New Art Supplies from London Graphic Centre

LondonGraphicCentre_Art Supplies

A few weeks ago the London Graphic Centre very kindly sent me some new art supplies to try and I thought you might like to see what I received. I haven’t had the time to try them out properly yet but these are my first impressions.

Paper

Fluid Watercolor Block

As you probably know, I use watercolour paints a lot in my work so I was excited to received this hot press watercolor block from the brand Fluid. I’ve never actually used a block of paper before but the idea is that the sheets are glued together *almost* all the way around, meaning that the paper should stay nice and flat while you work on it. When you’re finished working, you find the tiny gap in the glue and run a sharp knife around the edge to remove the top sheet.

Watercolor Block

This paper is 300gsm, acid-free and feels lovely and smooth. I’m a big fan of smooth, thick watercolour paper so I’m sure I’ll enjoy using this.

Winsor and Newton Watercolour Pad

I also received this Winsor and Newton watercolour pad. This one is cold press paper, which means it has some texture to it and again, is 300gsm.

Winsor and Newton Cold Press Watercolour Paper

I was convinced I hadn’t tried the Winsor and Newton watercolour paper but I actually have a tiny spiral bound sketchbook which I’ve used for one or two urban sketches and the paper is really nice to use and takes watercolour washes very well.

Ink

Tombow Pen

Tombow pens are really handy and they have 2 different nibs – a brush nib at one end and a finer bullet nib at the other. They’re not something I use every day but I find them quite useful for quick sketches.

When I did the One Week 100 People challenge I found this was the best pen for loose, fast sketches, especially the finer nib. It doesn’t drag and because it’s a bit thicker than a standard fine liner, it forces you to be less precious about the outcome.

All Kinds of Pencils

Derwent Pencils

During my current 100 Day Project I’ve started using coloured pencils combined with watercolour paints so I was really excited to receive this selection of pencils by Derwent. I love their watercolour pencils and lately I’ve loved playing with the Inktense range, so I know that I’ve got some really high quality pencils here.

I haven’t tried Derwent’s Procolour or Coloursoft before but I really like the look and feel of both of them. As the name suggests, the Coloursoft makes a nice soft, almost grainy texture, while the Procolour is slightly more waxy so it will be interesting to compare them in a bit more detail soon.

Derwent Pencils
Derwent pencils from top to bottom: Procolour, Graphic 2B, Inktense, Watercolour, Pastel, Coloursoft

I didn’t know that Derwent made a pastel pencil. It feels almost chalky to use and I’m already trying to think of ways to incorporate it into my work.

Graphite

Derwent 2B Pencil

Very occasionally I make pencils drawings but usually the only time I usually use graphite pencils is for sketching outlines or making rough sketches before I start a final piece of work, but this Derwent¬† Graphic pencil may convert me. For a 2B it has quite a light coverage and doesn’t smudge easily so I think I’ll get along with this one very nicely.

Derwent Mechanical Pencil

One thing I had been thinking about buying is a good quality mechanical pencil, partly for the convenience when out and about, and partly for achieving a consistent pencil line without having to sharpen it. This Precision pencil, also from Derwent, looks really nice. It has a 0.5mm lead and a full metal body which suggests to me that it should be sturdy and long lasting.

Watercolour Stick

Winsor and Newton watercolour stick

Something else I haven’t tried before is this watercolour stick from Winsor and Newton. It feels almost like a wax crayon and goes on to the paper in that sort of way too. But then when you add water over the top it transforms into a lovely watercolour wash. I’m wondering if I could use it in my 100 Day Project and I think they’d be really handy for urban sketching too. A few of these and a water brush could be a very practical part of a sketching kit.

Gouache

Caran D'Ache Gouache

I also have 2 colours of gouache from Caran D’Ache. I love the watercolour pencils I have from Caran D’Ache but I didn’t realise they also made gouache so I’ll be interested to see how this pan and tube compare to other brands I’ve used.

Watercolour Pencils

Winsor and Newton Watercolour Pencils

Finally, I have this set of 12 watercolour pencils from Winsor and Newton. The label states that they are ‘premium artist quality’ and highly pigmented. They go onto the paper very smoothly and certainly seem to produce a vibrant wash when water’s added so I’m very keen to start using these regularly alongside my Winsor and Newton paints (and paper!).

A big thank you to London Graphic Centre for adding to my stash of art supplies. If you’ve used any of the things I’ve mentioned here I’d love to here your thoughts about them and if you’d like to see a more detailed review of any of them, please let me know!

 

MATS Bootcamp: Journal Cover and Homeware

Like last year I’m taking the Make Art That Sells Assignment Bootcamp course right now. It runs until May and each month we receive an assignment from Lilla Rogers. This time of year can often feel a bit slow for me in terms of making work and finding inspiration and motivation, so having some structure to work with can really help.

Our first assignment in February was to design a floral journal cover. We were each assigned different flowers to include in the design and mine was Lily of the Valley. The image below is my final design and I decided that I would place that design across the spine of the journal to make it more dynamic and interesting.

I made some other floral arrangements based on the same design and they’re now for sale as a greeting card and postcard set in my Etsy shop.

In March we were given a very unusual assignment, which was to design a set of salt and pepper shakers. The brief was very open and we were able to take it in any direction we chose. I usually do better with more structure than that but I worked through some ideas and decided to keep things fairly simple with these bunny shakers. I imagine they’re be made from ceramic but I could also picture them in wood.

I toyed with the idea of designing them as wooden salt and pepper mills rather than shakers but the idea of twisting the bunnies’ heads, potentially leaving them the wrong way around seemed almost gruesome!

I’m now waiting (im)patiently for April’s assignment and I’m also giving some thought to joining in with the 100 Day Project again this year. It starts on 2nd April (2 days’ time) and I’m still not sure what my project is going to be. Any suggestions?

Sale!

Cathryn Worrell Thank You and heart cards

I hope you’ve been enjoying the festive season and have time to rest and enjoy yourself.

I wanted to let you know that there’s a sale on in my shop right now. Lots and lots of items have discounts of up to 40% and if you’re in the UK, shipping is free too. I have plans to introduce some new products to my shop over the coming months so if anything sells out now it probably won’t be coming back.

If you have any questions or difficulties placing your order, just let me know and I’ll do what I can to help.

And if you’ve bought from my shop over the past year, thank you very much. I really do appreciate it. Wishing you a peaceful end to 2018.

Bear in a Scarf

Bear Wearing Scarf

A bear I painted in my sketchbook a few weeks ago. I’m thinking of making more drawings of animals in knitwear and more animals in general. Are there any animals in particular that you’d like to see me draw/paint?

ME Action Holiday Cards

Cathryn_Worrell_MillionsMissing_Shoes_Pattern

Earlier this year I worked with ME Action to create a gold shoe pin, which they used as part of a fundraiser. I’ve been working with ME Action again recently and together we created 2 holiday cards based on the same shoe design.

One features this repeating pattern on a red background and inside the message reads ‘Seasons Greetings’. The other is a single pair of shoes on a blue background and contains the message ‘Happy Holidays’.

Both designs are available to purchase through the ME Action shop and all proceeds go towards the work they do campaigning with and on behalf of people with ME.

Right now the ME Action shops ship only to the US, Canada, Mexico and the UK but if you’re in one of those countries there should still be time to receive your cards before Christmas.