What to do with your art

I just saw the saddest thing. I was watching a DIY video on YouTube of a lady doing pretty much what I've done with my watercolours, gouache, and pigment sticks, and lawdy mama, the people who shat on her for having more than a 12 colour minimal palette, was unholy. The arrogance of it was saddening. If you ever wonder why some non-artists hate artists, or why some artists hate each other, there's one reason; some of 'em really get up on the high horse. It's nauseating.

Should you have a large palette? Should you stick to a basic one? Should you multi-brand, or stick with one? Should you learn to mix paints from raw pigments and binder? Should you buy convenience colours or only the basic mass tones?

You know what you should do with art? What you want. That's it. Do what you want. Do what makes you happy. If you want to stick to the six basic primaries, then go to it. If you want to buy every single Daniel Smith Primatek, all the Senneliers, all the M. Grahams, all the Van Goghs, Turners, Mission Golds, Rembrandts, Paul Rubens, Schminkes, QORs, Holbeins, and Winsor & Newtons, then go to town. Go nuts. I would personally applaud you, but I'm biased.

Is it necessary to own all those paints? No, but if you like colour, options, and have the money, then have at it. I would if I could. My personal dent in the watercolour medium is very small, but I have at least one or two from almost all the brands I've mentioned above - except for Mission Gold, M. Graham, Paul Rubens, and Schminke - I have Winsor & Newton gouache, though; also Jack Richeson and Turner. Believe me when I say that I'd make as much a fuss over watercolour and gouache as I do over coloured pencils if I could. Well, maybe not quite the same amount of fuss, but you get the idea. It is a good idea to start off with a small palette while you're learning, this is true, but you don't need to stop there.

One thing that is particularly true of watercolours, I've noticed, is that every brand could have a version of Indigo (for example) but no two will look or behave the same way. Every company has a different way of dealing with pigments, different binder mixes they use. Sennellier and M. Graham, for example, use honey-based binders. QOR doesn't even use gum arabic like all the others do. So, sure, I have two different indigos, and they are quite visibly different from other. I could learn to mix paints if I wanted to. In fact, I do know how, I just can't be arsed, and am happy to buy pre-mixed paints. This means I get consistency, though, which can't be said of any attempts I've ever made to mix my own colours.

Are there rules? Sure, but most of them are fluid. Like I said, what you should do, is what you want.

2018 12 08 - 02:29

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