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by Patricia A. Mark and Deb Shaw

Olga Eysymontt will be teaching two botanical art workshops this summer at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens (LA Arboretum) through the Extension Program at Otis College of Art and Design.

The first is a two-day drawing and painting workshop, “Heirloom Tomatoes in Watercolor/Colored Pencil. The focus for this workshop will be techniques for conveying the perception of light and shadow, mixing color and continuous tone. Prior experience in drawing botanical subject matter is helpful. A supply list is on the Otis workshop registration site (included on the link below):
Heirloom Tomatoes in Watercolor/Colored Pencil
Saturday, July 7, and Sunday, July 8, 2018
9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Science Lab Classroom
Cost: $185
LA Arboretum & Botanic Garden (link to map)

The second two-day drawing and painting workshop, “Eggplants in Watercolor/Colored Pencil,” will be held in August. This workshop also will cover the techniques for conveying light and shadow, mixing color, and continuous tone. Changing the subject matter from tomatoes to a variety of eggplants allows exploration of different techniques and effects. A supply list is on the Otis workshop registration site (included on the link below):
Eggplants in Watercolor/Colored Pencil
Saturday, August 18, and Sunday, August 19, 2018
9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Oak Room
Cost: $185
LA Arboretum & Botanic Garden (link to map)

Both workshops will be held indoors at the LA Arboretum. Class details will be sent to registrants. There are still a few seats remaining. Take one or both classes!

Questions? Call Otis Extension at 310-665-6850, or email extension@otis.edu

by Jude Wiesenfeld and Deb Shaw

Kathie Miranda, Strelitzia spp., Bird of Paradise, colored pencil on film. © 2016.

Kathie Miranda, Strelitzia spp., Bird of Paradise, colored pencil on film. © 2016.

Kathie Miranda had been slated to give a workshop at the Weird, Wild & Wonderful Symposium at The Huntington, but unfortunately couldn’t make it due to a sudden family emergency. BAGSC is pleased to announce that Kathie will be coming to Southern California to teach Colored Pencil on Film at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in January, 2017:

Tuesday, January 24 – Thursday, January 26, 2017
9:30 am – 3:30 pm each day
Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Bamboo Room and Oak Room
Maximum Registration: 16 students

Cost, BAGSC Members: $300
Non-Members: $330

BAGSC Special Discount: receive 10% off

BAGSC is offering a special discount for Kathie’s workshop:

  • New BAGSC members receive a 10% discount for a total cost of $270
  • Current BAGSC members registering for the workshop BEFORE December 12, 2016 receive a 10% discount for a total cost of $270

Mylar is a wonderful media for colored pencil, and allows the artist to work on both sides of the film. Visit the new BAGSC website to view the full workshop description, costs, directions, and information, and to download a PDF materials list: http://bagsc.org/index.php/classes/kathie-miranda

Kathie’s Weird, Wild & Wonderful Symposium workshop filled immediately, so don’t delay on this opportunity to learn Kathie’s techniques and to receive a substantial discount!

About the Instructor

Kathie Miranda is an award-winning artist, juror and educator of botanical art. She teaches at The Art Students League, NYC and the New York Botanical Garden. She is an active member of the Connecticut Watercolor Society and the Colored Pencil Society of America.

by Janice Sharp and Bonnie Born Ash, posted by Deb Shaw

People's Choice first place award went to Estelle DeRidder’s, Fuller’s Teasel, Dipsacus fullonum, colored pencil on paper, © 2015 Estelle DeRidder, all rights reserved.

People’s Choice first place award went to Estelle DeRidder’s, Fuller’s Teasel, Dipsacus fullonum, colored pencil on paper, © 2015 Estelle DeRidder, all rights reserved.

During the opening reception for the adjunct exhibition by the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California (BAGSC), friends, family and the public were able to vote for their personal favorites. The votes are in and the ribbons have been hung for the last three days of the show, Friday, 7 August – Sunday, 9 August.

People's Choice second place award went to Lori Vreeke's, Field Pumpkin, Cucurbita pepo var.  ovifera, colored pencil on paper, © 2015 Lori Vreeke, all rights reserved.

People’s Choice second place award went to Lori Vreeke’s, Field Pumpkin, Cucurbita pepo var. ovifera, colored pencil on paper, © 2015 Lori Vreeke, all rights reserved.

First prize went to Estelle DeRidder’s Fuller’s Teasel with 16 votes. Second prize went to Lori Vreeke’s Field Pumpkin with 12 votes and third prize to Asuka Hishika’s Black Daikon Radish with 11 votes.

There were a surprisingly large number of votes cast (191) and the votes were distributed throughout all the artworks in the show. It is clear that there are many different themes and media that appeal to different viewers, but everyone agrees that the chosen works are fabulous!

People's Choice third place award went to Asuka Hishiki's, Black Daikon Radish (Kuromaru Daikon), Raphanus sativus, watercolor on paper, © 2015 Asuka Hishiki, all rights reserved.

People’s Choice third place award went to Asuka Hishiki’s, Black Daikon Radish (Kuromaru Daikon), Raphanus sativus, watercolor on paper, © 2015 Asuka Hishiki, all rights reserved.

by Deb Shaw

Close on the heels of the “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” Symposium at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California (BAGSC), opened their supplemental exhibition of botanical oddities, in the Brody Botanical Center’s Banta Hall at The Huntington.

The reception for the BAGSC adjunct exhibition was packed with family, friends, colleagues and the public. Weird, Wild & Wonderful Second New York Botanical Garden Triennial Exhibition was also open for viewing and enthusiastically received. Photo © Gayle Uyehara, 2015.

The reception for the BAGSC adjunct exhibition was packed with family, friends, colleagues and the public. Weird, Wild & Wonderful Second New York Botanical Garden Triennial Exhibition was also open for viewing and enthusiastically received. Photo © Gayle Uyehara, 2015.

The opening reception on Saturday, 1 August was well-attended and great fun. BAGSC members have been rotating shifts, providing botanical art demonstrations and talking with the public all week, including:

  • Bonnie Born Ash
  • Cristina Baltayian, colored pencil
  • Nancy Beckham, colored pencil
  • Melanie Campbell-Carter, colored pencil and watercolor
  • Jan Clouse
  • Diane Daly, watercolor
  • Estelle DeRidder
  • Kate Gaman
  • Cynthia Jackson
  • Susan Jackson
  • Clara Josephs, watercolor
  • Suzanne Kuuskmae
  • Tania Marien
  • Patricia Mark
  • Terri Munroe, graphite and watercolor
  • Kathy Morgan, watercolor
  • Marilyn Parrino
  • Lesley Randall
  • Gilly Shaeffer, watercolor
  • Mitsuko Schultz, watercolor
  • Janice Sharp, metal point and colored pencil
  • Deborah Shaw, graphite on vellum
  • Beth Stone
  • Leslie Walker
  • Jude Wiesenfeld

The BAGSC adjunct exhibition features 72 artworks by 37 members, including: Bonnie Born Ash, Cristina Baltayian, Nancy Beckham, Melanie Campbell-Carter, Jan Clouse, Diane Daly, Estelle DeRidder, Nancy Grubb, Asuka Hishiki, Cynthia Jackson, Susan Jackson, Clara Josephs, Joan Keesey, Suzanne Kuuskmae, Teri Kuwahara, Patricia Mark, Lee McCaffree, Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, Kathy Morgan, Terri Munroe, Alyse Ochniak, Marilyn Parrino, Dolores Pope, Kathlyn  Powell, Lesley Randall, Veronica Raymond, Robyn Reilman, Norma Sarkin, Mitsuko Schultz, Gilly Shaeffer, Janice Sharp, Deborah Shaw, Beth Stone, Gayle Uyehara, Lori Vreeke, Leslie Walker, Jude Wiesenfeld.

An exhibition of Botanical Oddities, illustrations by the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California will continue each day through Sunday, August 9, 2015, 10:30 am – 4:30 pm in The Frances Lasker Brody Botanical Center at The Huntington.

The Weird, Wild & Wonderful: The New York Botanical Garden Second Triennial Exhibition exhibition also will be open each day, Friday – Sunday, August 7 – 9, plus will continue to be open on weekends only until August 23.

Exhibition information and hours posted at huntington.org

Join us before the BAGSC paintings are whisked away!

by Janice Sharp, posted by Deb Shaw

Exploring stencil leaf rubbings in graphite and colored pencil at The Huntington.

Exploring stencil leaf rubbings in graphite and colored pencil at The Huntington. BAGSC artists are demonstrating for the public August 1 – 9 in conjunction with our group show of botanical oddities by the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California. “Weird, Wild & Wonderful,” The New York Botanical Garden Second Triennial Exhibition, will be open each day through August 9, and then weekends only through August 23. Photo © Janice Sharp, 2015.

Today was a great family day at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. All afternoon groups of children were attracted to the stencils, pencils and paper we had set out to try their hand at preparing botanical themed rubbings.

Children had fun creating leaf and flower rubbings from stencil templates. They explored the different graphite pencil hardnesses and the effect that could be achieved with light and hard pressure on the pencils. Some ventured into color pencils choosing a favorite color to create shapes or writing their name to claim ownership of their creations. One adventurous artist started with graphite to define outlines then filled in with color.

While most of the budding artists were very young, there were also older “children” who wanted to create a work of art.

I had a fun afternoon giving basic instructions on how to do a rubbing, although most of my time seemed to be spent handing out fresh pieces of paper and sharpening pencils.

Exploring stencil leaf rubbings in graphite and colored pencil at The Huntington. Photo © Janice Sharp, 2015.

Exploring stencil leaf rubbings in graphite and colored pencil at The Huntington. Photo © Janice Sharp, 2015.

A number of parents had to use all their persuasive powers to convince their children that The Huntington offered activities other than rubbings and they should explore them before the close of day.

by Suzanne Kuuskmae, posted by Deb Shaw

Cristina Baltayian will be teaching a day-long (10 am – 4:00 pm) botanical colored pencil techniques class on July 11, 2015 at Destination: Art in Old Torrance. The cost will be $90 for the day; you can bring your lunch or we will order out.

Contact Suzanne Kuuskmae to sign up or get further information. Come enjoy our comfortable, co-op studio/gallery for the day.

We will have a second session on August 8!

Destination: Art is located at:
1815 West 213th Street, Suite 135
Torrance, California 90501
(310) 742-3192
Destination: Art Map and Directions

by Jan Clouse, posted by Deb Shaw

Quercus agrifolia, Coast Live Oak. colored pencil by Jan Clouse, © 2105, all rights reserved.

Quercus agrifolia, Coast Live Oak. colored pencil by Jan Clouse, © 2105, all rights reserved.

I am perpetually drawn to two particular subjects: eucalyptus and oaks. Two varieties of oaks are native to Santa Barbara. The Coast Live Oak grows everywhere in town, in fact, mighty examples anchor each end of my block. And over the Santa Ynez range of mountains the Valley Oak dominates the landscape. This particular branch came from a tree about 3 blocks from my house with summer acorns, green and fresh. For me, part of its charm was the sprinkling of empty brown caps from the year before.

Congrats, Jan!

The Botanical Art Exhibition at Filoli is open Tuesday, March 24 through Sunday, June 7, 2015. Visit their website for hours.

by Deb Shaw

BAGSC members Margaret Best and Melanie Campbell-Carter have been accepted into the 18th Annual International American Society of Botanical Artists at The Horticultural Society of New York.

Margaret Best, Echinacea purpurea or purple cone flower, © 2015, All rights reserved.

Margaret Best, Echinacea purpurea or purple cone flower, © 2015, All rights reserved.

Margaret’s 8.5 x 11 watercolour on paper is of a Canadian native Echinacea. She writes, “There are two Echinacea natives species in Canada. The one shown is Echinacea purpurea or purple cone flower—the species widely harvested for medicinal use. It has also become popular as a cultivated flower in Canadian gardens, as it brings a final splash of colour at the end of summer and into the fall. The specimens I used came from my daughter’s beautiful front garden that she inherited from the previous green-fingered owner of their new home in Ontario, Canada.”

 

 

 

 

 

Melanie Campbell-Carter, colored pencil, Pseudobombax ellipticum, shaving brush tree, © 2015, all rights reserved.

Melanie Campbell-Carter, colored pencil, Pseudobombax ellipticum, shaving brush tree, © 2015, all rights reserved.

Melanie submitted a Pseudobombax ellipticum, also known as the shaving brush tree. She writes, “The tree was in its full blooming glory this past March on the island of Kauai. Depicting the sturdy strength of its stems and buds, and the delicate profusion of vivid pink stamens, was not only an enormous challenge but also a fantastic and joyful process. As we spent our days and weeks together, I developed a great affection for my ‘shaving brush.’  I am so thrilled to have been able to translate a gorgeous, living thing to paper in such a way that it continues to speak to others!”

Congrats to both of you!

Are there any more BAGSC artists who have been accepted? If so, please send me an email with an image.

 

 

 

A Little About the International ASBA/Hort Exibition

Each fall, the Annual International American Society of Botanical Artists at The Horticultural Society of New York exhibition is held at the Hort in mid-town Manhattan. It is the ASBA’s longest running collaboration. Past exhibitions are posted on the ASBA’s website; this year’s exhibition will be posted as well.

The Hort’s Gallery encourages gardeners and artists alike to appreciate the creative intersection between art and nature. Exhibitions showcase emerging and established contemporary artists inspired by horticulture, botany, landscape, and the environment.

 

by Michael Best, posted by Deb Shaw

Fiji flower.

Fiji flower.

This botanical art retreat ticks all the right boxes . . . tropical location, abundance of exotic flowers and fruit, acclaimed teacher, great accommodation, all meals, great facilities dedicated to the arts, lots to see and do — and all at a great price!

Getting there couldn’t be easier with Fiji Airways flying directly from LAX.

Imagine seven days in this tropical paradise where the biggest challenge is going to be selecting a specimen from among the exotic native orchids, colorful ginger plants and fascinating tropical fruit. Work in water color or colored pencil for three hours each morning and then relax or sight-see in the afternoon. Or, if you prefer, paint all day — your choice.

Take a non-painting partner if you wish. There is more than enough for them to see and do while you paint.

One of many beautiful beaches on Fiji.

One of many beautiful beaches on Fiji.

This 19th to 26th September, 2015 retreat is being organized by Paradise Courses of Sydney. All the details, including the schedule and reservation information, can be found on their website.

Find out more about Margaret’s art and teaching at www.bestbotanical.com and the retreat at www.dakuresort.com. A PDF brochure about the resort can be downloaded here: Daku Resort Savusavu eBrochure.

Imagine . . .

One view from the Daku Resort in Fiji.

One view from the Daku Resort in Fiji.

by Deb Shaw

We’re pleased to confirm the locations for Eileen Sorg’s BAGSC-sponsored workshop, “COLORED PENCIL STEW.”

"A Bug In Your Ear," mixed media by Eileen Sorg, © 2014, all rights reserved.

“A Bug In Your Ear,” mixed media by Eileen Sorg, © 2014, all rights reserved.

The workshop on Monday, March 9–Tuesday, March 10, 2015 will be held at the Los Angeles Arboretum.

The workshop on Thursday, March 12–Friday, March 13, 2015 will be held at the Santiago Nature Center, in the Santiago Park Nature Reserve, freeway-close off of Memory Lane in Santa Ana, Orange County (near the Main Place mall).

Leslie Walker reports a good number of deposits have already come in, so for those of you who were waiting to see which location matched which dates, it’s time to send in your deposit. Maps, times and materials lists will be emailed once full payment has been received.

For convenience, here’s the “save-your-place” deposit information:

Costs will be $250.00 for a two-day workshop for BAGSC and Colored Pencil Society members, $275.00 for non-members. Please send a $50.00 non-refundable deposit, made out to BAGSC, to Leslie Walker and be sure to indicate whether you would prefer the March 9 − 10 dates at the Los Angeles Arboretum, OR the March 12 − 13 dates in Orange County at the Santiago Nature Center.

Want to take both workshops? Please send a $100.00 non-refundable deposit and let Leslie know that as well.

by Suzanne Kuuskmae, posted by Deb Shaw

Botanical colored pencil artist and sought-after teacher, Wendy Hollender will be here for a two-day workshop:
April 1 – 2, 2015

She will be stopping in Torrance at Destination: Art on her way back from her two-week class in Kauai. The cost will be $200 for the two days, and as space is going to be limited so that we can really get her full attention, please send a deposit check of $100 made out to Destination: Art to Suzanne Kuuskmae.

This will hold your spot with the balance due 30 days before the workshop. Her last class here a few years back was a sellout and very popular.

by Deb Shaw

It seems like it should be far away, but next year will be here before we know it!

As announced in the “Save the Date” article on the BAGSC blog, and in the email blast that went out to BAGSC members on November 26, 2014, Eileen Sorg will be teaching a BAGSC-sponsored workshop, “COLORED PENCIL STEW.” We are anticipating a lot of interest from BAGSC and Colored Pencil Society Members, and expect the workshops to fill quickly. We have made arrangements to potentially hold two, two-day workshops (same content for each) if enrollments warrant.

Dates:
Monday, March 9 and Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13, 2015

"A Bug In Your Ear," mixed media by Eileen Sorg, © 2014, all rights reserved.

A Bug In Your Ear, mixed media by Eileen Sorg, © 2014, all rights reserved.

Costs will be $250.00 for a two-day workshop for BAGSC and Colored Pencil Society members, $275.00 for non-members. Please send a $50.00 non-refundable deposit, made out to BAGSC, to Leslie Walker and be sure to indicate whether you would prefer the March 9 − 10, OR the March 12 − 13 dates. Please understand that we cannot guarantee dates until deposits are made for the minimum numbers for each section.

Want to take both workshops? Please send a $100.00 non-refundable deposit and let Leslie know that as well.

We are finalizing plans for one location in the Orange County area and one in the Pasadena area. Details about locations and final payment due dates will be available and publicized soon.

by Deb Shaw

"A Bug In Your Ear," mixed media by Eileen Sorg, © 2014, all rights reserved.

“A Bug In Your Ear,” mixed media by Eileen Sorg, © 2014, all rights reserved.

Save the dates for the week of March 9, 2015, when Eileen Sorg comes to teach a BAGSC-sponsored workshop, “COLORED PENCIL STEW” in Southern California.

This two-day workshop will teach you how to use pen and ink, watercolor, and colored pencil together to create richly detailed pieces of art. This mixed media approach allows for a quick build up of color and value while still leaving room for the beautiful detail and control of colored pencil. You will learn watercolor and colored pencil application tips, and how to extract the best qualities of each medium in this fun and informative workshop.

We are anticipating a high demand for Eileen’s workshop, and so may offer two, two-day classes back-to-back if the numbers are there. Member fee rates will be offered to BAGSC members and members of the Colored Pencil Society.

Watch this blog for updates on how to register (coming soon)!

About the Instructor
Eileen Sorg’s work is collected internationally and is known for its complexity and vibrancy. Her students appreciate her “full disclosure” method of teaching, where no information is held back. Eileen is a Signature member of the Colored Pencil Society, the Society of Animal Artists, and the International Guild of Realism.

by Lori Vreeke, posted by Deb Shaw

Beech Leaves, coloured pencil by Ann Swan. © 2013, all rights reserved.

Beech Leaves, coloured pencil by Ann Swan. © 2013, all rights reserved.

Ann Swan will come across the pond to teach a four-day coloured pencil workshop: Wednesday, September 25 – Saturday, September 28, 2013, in the Oak Room at the Los Angeles Arboretum. The class will meet from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm, and is limited to 16 students. The cost is $440.00.

This workshop will focus on techniques used in Botanical Art Illustrations working in Color Pencil. Workshop will include lecture, demonstrations, and one-on-one critiques. All skill levels are welcome, though some colored pencil experience is recommended as is drawing and sketching of botanicals.

Students need to bring their own materials (list will be supplied). Supplies also can be pre-ordered, and a limited number of supplies will be for sale at the workshop.

Complementary tea, coffee and light snacks will be available in the classroom; food is available in the Peacock Cafe for purchase.

Ann works primarily in graphite and coloured pencil and is well known for her exquisitely fine detail, vibrant colours and strong contemporary style She is passionate about coloured pencils, believing they are easy to master, forgiving and accessible so that even a complete beginner can quite quickly produce work of quality.

Ann’s many exhibitions include: The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, Hunt Institute’s 8th International Exhibition, Society of Botanical Artists, Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows. Her work is represented in the prestigious Shirley Sherwood Collection and features in many private collections around the world.

  • RHS Silver Gilt Medal
  • RHS Gold Medal 4X
  • Silver Medal 14th World Orchid
  • SBA President’s Award
  • SBA Suzanne Lucas Memorial Award
  • UKCPS 3rd Best in Show
  • UKCPS People’s Choice Coloured Pencil
  • UKCPS People’s Choice Mixed Media (shared) for ‘Merlot’

A deposit of $150.00 holds a place in the class; the final amount is due by September 1, 2013. Questions? Contact Lori Vreeke via email.

Oriental Poppies, coloured pencil by Ann Swan, 36 x 75 cms. © 2013, all rights reserved.

Oriental Poppies, coloured pencil by Ann Swan, 36 x 75 cms. © 2013, all rights reserved.

by Deb Shaw and others

There are always new tempting art supplies available, but this year there seems to have been a cascade of new art products that make traveling with art supplies a breeze. Below are just a few of our current favorites. Disclaimer: I’ve included some links and prices where it’s easy and I know the resource. I haven’t done extensive research on who carries what, or who has the best prices. If you click on any of the links below, you’ll go to the exact product page for that website, rather than the home page.

Do you have some favorite new products? Write a review and let me know and we’ll put together another column in the future.

Derwent Carry-all

Closed Derwent Carry-all

Closed Derwent Carry-all, image courtesy of the Ken Bromley website.

Not yet available in the US, this is the best portable art studio I’ve found! I can fit everything I need for pencil and watercolor artwork, all into one 10″ x 8″ x 4″ canvas satchel. Everything I need now lives permanently in my Carry-all, whether I’m working in the studio, or I’m on the road or in classes.

The Carry-all comes with three “leaves”, held in place by six small notebook-style snap rings. The leaves snap in and out, depending on your travel requirements, and have elastic straps to hold pencils, pens, brushes, etc.

Open Carry-all

Open Carry-all, image courtesy of the Ken Bromley website.

There’s a zippered mesh pocket on the inside front, and a strap on the inside back to hold an A5 sketchbook and other necessary items.

An external pocket, carry handles and a detachable shoulder strap complete the kit. The Derwent Carry-all is available at Ken Bromley Art Supplies (among other UK art suppliers), on sale now for about $26.00 (£15.99). Deb is putting together a BAGSC group order. Watch your email for an offer to participate!

Invisi Lightweight Display Easel

Invisi Lightweight Display Easel

Invisi Lightweight Display Easel, image © Ken Bromley Art Supplies website.

This one is a Ken Bromley exclusive that I’ve tested extensively and will be ordering a lot more (BAGSC members watch for the email to participate).

Originally designed as portable display easel for art exhibitions, the Invisi Easel is made from white corrugated plastic (the same material out of which the Post Office constructs its boxes). Reusable, they lay flat for storage and transport, and snap together in one easy motion to set up.

In addition to using the Invisi Easel to set up an artwork display, I’ve also been using one as an easel in art classes. My neck and back no longer allow me to work hunched over a table, and I work sitting upright at an easel in my studio. The need for lightweight packing for airline travel, however, doesn’t allow me to drag my easel along for art classes.

I’ve been setting up my Invisi Easel, adhering it to the table with a bit of kneaded eraser or tape (so it won’t scoot away as I work). I have my paper (or vellum) on a piece of foam core as I usually do, and I’m ready to draw or paint. No, you can’t put a lot of pressure on the painting as you work, but I haven’t had a problem with painting or drawing. And my back and neck are grateful as well.

The Invisi Easel is about $9.11 each (£5.65), or approximately $40.24 for a 5 pack (£24.95), or approximately $72.50 (£44.95) for a 10 pack. If enough BAGSC members are interested, a pack of 50 is available for about $272.00 (£168.50).

Porcelain Tinting Saucer

Porcelain Tinting Saucer

Porcelain Tinting Saucer, courtesy of Ken Bromley website

This item comes from BAGSC members Elaine Searle and Pat Mark (who discovered it in Elaine’s class). Again, it’s another one of those things we don’t seem to be able to get here in the US yet. A small (only 3.3″ diameter) white porcelain saucer, it has four divisions for mixing paint and is easy to pack. It’s about $3.60 each from Ken Bromley (£2.25). This too will be on our order list for BAGSC member who want to participate, so watch your email.

Koh-I-Noor Watercolor Wheel Set

Koh-I-Noor Watercolor Wheel

Koh-I-Noor Watercolor Wheel Set, image courtesy of the Dick Blick website

Thank you to Tania Marien for discovering this gem at the SCAD bookstore at the GNSI conference in Savannah, Georgia. These are available all over, including Dick Blick and my local art store (where I bought mine). Each wheel measures 3-1/4″ in diameter, and set comes with four wheels (trays) that stack and screw together. Each tray holds six colors (seven if you use the middle space, for a total of 24 – 32 colors. The transparent cover can be used for mixing, if you don’t mind mixing in plastic.

Koh-I-Noor Watercolor Wheel Set

Koh-I-Noor Watercolor Wheel Set, courtesy of Dick Blick website

Be forewarned; it’s not easy to pry, soak and scrape the original colors out of the pans. Once you do, however, your own palette neatly and easily fills the spaces. I created labels with the paint names and information for the underside of each well. Two sets gave me enough space for my entire palette, plus extra spaces for that squirt of color that I didn’t know I needed from a friend in class.

Faber-Castell Clic & Go Water Pot

Faber-Castell Clic & Go Water Pot, courtesy of Dick Blick's website

Faber-Castell Clic & Go Water Pot, courtesy of Dick Blick’s website

Expanded water pot, courtesy of Dick Blick's website

Expanded water pot, courtesy of Dick Blick’s website

Everyone seemed to discover this one at the same time! Easy to find everywhere (at Dick Blick for $3.86 — 26 percent off list), this ingenious water pot collapses for travel (or for a small amount of water) and then expands to hold at least double the amount. Easy to clean, and nicely designed scallops on the rim are the perfect holders for brushes.

I use two.

Caran d’Ache Pencils

Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 Colored Pencils, courtesy of Dick Blick's website

Caran d’Ache Luminance 6901 Colored Pencils, courtesy of Dick Blick’s website

Thank you to Margaret Best for steering me to the Caran d’Ache Luminance Lightfast colored pencils and graphite.

The Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA) worked with the American Society for Testing and Material to develop the ASTM D-6901 standards for lightfastness in colored pencils. After two years in development, the Swiss company Caran d’Ache released their Luminance 6901 Lightfast Pencil Sets: the only brand to offer 76 colors, 61 of which are in the most lightfast (Lightfastness I) category.

The chromatic range of the soft leads is very similar to the watercolor palettes used by botanical artists, and contains the highest level of pigments of any colored pencil. Additionally, the Luminance 6901 colored pencils have been awarded use of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) label, guaranteeing that the logging of the California cedar for the pencils is environmentally-friendly and socially and economically sustainable.

The colored pencils come in sets of 16, 38, and 76 from many sources in the US, including Dick Blick, Cheap Joe’s, Jerry’s Artarama, Rex Art, and more. Jerry’s Artarama is the only site I’ve seen in the US that also sells individual colored pencils, but there may be others.

Range of Caran d'Ache Grafwood Pencils, courtesy of Dick Blick's website

Range of Caran d’Ache Grafwood Pencils, courtesy of Dick Blick’s website

Caran d’Ache also offers a spectacular line of graphite: their Grafwood pencils range from HB through 9B, as well as F, H, 2H, 3H, and 4H. They also carry water-soluble graphite (Caran d’Ache Technolo Water Soluble Graphite Pencils), Grafstone Woodless Graphite Pencils, Charcoal Pencils, and Grafcube Graphite Sticks. The pencils are “color-coded” the entire length of the pencil; the harder the pencil the lighter the silvery-gray color of the barrel.

The only adjectives I can come up with to describe these pencils are the same ones I would use to describe food: luscious, buttery, smooth, creamy, all come to mind. Warning: they’re not cheap. Take a deep breath before looking at the sticker price. As far as I’m concerned, however, they’re absolutely worth it.

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