M Graham Watercolor Review and Ocean Wave Tutorial

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M Graham watercolors are the first tube watercolors I purchased. They were also the second brand of professional paints I purchased. I have been using them for two years and I have really enjoyed working with them. They are my go to watercolors when I want to do more traditional watercolor paintings.

I love how easily these paints are to reactivate after they dry,  they flow nicely when doing wet into wet paintings, and are very concentrated. These paints have colors that granulate, layer/glaze, and Lift. Most of the colors from my Hydrus Watercolors are staining which is great for how I use them however; it is nice to be able to fix mistakes easier. It is also nice to be able to get texture in your painting from the granulating pigments.

Depending on how you work and what your painting the vibrancy of the M Graham colors could be a pro or a con. M Graham paints are very pigmented and colorful but they tend to be more realistic in color where as some other brands can get a synthetic or artificial look to them. This is nice when painting faces and landscapes because I don’t have to work as hard to mix and neutralize to get them to look realistic.

I have a large collection of M graham Watercolors almost 40 colors and of my colors My favorites include their quinacridone colors ( I highly recommend this set), Gamboge, Prussan blue, Phthalo Blue, Cobalt teal, and Azo green.

For the demonstration and tutorial I decided to paint a seascape. I found my reference photo here 

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You don’t have to use M Graham paints to follow along or even use as many colors.  For fun I used all the blue M Graham colors I own but that is not necessary.   I worked in light layers of  paint to make it easier to glaze. The clear wax crayon helped preserve some of the highlights.

Tools and Supplies I used:

*Cerulean blue

*Cobalt Blue

*Cobalt Teal

*Ultramarine Blue

*Prussian Blue

*Phthalo Blue

*Phthalo Green

*Phthalo Green Yellow shade

*Dioxazine Purple

*Burnt Sienna

*Burnt Umber

*White Dr Ph Maritins Bombay India Ink

*Heat tool

*Clear Wax

*¾ Inch Flat Mimic Squirrel Brush

* #12 Round W.C. Squirrel Brush

*#8 Round W.C. Squirrel Brush

*1/4” Princeton Neptune Dagger Brush

*Arches Coldpress watercolor paper

 

Wave

Here is a closer look at the finished painting.

If you have any questions about M Graham paints please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

-Lauren

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Path By The Seaside: Beginner Pastel Tutorial

I have some big pastel commissions coming up so to help switch my mind from watercolor to soft pastels I have been doing some smaller pastel paintings. I figured it would turn this little painting into a tutorial for those who interested in learning how to paint and draw with pastels.

With it being in middle of winter here in Montana I wanted to paint something warm and sunny. I found my reference photo on pixabay.

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Before I start any pastel painting I look at my reference photo and I pick out the pastels I am going to use to paint it. This just helps me stay in the zone when painting because Im not constantly stopping to sort through hundreds of pastels deciding which ones I want.

When picking out pastels I make sure to grab some harder pastels like the pastel pencils and Nupastels from Prismacolor along with the softer ones. The harder pastels are great for the base layers of the painting because they don’t fill in the tooth of the paper as easily. With this painting being  fairly simple and smaller in size I knew I wasn’t going to be doing as many layers as normal so I didn’t grab any of my super soft pastels like my Sennelier or Schmincke . The softest pastels I used for this were Jack Richeson pastels which I find to be about medium softness.

Another thing I do when gathering my pastels is to  grab several values of each color. Pastels aren’t like watercolor where you can just add water to it to make it lighter or more paint to make it darker. You need to make sure you have a variety of values in each color. These are the colors I picked for my pastel painting and when I was painting I ended up needed more darker tones. I will show you in the video how I worked around that but if you decide to do this painting I would pick some darker cool blues, greens, and violets.

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After selecting my pastels I gathered the rest of my supplies.

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For this piece I used 6×11 inch UArt sanded paper in 600 grit. I really love Uart paper because it can take a lot of layers really well. It is also easy to tone the paper yourself using watercolor or with pastels and rubbing alcohol (which is my preferred method).

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Some other tools I used with my painting include some old paint brushes and rubbing alcohol for the underpainting. The Ink is for blocking in the darks of the painting. I like to use rubber shapers and plastic pallet knives for blending the pastels. For this piece I only used the rubber shaper with the rounded tip which i found really helpful in shaping the clouds. Not pictured is a T Ruler that I used to draw my horizon line with.

Here is the complete list of supplies and tools I used and links so you can look into them in more detail:

Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencil https://goo.gl/qgq9ew

Jack Richeson Soft Pastels https://goo.gl/kPCgvn

NuPastels https://goo.gl/Bf3aBV

Dr Ph Martins Bombay Inks https://goo.gl/sJvcui

Uart Sanded Paper https://goo.gl/2Uf46y

Krylon Workable fixative https://goo.gl/aKKaVn

Rubber shaper https://goo.gl/rhDSEk

Plastic Pallet Knives https://goo.gl/nskzKU

Oil brush https://goo.gl/t2SVof

White Taklon Brush https://goo.gl/oNrgWj

T-Ruler https://goo.gl/GZRy1v

(Affiliate Links)

I hope you learn some new skills from watching this tutorial. If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below.

-Lauren