Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Art Supplies at the FWS Tradeshow

Okay, finally! We're going to talk about art supplies that were demoed around at the Florida Watercolor Tradeshow.....

First up:
Fluid Watercolor Paper and the hand•book watercolor journals were spotted at nearly every vendor selling supplies. Interestingly enough, the hand•book watercolor journals are made from Fluid Watercolor paper though you won't find that info on the label. The paper has a finish similar to a laid paper finish. It is not as obvious as a true laid finish but the resemblance is there. Both the Fluid paper and the hand•book journal company is represented by Global Art Materials in the US. The web site is rather short on information about the products.

Fluid watercolor paper is a wood pulp based paper rather than a cotton rag. It has cut edges rather than deckled edges. [Life has been seriously cutting into my exploration time and] I have yet to put the paper through its paces. I did cut down one sheet to see what kind of fold I would get for bookbinding. Happy to say no cracking or tearing. Oddly, the grain ran opposite to most of the papers I have been playing with here lately.

The paper comes in 22 x 30 inches (55.88 x 76.2 cm) sheets as well as blocks and pads, all in various sizes. It is made in the US. More on this product as I get more time to play.


The cover on the hand•book journal is absolutely gorgeous! It has a wonderful touch to it and seems quite durable. Time will tell. I've read where a number of artists have had trouble with warping of both the cover and the paper. So far, I can't make that claim. Perhaps because of the humidity in Florida? Or maybe in spite of it? I don't know, but it's been sitting in open air for over a week without the slightest of changes.

Westfield Cypress and Pond
Watercolor
3.5" x 8.25"
This is my first attempt at sketching, plein aire,* on this paper. Let me preface all of what I'm about to say with a disclaimer—this was not a fair test to the paper. Why? Because I was out painting in much cooler temperatures than normal with gale-force winds (not really, just breezy, but when you're trying to paint the wind seems much stronger!)

The paper seemed to be resistant in places and not in others—uneven sizing or those crazy winds? There was a good deal of buckling when I was painting, but the paper has dried fairly flat with a bit of curling to the edges. No better or worse than other papers I've tried. I didn't really notice any oddities with the pigment or settling of the granulation, but then, I was fighting with the elements more than the paper so it's hard to say if there were any issues.

Two other sizes are also available, both larger. The hand•book journals are made in India. Whereas I am not thrilled with this book so far, I will continue to experiment and play with it to see what it can and cannot do.

More art supplies to come!

*This pond is situated between a huge mall and a 10 lane interstate just beyond those trees. I could see the glint of metal as the cars flew by on the roadway. It was more than a bit disconcerting to hear the sweet song of a Red-wing Blackbird against the nearly overwhelming roar of the cars, both on the interstate and behind me as the shoppers arrived at the mall. A small piece of paradise tucked away in an unlikely spot. These days, I find my bit of paradise where I can!

15 comments:

  1. I am not a fan of the Handbook for watercolors but any other kind of sketching is fine.

    I really love your tests of these new things, then I know what I need to run out and buy. :)

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  2. Love your little sketch outdoors. I find people dont see what is right under their noses. You found something I bet many dont even see. Thanks for sharing what you find good and not so good. I dont do much watercoloring but I try to gleen what I can so maybe one day....:))

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  3. Ooh, I do love it when you talk materials! I'm intrigued by the 'letterbox' format of that book - looks like fun.

    A beautiful sketch especially given the tricky conditions. x

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  4. the journal looks like an interesting size. what did you think of it?

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  5. Teri, since this one is made specifically for watercolors, i had higher hopes for it. I'm going to have to work in it a bit more before I can tell if it's going to be a keeper.

    Cris, you can paint watercolors! You smart to be gathering info, but you can do it!

    That was my thought too, Gillian, on the size!

    Randi, I really don't know yet what I think. As I said today was not a fair test. Will continue to work in it and see.

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  6. Love your plein air, BTW!!! What a beautiful place!!

    The journal surely does have a beautiful texture to it, doesn't it??? I just adore art supplies! I can't seem to stop adoring them, either! (PROBLEM)...LOL!!!

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  7. Love the sketch. I have a handbook journal but so far have done only one watercolor pencil sketch in it. Perhaps I need to get out the watercolors and give it a better try.
    One of the things I like about the area I live in which is suburban/ urban are all the beautiful little pockets of nature right in the midst of the city. Waterfalls, ponds, lakes, forests.. Pretty cool when you can find those little areas like the pond you sketched.

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  8. I hear you on that, Julie, I have the SAME problem!!

    Tyanne, is it a watercolor Handbook journal or a sketch journal? I've watercolored in the regular sketchbooks as well without issue. This was the first HB journal I'd seen with the watercolor paper in it.

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  9. Fascinating info! Wish we had a similar expo here....The bound book does look extra delicious!
    jeanette, mistress of longears

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  10. I'm surprised the TWS doesn't have something similar, Mistress. They're suppose to be one of the bigger, better societies. At least, that's what I've been told.

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  11. Love the sketch, Laure. Great job considering the conditions. That little book really tempted me at the trade show, but I resisted. Must. Use. Supplies. I. Already. Have. (Where's the fun in that???)

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  12. Thanks, KJ! I had to buy it. In the name of research....

    Really.

    ;•)

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  13. Thanks for the info... you're better than Consumer Reports :-)

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  14. Looks like you had fun at the expo! I saw them at the SCAD trade show recently. I somehow resisted. Bravo to getting outside to paint! The weather is sooo beautiful right now - here I am stuck to computer work.
    My break is checking out your fun adventures :)
    Thanks for being there!

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  15. I've heard good things about the Handbook journals but no one has mentioned whether they were sketchbooks or watercolor books that they've used. I won't buy anything new for a little while so I have time to hear how you like or don't like it after more use.

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