For my first blog post of 2018, I decided to review the iskn slate 2+.
I was very lucky to receive one as a Christmas gift.
I would like to begin by saying Happy New Year and wish you good health and happiness for 2018.
Now, the reason I wanted to try the Slate, was that I thought it looked a good way to have your sketches saved directly from your paper to the computer. Normally when I want to put a sketch on social media or print it etc. I spend considerable time waiting for good light for photographing my work and then setting the white balance etc. The slate skips all that need for photographing your sketch and has the added benefit of creating a video of your sketch.
Of course you can do this by drawing on a touch screen. However, I have never felt at ease drawing on a screen and the slate lets you have that natural feel of sketching with your own pen or pencil.
The slate is the right size for an A5 sketchbook. I do sketch in A5 and it is fine. However an A4 version would be great…
A couple of weeks ago I was tempted to buy a set of Derwent Artbars. The shop display had a fantastic selection of colours and I was also attracted by the description that recommended them for "mark making and texture".
I bought the set of 24 and used them for the first time whilst filming for YouTube (linked below). I tried the various techniques of layering, blending, scraping back, drawing and using with water. You will see in the video that I had difficulty blending the colours on the paper initially. I realised that this was because they needed warming up and the more you blended with your finger the easier it became. As someone who always has cold hands, I thought that this was a very labour intensive way of painting!
Later I decided to have a go at a more finished piece of artwork and created the figure painting below. This had many layers and lots of blending. Instead of relying on my cold hands to warm the colours on the paper, I used the hairdryer to soften them a …
In my next YouTube video out on Thursday, I talk through why I don't use black paint and the alternatives I mix. I thought it would be useful for you if I wrote those mixes down here.
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I find that black paint on its own can appear very flat and boring. My first tip if you have black you want to use, would be to add a touch of blue to it.
My favourite alternative mixes are French Ultramarine with Burnt Sienna or French Ultramarine with Burnt Umber.
You can also use Paynes Grey in many cases where you need a dark colour.
Dark Greys can be made from all three primary colours, using different combinations of your available reds, blues and yellows. The colours with this are infinite, if you mix one you really like, don't forget to write it down.
Finally, a tip for beginners in painting. Don't be too tentative to use very dark mixes. You need to go dark in places to make your highlights "pop".