Monday, June 22, 2009

The Ugly Duckling - Updated

Well, it's beginning to look like a flower. Finally. We all have preferences as to what we like to paint with (tools, brushes) and on (surfaces) as well as what type of media (acrylic, oils, wc) we prefer. Sometimes it is simply what we learn first that becomes our favorite. Other times we search and search and then fall head long in love with a particular media or tool. Regardless of how it comes about, shaking those preferences can be difficult. It takes challenging ourselves to try a new surface or medium AND giving it a chance to succeed before walking away and saying, "Nope. Doesn't work for me!"

The gold standard in watercolor paper is Arches and I have had a long love/hate relationship with the paper. The makers of Arches uses a vile, strong smelling sizing both in the paper and on top it, that makes it a true workhorse. The paper can be reworked and sanded and gouged and it will still take paint beautifully. There are other fine watercolor papers available, and they all have their own strengths and peculiarities as well, but Arches is hard to beat.

Whenever I try a new surface, it invariably gets compared to Arches. So it is with this Aquaboard. For something to become a staple in my studio, it has to offer me something that Arches does NOT. I'm still not certain what this surface offers me, but there is something pleasing about it and it's growing on me. It will take far more exploring than this little duck, but I will try it again. Perhaps with something more demanding to see what this surface can do.

Besides, I recently (last year) "inherited" a ton of it - I really need to find a way to like this stuff or I'm gonna have to have a big art sale instead!!!

3 comments:

  1. Wow--how gorgeous is this!? I love it! Beautiful colors emerging here.

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  2. I think your "ugly duckling" has made its transformation into the "beautiful swan" and deserves re-titling!

    It's gorgeous... I really love it. A little different somehow from your usual style... can't quite put my finger on it though... but I really like it. I hope you'll stay with the Aquabord for a while... I definitely think it has something to offer you!

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  3. Oh my, this is already gorgeous!!!

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