G’day everyone!

Happy you stopped by and hope you will find my blog interesting. Please feel free to share your opinion, comments and questions with me.

This is my first blog post here on Patreon and it will be opened for everyone to read for at list a month or so.

I thought it would be great to start with an introduction of what I do and how I work on my illustrations.

--- A little side note here…

I am planning to make separate introductory posts about my portraits, save the date cards, wedding portraits, wedding stationery and custom illustrations. I will update links here when posts come out. ---

Here is my 'tool box’.

I purposefully have chosen to work on a white table in a room with white walls and blinds, with nice natural light during the day. No major colour reflections and distractions are a must for me when painting. 

Though, lately I’ve been thinking to buy a vintage illustrator’s table with natural wooden top that could be placed at an angle. Haven’t bought it yet, but will give you an update if and when it happens :).

Since I am a watercolour artist lets start with watercolour. My main materials when studying were gouache and oils, however, I find it more interesting to work with watercolour now.


When I decided to do professional illustrations I asked my husband to help me to research which ones are the best on the market at the moment, and we ended up with two brands: Schmincke and Daniel Smith. At the time, I decided to go with Schmincke as they are more affordable and go in a smaller tubes. I always like to try a product first before fully committing to it and smaller tubes worked perfect for it.

Before Schmincke I used a Russian brand. When I tried Schmincke I saw the difference right away. I was and still am impressed with the German aquarelle. It’s very bright and hues are wonderful.

Here is my colour palette.

When I bought my first watercolour tubes I received a sample pallet of Daniel Smith and what a cool idea it is. For people who have to try before committing to new things it’s just perfect. I bought the full sample set after that and spent a few months trying it on different projects, if only Schmincke had a similar sample set.

By now, I am sure that I prefer the range of colours that Daniel Smith offers, but I still can’t give up on Schmincke, as I love them as well and for me it would mean to make a significant investment in a new colour palette.

Another very important instruments are my brushes. Hadn’t done a research on them and started with just buying some natural and synthetic ones in a local art shop thinking that ‘try and find what works best’ is a good enough approach :)

Lucky for me, I have a great family (lucky marriage!), who thought ‘nothing, but the best’ and generously gifted me with these little beauties.

DaVinci - Maestro Tobolsky-Kolinsky.

I fell in love with them and bought more. Now I have numbers 0, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8. As you can see I have a few of number 0 and 2 as they are most commonly used and it’s nice to have some spares.

Also, I have Neef finest sable. I found that I prefer when points stay crisp rather than flat or round, but I still use both DaVinci and Neef, from time to time, for different tasks.

Since I began working on bigger projects with a bigger illustration sizes I started considering to acquire a few bigger brushes and even a few flat ones. Some day soon!

Next stop is my pallets. They are simple white plastic pallets, but I like them this way as they are easy to deal with and I always can find a place to put them next to me when I am working because they are so small and compact.

Pencil - I use a regular automatic one, with a thin rod. It’s great for sketching and drawing and translating a sketch to a stretched canvas.

Stretching paper.

My choice of paper is Archers 300 gsm Smooth Hot Press. As it has less texture than Cold Press paper that allows me to work on smaller details.

I really like it stretched on a foam gator board that is very light and easy to move around.

The tape that we use for stretching paper on a board is a gum paper tape, activated by water and doesn't have any nasty stuff that could affect my art work.

Depending on a project I can use an easel (code name “Luca”). It’s easier to work on an illustration when located at an angle and I don’t have to lean much above it.

At the moment, it feels like I am outgrowing this little guy, but I still like to use it because it’s compact and mobile.

So, I look around at my work place and it seems like I've covered all the major instruments in my arsenal.


Please let me know if you have any questions.

Chat soon!

Warmly,

Raya