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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Mothers Love Speed Painting and Tutorial

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If you have been following my journey you know that one of my goals for 2018 is to start a YouTube channel and create painting tutorials. I am doing this as a way to help me get used to teaching my art process so that I can offer classes and eventually be able to travel the world giving art demonstrations. Teaching lessons online is a great away for me to develop those skills. Over the past few weeks I have been utilizing my Iphone to learn how to make videos and tutorials. I have even posted a few on to my YouTube channel.

Well today, I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone a little further and create a voice over for my latest video instead of just having it be a speed painting with music. I was super nervous doing it because I have never had to explain the how and the why of what I’m doing as I paint. It’s going to take some time and practice to get used to it but I am very proud of the fact that I did it even though I was nervous. We can’t improve on anything in life until we take the time to actually practice it. Thats why I can no longer remember how to play the piano, much to my mothers dismay.

The picture I am painting in this video is a commission I was asked to do as a gift for an OBGYN. When the client came to me with her idea for the painting I was ecstatic. I love doing bright, colorful, contemporary, and personal watercolor paintings and this fell into all those categories. It even inspired a whole series of colorful anatomy paintings that I will talk about and have available this Thursday.

Below is a list of the supplies and materials I used to create this piece and I’ve added links to where they can be purchased if your interested.

Mijello Mission Gold watercolors https://goo.gl/rNnRkt

Dr PH Martins White Bombay ink https://goo.gl/sJvcui

Mimik Synthetic Squirrel Brushes https://goo.gl/rqHEVR

Royal & Langnickel Brushes https://goo.gl/F5puvU

Arches Watercolor Paper https://goo.gl/iqjUfE

Pik Up Eraser https://goo.gl/8XShGW

Fine line Masking fluid https://goo.gl/bkaqpi

Kosher Salt

(Amazon Affiliate links)

I chose to use Mijello Mission Gold Watercolors because they were the least staining of my vibrant watercolors. The brighter the watercolor the more they tend to stain. For the techniques I typically use in my paintings I like having colors that stain because of the way they layer. However, the problem with staining colors is the obvious…they stain the paper and make it so the color is difficult to lift off. For this painting I knew I wanted add blooms to my piece using kosher salt and by dripping water on to the paper. For that to work I needed a paint that could lift off to some degree. This paint did that while still being very colorful and vibrant. The colors I used for this specific painting were: Red Violet, Bright Clear Violet, Cobalt Blue, Peacock Blue, Ultramarine Deep, and Yellow Green.

I also used Dr Ph Martins white india ink. It is a great ink to use when using watercolors because it is waterproof. You can put layers of watercolor over the top of it without reactivating it unlike a lot of gouache paints. It’s a semi-opaque when used as a watercolor but when applied in multiple layers it can become opaque.

The Mimik Brushes are my favorite watercolor brushes because they have a great point to them, aren’t to floppy, and hold a large amount of water and paint. I like using the Royal and Langnickel (R&L) brushes for ink instead of the watercolor brushes. Sometimes acrylic inks can be hard on on the fine bristles of the watercolor brush and I don’t want to risk ruining those. The R&L brushes are really economical and are sturdy enough to handle the ink without an issue.

Arches cold press paper is my go to watercolor paper. I love how absorbent it is, it helps the paint flow beautifully, and holds onto the pigment really well. Its also a sturdy paper and can handle many layers and vigorous scrubbing without getting damaged.

The fine line masking fluid is great because I can add masking fluid directly on the paper in tiny amounts without the risk of ruining a paintbrush. The pik up eraser and other rubber cement erasers are the best way I’ve found to remove masking fluid from your paper with out damaging it. In the video I couldn’t find mine so I used a clean rag (made from an old burp cloth) and rubbed it on the picture to get the masking fluid off. It worked fine but it took more work to do it that way.

For the salt I used Kosher salt because the bigger pieces create larger blooms. You can also use regular table salt for this you’ll just use a little more of it to get the larger blooms.

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Thanks for watching and if you have any questions about this painting or would like me to talk about any specific things in the realm of art, watercolors, pastels, running an art business, etc. let me know in the comments down and I will try to answer those questions.

-Lauren