Weekly Update 4/2/18 – Arteza Frustration, Art Budgeting, and Day Jobs

So the Arteza brush pens are NOT working so great for me. 😦

There are several issues with their pigments, mainly that they reactivate so easily after being applied to the paper. This means no second layer, which is, to me, kind of missing the point. Watercolors can be layered. That’s, in my mind, how it should be…ugh.

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[Pictured: The issue with Arteza brush pens is that you can’t really go back over and do another layer or “wash,” and that’s one of the main watercolor features that I want to have.]

More importantly: There comes a point, in watercolor exploration, where you want to begin to actually paint with watercolor, and this requires “Actual Watercolors.” It’s unfortunate that the medium is expensive to get started with, at least in terms of artist-grade materials, but such is life with watercolor.

Ugh.

I’m looking at Mijello Mission Gold watercolors, which are lovely and artist grade AND reasonably affordable (ie not the $400 I’d be spending on Schmincke). I chose to go with tube watercolors because a) I like working straight from the tube, and b) I can always refill an empty pan palette with those tubes if I so desire.

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[Pictured: A cheap Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolor pan set, to illustrate the convenience of pan watercolors. Fun fact: These Cotman paints are actually awesome and I need to use this little sketchbox more.]

Will still be working on 9×12″ Canson XL Watercolor paper, and with Dr PH Martin’s Black Star Waterproof India Ink, and the same old brushes and such. Just changing the paints.  In the meantime, I’ll be sketching and inking a ton. 🙂

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[Pictured: Ink work of the King of Cups from the Julian Tarot.]

I want to thank everyone for shopping with me last month – March 2018 was the best month my Etsy shop has ever seen!! I am amazed. I made about $90 and had 8 orders. I am so blown away by everyone’s support. It’s amazing. I can actually get those watercolors this month!! And yes, there will be an unboxing video 🙂

I’ve been making and selling a lot of traveler’s notebook inserts, which are the #1 best selling thing in my shop. I’m looking into making some personal-size ones, too, since those seem very popular too. To be very honest, I’m a little bummed that they get so many views and my paintings get none…but I am mostly just happy to have a hobby that pays for my other hobby (travelers’ notebook pays for watercolor).

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Are there any patterns you’d really like to see on the notebook covers? I’m open to suggestions. 🙂

Unfortunately/fortunately, I am leaving my current day job in a couple weeks. It’s just not been a good fit; I need a lot of training to do what they want me to, and they aren’t able to provide it, so I don’t see a point in sticking around and making everyone (including me) even more frustrated. It’s almost a relief, though.

I’m hopeful, though, that my Etsy shop will get me through the worst of the next few months. Watch for sales and new items. Here’s sneak peeks of what’s coming out on the shop soon…

And that’s about all I’ve got for today. Until next time!
~Julian

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