Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolours, First Look, Review

I am a full time illustrator and I love to experiment with different mediums, you will find all sorts from digital to needle felted illustrations in my books but if I had to choose one art supply for the rest of my life (please don’t ever make me do that!) then it would be watercolours and Mr Webb definitely is not as impressed as I am with my ever increasing collection of palettes.

However I have never used Japanese brand watercolours so when I was commissioned to work with The Nurture Programme on a big project I decided to treat myself to some new paints (even though the commission is actually digital, any excuse for new paints!)

I have been looking at these paints for a long time and when they arrived I was so excited to use them. They come in a very beautiful green package that makes them feel very fancy a like a real treat. All of my other paints are in metal tins.

Beautiful green box.

This comes in a few different sizes but I chose the 48 colour set because I knew that if I got a smaller set and liked them then I would want the bigger set. This is why I waited until I had a reason to celebrate, it was a big treat. But opening the box felt like Christmas! It is so beautiful inside, I was a little intimidated to even swatch them.

Swatch card in the lid.

The pans are slightly larger than full watercolour pans and there is a swatch sheet inside the lid. All of the colours look stunning straight away! I really liked that each pan is marked on the bottom with the name and number. The bottom of the box has each colour and information on too, just incase you mix them up which I really appreciate because it means that you can take out a few colours to use on your desk at a time because this beast really does take up a lot of space.

I don’t know if it is just a me thing or if it is an artist thing but there is nothing that makes me quite as happy as swatching new paints, it is like new PJs or fresh crisp bedding. One of the most amazing pleasures in this world. I always swatch on the card that comes in the box as well as on a sheet of cold press watercolour which is what I paint on most often. These paints were incredibly satisfying to paint with. They do not need a lot of water for the colour payout, they activate very easily, even the metallic which fall short in some sets.

Swatch on the paper you are likely to use.

The colours are so vibrant and so clean that the swatch card is just so beautiful to look at. I absolutely love the selection of colours. My favourites are the Rose Madder and the Imperial Violet but the whole selection is just very pleasing to look at. I did try it out though too, firstly I had a good play to see how the colours lay down and how they layer because I know that I use layers a lot in my watercolours.

Experimantations.

My experiments were fun and unplanned but was good to see how the colours blend into one another. The colours are a lot less translucent than the watercolours that I am used to. You can layer them if you use the top layer slightly thicker and more of an ink consistency but I found that if you use a lot of water then it was reactivating the colour below even once it was fully dry. This will be an interesting effect to play with in the future that is definitely different to my other paints. I also found that they don’t bleed into one another excessively and I had to use a considerable amount of water to get them to bleed into each other which is something to consider if you use a lot of wet on wet techniques in your painting.

I wanted to try them with an actual illustration since that is what I will be using the paints for, mainly for children’s picture books but also possibly for some products in the future too.

On A Tiny Journey by Samantha Webb

I did not get on well with this illustration. I had a lot of trouble because I am not use to using such vibrant colours without having to layer and layer them. I was also very spoilt for choice with the colours, this is my biggest set of colours and I just kept selecting colours that did not go together and so the finished illustration is not what I imagined to begin with. Faced with such an amazing array of colours my mind totally forgot all that I have been learning about colour theory! Some days just go like that, they can’t all be perfect and I think I definitely learnt from the experience, I need to remember to select my colours wisely before I start painting.

I also did something very random, I totally forgot about mixing my colours. I am not sure if it is because I am so used to having a mixing palette built in that I use all of the time (the box is made of card and does not have mixing wells) or if it is because the pans were so big that it didn’t seem necessary but because of this I was using the paints from pan straight to paper which is again not something that I usually do. Hopefully with these things in mind my future endeavours with these paints will be more successful than these two little bugs in an umbrella boat. I did really enjoy using the paints though, I was able to add layers even though they were more opaque than I would of liked.

If you like really thick and creamy, opaque paints that have a flat finish then I think you would really like these too. I will need to practice more to get the most out of them but I do feel like they will be very versatile and will allow me to make some more vivid illustrations. I have since read that you can also use them on black paper too so I will have to try that out.

I am very happy to have them amongst my paint collection, I have yet to find somewhere to store this massive box though so maybe having it on my desk will make me use it more.

Thank you so much for reading my rambling. If you would like to see some more of my collection of paints just let me know, I could talk about watercolours for days!

Samantha x

On A Tiny Journey by Samantha Webb

Gnomevember 2020

I love to take part in drawing challenges but as I draw pretty much everyday already, I find it helps to set myself an extra challenge. In March 2020 I invested in an iPad and an Apple Pencil and a programme called Procreate and my digital art changed forever! However I am a long way from being anywhere near able to achieve what I want to at the moment, so I challenged myself this November to not only draw a gnome each day but to do it digitally.

I have learned a lot from using my iPad every day, one of those things is that I simply do not get the same joy from digital art as I do from traditional art and therefore I don’t think that it will ever really be a replacement for me even if I manage to improve. Secondly, I learnt that ‘layers’ are a blessing from the heavens!

I managed to create 30 pieces of gnome based art work and I feel really proud of the work that I have produced, some are better than other and some are just quite honestly frighteningly bad BUT I was going for practice over perfection and I did just that!

I hope that you like them and maybe next Gnomevember you can join in too?

5 min Tea Break – 2019 Art Project

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Happy New Year to you and your family. 2018 was a great year for me in many ways. My children’s story, Glub was published by Little Goblins’ Books and I had the pleasure of reading my Cornling’s stories at 3 Wishes Fairy Fest. 

2019 is going to be great, I hope to continue to work on my forthcoming titles and have many more ideas that are just taking shape. 

But I want to talk to you about a little project that I will be working on alongside my work and I have titled it the ‘5 Min Tea Break’, the idea being that every day of 2019 I will take just 5 mins of my day to draw my tea!

I absolutely love tea and drink it everyday, this is a great little warm up drawing to get me started with the added bonus that I will have a cup of tea to drink when I have finished. Some of them, like my first one of the year (shown above) will be drawing from observation and some of them will be more like my new logo (below) which will be more whimsical. 

My hope is that at the end of the year I will have improved drawing from observation and turning my observational drawings into better planned out whimsical drawings. I hope that it will reduce the amount of procrastinating that I do when I sit with my sketchbook, the hardest thing to draw is usually the first thing because its hard to decide what to draw first. Once the first doodle of the day is finished the rest usually flow much easier, like stretching before you do any exercise helps you perform better.

You can follow my progress on my instagram feed where I will post to my story, unedited phone snaps each day. They won’t be perfect and sometimes they wont even be pretty but I hope you enjoy seeing them regardless. 

Have a wonderful 2019 

Samantha x

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Let The Hedgehogs eat pumpkin!

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It is almost Halloween and since it is on a Wednesday this year, many of us have already had our hauntingly fun parties over the weekend, many of us have pumpkins carved and shrivelling sat on the windowsill or by the back door and there are lots of posts telling us what we should do to dispose of them.

Lots of information is going around on the big wide world of the web, telling us to leave our pumpkins out for the hedgehogs, great we all love hedgehogs and they deserve a seasonal treat too!

THEN … people said not to because the hedgehogs would get ill, they would eat so much that it would give them stomach problems and explosive diarrhoea and lets face it, nobody wants to clean up hedgehog poop from all over the garden and no body wants to make the little hoggies ill.

BUT …  I have looked into it and despite rumours hedgehogs do enjoy a little pumpkin and they would have to eat an awful lot of pumpkin before it had negative effects on the digestive system. They would likely get bloated long before they get any other adverse effects. They are more likely to eat the little flies and bugs that will gather on the jack-o-lantern carcass, since this is their primary food source, than they are too gorge themselves on the pumpkin itself. 

So when you have finished with your pumpkins pop them at the bottom of your gardens and let the little hoggies get as full up as they like on the festive treat, I know I will eat enough chocolate on Halloween night to make my tummy ache, it’s inevitable!

Happy Halloween from me and my Webblings x

 

It’s PREORDER day!!!

It is the 1st October today and the moment I opened my eyes my Webblings (who had probably been up at least an hour) gave me a big cuddle and said “Happy Pre Order Day!”, I guess I must have mentioned it once or twice over the last few weeks.

 

Poor Glub is stuck in the crane at an amusement arcade, dreaming of life outside but he has been too scared to take that leap of faith.  Glub knows that he doesn’t look like the other smiley teddies that surround him and he knows that he is a little bit scary but that is all about to change when someone is brave enough to see just how friendly Glub is.

 

I am so excited, I have not seen a physical copy of the book myself yet but the digital files which I have approved have looked fantastic. I am hopeful that a copy will land through my letterbox any day now and I will be able to tell you all about it.

But today is preorder day, you can preorder your copy of Glub ready to receive on launch day. Released on 17th October 2018 Glub will be £6.99 and can be purchased directly from my publishers Little Goblins’ Books, from Waterstones and Amazon in the UK and from Barnes and Noble in the US.

I am still overwhelmed and amazed that my little book will be in real book shops, it is like a dream come true and I cannot wait to see what you think of this little furry guy.

Samantha x

Glub by Samantha Webb
Preorder your copy today!