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Technique over Tools

A good artist will produce better art with cheap crayons than a bad artist with the absolute best oils, acrylics, or watercolors. That’s just a fact. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows this.

Just like give a guy like Carlos Santana or Jimi Hendrix a cheap guitar and have him battle a newbie guitarist. We all know who we’d rather hear, even with the cheap guitar.

That said, we’re all searching for the right tools. Watercolor artists are the craziest. We’re always looking for the right surface, whether it’s painting on wood, the best paper, or even experimenting on canvas (yes, the watercolors will slide right off so you’ll have to use some watercolor ground). We’re always looking for the right paints, the right brushes, etc.

The same goes with guitarists. Sometimes you’ll see a guitarist who falls in love with one guitar and uses it forever. Like Brian May of Queen or BB King with Lucille.

Usually though, guitarists try out every guitar and amp they could get their hands on.

Technique is more important than tools

That said, sure it’s fun to play around with new tools. But the art comes down to you. Are you any good? What can you produce?

That’s where I strongly suggest that you put the time in.

Art is just another craft. The more you work with leather, the better you get at working with leather.

The more you work on your art, the better you get on your art.

Sure, having nice tools helps. However, you simply acquire them over time.

Besides, you’ll find that the more known you get, the more people will give you their stuff to try, or even pay you to use their stuff.

My newest

I love quality watercolor and gouache paints as much as the next artist. Still for me, good paints are good paints. So far, I love M Graham gouache and I love Daniel Smith and Winsor and Newton watercolors the best. I have Sennelier watercolors coming in the mail simply because I want to try painting with honey based watercolors.

This latest piece though is with the first three I mentioned. I’ve gotten to the point where I could make good paintings even with cheap watercolors and mediocre paper. Sure, I’d rather have the good tools. But like this whole article is about – technique over tools.

A good artist with cheap tools smokes a bad artist with the best tools. We all know this.

Selene and Hecate
Selene (Moon Goddess) and Hecate (on the asteroid)
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Painting with honey watercolors, Part I

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I love M Graham gouache. But, for a completely different reason than anyone else.

I’m nearly blind. I literally need my glasses to find my glasses. Do you remember Velma from Scoobie Doo? If so, you probably remember when she’d lose her glasses. She’d be feeling the floor trying to find them.

That’s me. I can’t see shit without them. I have to feel around the house until I find them.

I cannot drive without my glasses either. No way. I’d kill somebody.

So, what does that have to do with watercolors?

Well, I also have the controversial opinion that high end watercolors are high end watercolors. I’m not a watercolor brand stickler. I’m not a brand stickler for anything though. Guitars. Cars. A good tool is a good tool. The brand is secondary.

Smell

So, going back to not being able to see shit, my other major senses are way better than the average person’s. It’s because I rely on them more.

No matter how beautiful a woman is, if she stinks, that’s three strikes. I can’t get past that.

And on the flip side, I love a good perfume. I only have two bottles of cologne – a Tom Ford and a Versace. Yes, they’re expensive but they make me smell good.

Likewise, a +1 to a woman who knows how to smell good.

Honey based watercolor and gouaches
Honey based watercolor and gouaches

M Graham gouache smells good. So, Blick stores had a killer sale on this French made Sennelier watercolor paints. They’re honey based. So what does Roman do? He buys them.

The next question – how do they paint?

Well, first I have to paint with them. Part II coming up in 30 days as I want serious time with them before an honest review.