An Online Artist's Coop for Artists who Paint on Location
My art teacher, Joe Rossi, who made us do our entire paintings with a one inch flat brush, also told us not to waste our money on expensive brushes or paints, and to apply the money to the best paper we can find. I have always taken this advise and have consistantly used Arches. Mostly 140lb and for most of my life, after discovering them, watercolor blocks. It is so much more convienient to use the blocks when doing plein air, especially when away on a painting trip.
Recently, I have been painting from my truck. Sitting on the tail gate mostly, but offten, especially in the winter months or on rainy days, behind the steering wheel. The standard sizes I use, 9"x12", 10"x14" and 12"x16" are simply too large for this confined space. So when I made a big purchase of watercolor paper recently, I shopped prices and bought through Cheap Joe's online. I bought an extra 10"x14 and 12"x16" to cut in half to make 2, 7"x10 pads and 2, 8"x12". Sure, I could have just ordered the 7"x10 pad directly. Right. But that would have cost me $20.99 each. And no 8"x12" size available. So here's the thing. One 10"x14" pad costs $26.99. By cutting it in half, I am paying only $13.49 per 7"x10 pad, instead of $20.99 and saving like $8.00 each.
Thanks for the info on the block- never tried one. You might want to reconsider your brush info. My best teachers advocated three expensive brushes- red sables - that one took care of--i.e. never leaving standing in water, good cleaning with soap after every use. I have had my main stay watercolor brushes since I was 14. Sizes, round 7,round 3 and 1 1/2' flat. Nothing has ever matched the load, snap and feel. I am over 50 and these brushes are still in great shape. I have used worn out and discarded dozens of the cheap ones. A great brush is like a real love affair-! These brushes now would cost over a hundred bucks.
Perhaps I was too simplistic when I said that about the paper/money spent ratio. Sure, a few great brushes are key. You are correct. Our watercolor teacher had us use only one 1" flat brush to complete an entire watercolor. This was an exercise designed to torment students like myself and was a hard lesson to deal with. It obviously had some effect. I have many brushes in my kit and many are expensive ones. I too only use on average 3 per painting. No need for any more.
Thanks for the information Don.
Don, how were you able to cut the block cleanly without disturbing its "qualities" of staying intact?