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SS:013 Making a traveling studio!


Hard to believe in two days I'll be biking off on a 75 day adventure across the country! I think I'm as prepared as I can get at this point. I'm in that stage where there are endless ideas for what I could've done to be prepared or should've done. Welp, better just try to be ready for anything to happen that's my plan!

One of the few parts of the trip I spent plenty of time considering was my art supplies!!

After weeks of debate over whether oils would be suitable for this bike touring journey I decided against them. The thought of carrying hazardous environmental materials for a medium that didn't dry quickly seemed like a bad idea. Lately I've seen a lot of impressive gouache work and have tried them out a few times over the the years. I like them for the most part. There are two things gouache lack compared to oils in my opinion:

1) Intensity of color

Oil have such a rich and deep color sense that no other paint media has in my experiences. This is why their my pride and joy for making art!

2) Surface quality

Oils give a luscious sheen (when wet/varnished) that acrylics, gouache, watercolor lack. But heh, gouache is similar to oils in the layering capabilities (working light colors over dark) Also, I've seen artists paint glazes with gouache similar to that in oil painting. Glazing is when painters layers super thin layers of color over previously dried or close to dry layers of paint. Glazing can create very exciting depth effects!

So here are my supplies that will live in my packs for the next two months. I can't wait to flip through a filled sketchbook of notes and paintings, especially those done en plein air (in open air, or on location from life) MOUNTAINS!! Ahh can't wait!

My sketchbook is a Moleskine 72 page Watercolor sketchbook (6" x 9") that I've already worked in and have laid acrylic grounds (backgrounds) in on some pages for a starting value/color. Let me know if you like the gray and yellow color choices too!

The gouache paints are made from Windsor and Newton or M. Graham or Utretcht. Colors by brand are:

1) Titanium White - WN

2) Ivory Black - WN

3) Alizarin Crimson - MG

4) Yellow Ochre - MG

5) Ultramarine Blue - MG

6) Burnt Umber - U

I wanted to have a mix of brands to see differences in paint consistency. Eventually I'll try out the same color from various brands. So far I'm impressed with the pigment intensity of MG and WN. Haven't tried U yet. Follow me on Instagram over the next few months to see what I paint!

Brushes I'll be taking are a mix of watercolor/acrylic shorthandles that are Round, Flat, and kind of Squirrel Mop shaped. Some I've had for years (brown handle) others like the yellow brushes were newer cheap purchases over the summer. And then two plastic water brushes that haven't been tested yet.

I also have a small selection of random watercolor pencils from Derwent that I've used once so far. I figured these will give me bold colors for small details that I can't produce with the gouache. Or just for quick sketching!

Then I have a few graphite pencils H, HB, 2B, and a water soluable 8B! I love using the 8B so far!

My palette will be the casing of the pencil holder, I hope it will do. I've used similar surfaces for acrylic and watercolors so I don't see why not. If you have any questions or comments feel free to let me know! Thanks for reading and I hope you're excited for what will end up in the sketchbook too!

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