Making my own painting tools. A wooden paintbrush.

I recently bought a wooden paint scraper at my local hardware store. It’s used by house painters, and it doesn’t gouge wood. I found it to be very useful in my studio, and it quickly became one of my favorite tools. I use it like a brush and a painting knife, and it also works as a burnisher.

I decided to try and make my own versions using pine, 1/4 inch doweling, and a bit of glue. I cut the pine with a handsaw, and drilled a 1/4 inch hole deep enough to hold the dowel. I put glue in the drilled hole, stuck in the dowel, cut the dowel to a comfortable length, and let it dry. It works well with oil paint, and because the paint will stain it I made several for different colours. It probably isn’t something that is to the taste of many painters, but maybe some will find uses for it that I haven’t thought of.

An Artist’s Review. Winsor & Newton Designers Colours.

Winsor & Newton Gouache.

Winsor & Newton Gouache.

Designers Gouache is a type of opaque watercolour, used by designers, illustrators, and fine artists to create paintings and illustrations in solid, bold colour. I’ve tried several brands of gouache over the years, and some I’ve liked and some I’ve hated, and I’ve found  Winsor & Newtons Designer Gouache to be the best brand of the highest quality. Winsor & Newton started producing Designers Gouache in 1935 and offers an extensive selection of colours.

Gouache is in my opinion a misunderstood medium. Often called Designer Gouache, it’s a paint that is often thought of as suitable only for graphic design. However, it has a long history as an artistic medium with artists such as Picasso and Miro making great use of the medium.

Due to the wide range of pigments used in the range it is necessary to use a series system. The series indicates the relative price of the colour and is determined mainly by the cost of the pigment. Designers Gouache has four series with Series 1 being the least expensive and Series 4 the most expensive.

Over the years I tried different colours from their selection and I eventually came to have a selection of colours I use in my pallette. I try to use colours that have an excellent lightfast rating, and I prefer opaque pigments as opposed to transparent or semi transparent. I always use a Robert E. Wood watercolour palette, and I squeeze the colours into the well of my palette and let them dry into a cake.