefer the aquapainters for better control. I think it's one of those tools that feels right to the artist. If that makes any sense. Have you tried brushes?
Blender pens- I don't really use them for traditional watercoloring.
There is a great thread that several of us watercolorists have posted at- Water color chatter. Lots of tips and tricks.
Dini is amazing with her aquapainter. She has posted on the above thread too. Hope that helps.
I actually like the look of your watercolouring style.
I can get that you might want to learn the techniques of colouring like someone else because you like their look and style. But don't dismiss your own style you have. I just went and had a look at your gallery and especially your Inktense ones and I think they are lovely. Your colouring, in my eyes, is not a poor example of how to watercolour. It's very good I think. Keep it up.
I knew there was a reason my ears were ringing..........
Hey sweetie! I still keep thinking it is an issue with your paper and not YOU - wish we could go shopping together to find something that would work for you. I would be totally into that today! Are you able to get or order heavier weight watercolor paper (more than 220 gsm)? I have some lower-quality watercolor paper that acts just like you're describing - the water or ink soaks in too quickly and the color doesn't move.
I have 240 gsm paper but that's to toothy and it really soaks in very quick. The best paper so far is Daler & Rowney 220 gsm heavy weight cartridge paper. It's very smooth. I also have 220 gsm of Schoellershammer watercolor paper, which has a texture I don't really like.
I can remember you use Neenah? I can't get that here =(
Ok I took a deep breath. Did some loose drawing, picked up my inktense and waterbrush...and here's the result....pretty happy with it actually.
You did a beautiful job! Don't sell yourself short. I too am a perfectionist but I do also let myself have fun. I figure it's not perfect but it's art. What is perfect art? Is there such a thing? Enjoy yourself and remember you are doing this for fun!
I'm going to throw a monkey wrench into this conversation. If you like the look of water colors but you don't lie the way your paper pills (or you don't like the texture of water color paper,) have you tried colored pencils (regular waxy ones, not water color ones) with Gamsol or other odorless mineral spirits? They give a very similar look, but since you're not loading the paper with water, you can do it on regular smooth card stock without the pilling.
*Olim velis me peraudire.*
Rock is dead. Long live paper and scissors!
Watercolor paper is made to take a little more abuse from a brush, and to hold water better than a regular cardstock can. If you're using a pretty heavy cardstock (110# or more) and not planning to do a lot of blending, you can get away with water blending. You can use a blender pen on regular smooth cardstock if you're not planning to do a lot of blending in any one place. Scrubby blending will cause your cardstock to pill.