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Annie Strack - Tugboat tutorial

Painting realistic water can be challenging. Adding shadows and highlights, creating depth, marking distance, and breathing color into painted water can be difficult. In the following "Tugboat Painting Tutorial" guest-post by Annie Strack, you will learn how to make your seascapes come alive. Annie Strack is an expert watercolor painter, a contributing editor for Professional Artist magazine, and a phenomenal teacher. Read more about her work after the tutorial below. Enjoy!

Materials:

>> Arches 14x20 CP Watercolor Block

>> #6 Squirrel Mop Brush

>> Kolinsky Round Brushes, sizes 6 & 10

>> Winsor & Newton

Paints:

>> Payne’s Grey

>> Indigo

>> Ultramarine blue

>> Cobalt

>> Viridian

>> Quinacridone Gold

>> Cadmium yellow

>> Cadmium Orange

>> Cadmium Red

>> Quinacridone Red

>> Burnt Sienna

>> Sepia 

Whenever I get to the beach or around a waterfront area, I get out my camera and shoot a ton of reference photos. Even if I see a subject that I currently don’t want to paint, I go ahead and photograph it and store the photos in my archives, knowing that someday I may want to use them. Such is the case with this tugboat, which I photographed at Penn’s Landing on the Delaware River in Philadelphia a few years ag...

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Comments | Posted in: How To By Annie Strack

What is Gouache?

Gouache is pronounced “gwash.” It rhymes with “squash” and it’s simply another type of watercolor paint, with some unusual properties. It does not become absorbed into paper in the same way watercolor and other paints do. It remains on the paper’s surface, in a thick and opaque layer. Gouache is a French word that originates from the Italian “guazzo,” which literally means “water color.” It was first used in medieval illuminated manuscripts and gained popularity among French and Italian painters in 18th century. It was most often used in creating decorative art or landscapes.

In the 20th century, gouache became a popular medium for commercial artists because it photographed well and could be used to make crisp images and lettering. It was a reliable medium for reproducing advertisements before digital design.

Watercolor and gouache both consist of the same basic ingredients: a natural or synthetic pigment, gum arabic binder, and preservatives. The major difference between the two paints is that the particles of pigment in gouache are larger and the ratio of pigment to binder is higher. Most gouaches also have chalk added to the formula to further increase opacity. Like watercolors, g...

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Comments | Posted in: Product Guide By K. McDermott

The Plaza Paper Guide

Aug 13, 2015 1:49:00 PM

When shopping for art supplies, you might find yourself in the paper aisle (like the one at the Plaza Art in Rockville, Maryland, pictured at the end of this article) and think, Why are there so many different types of paper? Isn't it all just...paper?

There are some big differences in paper quality and if you're a beginning watercolorist or printmaker, it might be a little overwhelming to try and figure out which paper is best for which project. Some paper is quite expensive, and with good reason. This guide will give you a little background on the science and history of paper, so next time you need to buy paper, you'll know what all the labels mean:

What’s the deal with expensive paper?

One of the greatest misconceptions about paper is that all paper is made from trees. Paper can be made from almost any fibrous plant material containing cellulose but fine watercolor, printmaking and drawing papers are almost always made from cotton rag. In fact, paper in Europe was made exclusively from vellum, linen or cotton rags until the mid-1800s.

Why use fine papers?

Fine papers are well worth their cost. Cotton rag is better for professional work because it holds up more reliably over time than...

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Comments | Posted in: Product Guide By K. McDermott
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