Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of watercolour paper do you use?

"I use Arches 300 lb. Cold Press paper. I cut it to size (an inch larger than I want to paint on and tape it to a board with Scotch Brand 3 M Masking Tape on all four sides. Then I wash the paper surface with warm water and a wash cloth and then I allow the paper to dry horizontally. Sometimes I use Winsor and Newton 300 lb Cold Press paper because it doesn't require pre-washing but the colours tend to sink in slightly more than on the Arches and I find the Arches a lot easier to scrub.

 

What brand of watercolour paint do you use?

" For thirty years, I have used Winsor and Newton Select List Watercolours .  My main colours are Paynes Gray and Burnt Umber (plus some Winsor Violet) for the darks and Indigo and Sepia for even more intense darks. I use Paynes Gray and Winsor Yellow Light for subtle greens and Winsor Blue (Green Shade) or Prussian Blue and Winsor Yellow Light for sharper greens. Since I went painting with Denise Comeau, I love Sap Green for its' intensity. How did I ever manage without Sap Green? I also couldn't live without Winsor Violet. I throw it in everywhere; sky, shadow, darks.

For light sky-blues I like the Cerelean Blue by Horadam, (Scmincke). It's a lot more transparent than the Winsor and Newton Cerelean. I also use Ultramarine Blue (green shade) or Permanent Blue by Winsor and Newton, as well as Winsor Blue (green shade) and Winsor Blue (red shade). Of course nothing replaces Prussian Blue completely. Is it obvious that blue is my favourite colour?

For reds, I have permanent Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red Medium and Winsor Red. I do use Permanent Rose but I am searching for an even more intense pink that is also fully light fast.

For Yellows, I use Naples Yellow for glazing or to make transparent colours opaque. My main yellow is Winsor Yellow light and I also use Winsor Yellow Deep or Cadmium Yellow med."

 

Where do you buy your supplies?

 

The internet has made shopping around very easy.  I usually compare Curry’s Art Supplies and also Above Ground Art Supplies and order where ever it is cheapest.   Unfortunately Cheap Joes Art Supplies that used to be my regular source, no longer ships with reasonable shipping fees and  so I no longer order from them.

 

I love Daniel Smith located in Seattle Washington. It has a fabulous catalogue and a great line of their own paints and brushes which are all terrific and of professional quality. Unfortunately the shipping is now always a factor.  If you do end up ordering from the US make sure that your order is sent by mail not courier or you end up with a $ 40 brokerage fee in addition.

 

 

Where in the world do you like to paint?

 

I love every place I've been: even Quirpon Island north of Saint Anthony, Newfoundland. I was there all alone for 12 days one June and it snowed a bit every day! Of all the places I've painted, I think I love Italy the best. I love the passion and speed of life, the yellows, and the food. I loved England (partly because I can communicate with the people and read the signs) but mainly because I feel totally comfortable there traveling and painting by myself. I traveled there three years in a row, making sure I had at least one day in the National Gallery in London each trip. I particularly love Spain (perhaps because it is warm and the wine and food is so good). The mountain village of Frigliana was home to me three Marches in a row.  I have enjoyed painting in Thailand and in the SouthWest USA and South America is a real favourite because it‘s affordable and picturesque.  

I have also painted in India, New Zealand, Japan, Turkey, Italy and Greece and this year, 2016, in Ghana, Africa.  The reason for my international painting trips is just to return to my home, Nova Scotia, with fresh eyes and new ideas. On international trips, I always paint in watercolours just for ease of transportation.  In Nova Scotia, sometimes I paint in oil, watercolour or acrylic.  The constant is always trying to capture beauty and light.