the rare pear studio blog

Hello there you! Here you will find stuff about living a creative life in country Australia. I am an illustrator who also creates, takes photos, faffs, collects, teaches and hosts workshops. Watercolour, doodling, collage, colour, cheese, salads, travel, collecting ephemera and dreaming make me happy dance. And cushions. And cactus. And gardening. And op-shops. And art supplies. And the word serendipity. And you reading this...

Sunday, 11 March 2018

So what watercolour paints do I use?

So what watercolour paints do I use?

I am asked this question all the time. I am asked this at schools, at workshops, in personal messages. So... I will tell you a little story. I will tell you the TRUTH. No-one paying me to tell you anything. No-one in my ear. Just many years of painting and experimenting...

 Many years ago, I began teaching art at a small school about 65km away. They needed art supplies, and the task of ordering them fell to me, and I was handed a book of AMAZING stuff to order from, and my heart was banging in my chest with excitement! I ordered the usual stuff, but I also ordered some watercolour paints that caught my eye. 

Because I had done plant and wildlife illustration at Uni, I had already been playing with watercolour for a few years. And I had used other brands apart from the ones in the order book, and truthfully I was still using them, and REALLY loved them. But I am always open to new things, and thought I would give them a try. I ordered some for me, as well as the kids, because I needed to see how they worked, what they were capable of, before  could consider even trying to teach how they worked to anyone else!

So a week or so later, they arrived, and I took them home to have a go. OMG! OMG! I could not believe how beautiful and intense the colours were! I could not believe how lush and brilliant these paints were! I was in love! 

So... I used these paints in the classroom all the time, and the kids LOVED them too. I loved watching their faces, as they experienced how colours bloomed and bled on the paper, their sheer joy at the magic happening. And every school I taught at, I told them YOU MUST GET THESE PAINTS. And I kept using them myself. 

Cue quite a few years later, and I was now in the art business, and using Instagram. I used to take lovely photos of my art, all edited and just the art. But it was sadly, a few instances of people screen shotting and reposting and claiming MY IMAGES and MY ART as their own (sad face inserted here), that made me rethink how I took photos of my art. 

I began showing my process and my art tools, including my paints. And I featured the paint discs I had discovered all those years earlier. Little did I know, that someone had taken notice of them in my photos, and I received a message from the distributor and importer of these paints... I freaked out! I thought they were cranky! But no, all they wanted was to say how much they like the way I had used their paints, and could I tag them when I posted? OF COURSE I said YES! 

Then I began hosting watercolour workshops, and of course, I wanted to use these paints I loved. I messaged the company, and told them I was going to use their product, so could I find out where they were sold? And very kindly, they did, and gave me their website, and also gave me discount vouchers to give to my workshop particpants. WOOHOO!!!!

So... guess you would like to know the name of these paints?" It is the Micador For Artists Brilliant watercolour Paint Discs, that I get through the fantastic Aussie company, MICADOR. I also use their brushes, and their RAINS watercolour paper. They are really fabulous, and have been so supportive of Aussie art talent, and of me. They have NOT paid me to say this... I promise you. And I do still use other brands too sometimes. But nothing beats the joy of these!

So really, when people ask me what paints I use, I never hesitate to tell them about my Micador paints. And I never tire of taking photos of them next to my artwork, because they look so good too! They have actually brought out some new ranges of colours, and they are always getting new cool stuff in stock. I use Aquapainters, inks, and watercolour pencils and lead pencils amongst other things. And the Stay anywhere pens! I mean, really, who does not LOVE using new art supplies? Playing, experimenting, just creating! 

And that, my friends, tells you the story of the paints that I use. A real life, real case scenario, from a real person who really does really use them. REALLY!