Lightfast Test: Lukas Aquarelle 1862 after nine months

This is the third and final lightfastness test of the Lukas Aquarelle watercolor paints (original post, first update, second update). The reason for ending the test is twofold, the test strip was in the way of a window I wanted to start opening, and after ten full months of Arizona sun the verdict is in.

I first hung the test strip in January 2016 in a south facing window. Expecting the paint to be faded out before the first 100℉ (38℃) day.

Continue reading “Lightfast Test: Lukas Aquarelle 1862 after nine months”

Lightfast Test: Lukas Aquarelle 1862 after four months

This is one project that seems to slip through the cracks when it comes to doing regular updates (original post, first update). The irony is that the more I forget about it the better the comparison becomes as I leave the test strip in the sun longer. This time it’s been 18 weeks since I first hung the test strip in a south facing window.

Continue reading “Lightfast Test: Lukas Aquarelle 1862 after four months”

Lightfast Test: Lukas Aquarelle 1862 after two months

I originally planned to do more frequent updates on this, but found that there wouldn’t be much to report. It’s been two months since I hung the test strip in a south-facing window. During that time we’ve had one of the hottest Februarys on record.

20160317-lukas-window-001-frame
Test strip in window.

For a quick review, see the first article in this series.

Continue reading “Lightfast Test: Lukas Aquarelle 1862 after two months”

Lightfast Test: Lukas Aquarelle 1862 vs. Arizona Sunlight

Lukas Aquarelle 1862 watercolors are a european brand that is sold in North America by Jerry’s Artarama. Being a low-priced paint, I wondered about the quality of the pigments. So I decided some testing was in order.

I bought the following five paints: Alizarin Crimson (1064), Gamboge (1016), Ultramarine Light (1135), Burnt Sienna (1109), and Phthalo Green (1195), in half pans in a Jerry’s store. I have no idea how long they were sitting on the shelf or when they were made. I got the last of the yellow, blue, and brown. So either those are popular colors or they don’t get restocked regularly. I didn’t think to ask about it.

My goal was to build my Altoids tin watercolor kit without breaking the bank. I wanted to get the kit together and see how it traveled before putting a lot money into it.

Once that was done, I made a test panel for the south-facing window.

Continue reading “Lightfast Test: Lukas Aquarelle 1862 vs. Arizona Sunlight”

Urban Sketch: Turf Paradise

Who doesn’t love dollar day at the racetrack? This past Monday at Turf Paradise, admission, hot dogs, and soda were all a buck. I haven’t seen the ponies run in a while, and thought it would be a great chance to get a sketch in.

The top level of the grandstand gives a great view of the entire track and surrounding area. I sketched and inked this during the seventh race. I decided to color it at home because I wanted to bet the last race. I’m glad I did. My $1 quinella came in and paid $9. After admission, lunch, and mixed results on earlier bets, I left up $3 on the day.

Turf Paradise, January 2016.
Turf Paradise, January 2016.

I’m glad I made the trip, it was a nice change of pace. They’re always running specials, so another trip might happen before the end of the season.


Materials: This was painted in my Moleskine watercolor sketchbook using Sakura Koi watercolors and pen.

USk Gear: Altoids Watercolor Kit

As much as I enjoy my Koi watercolors, the box is just too big for a small bag. I thought about going down to the 12-color version, but wanted something that would go almost anywhere. Even a pocket!

I knew there was at least one Altoids tin around the house, and it would probably make a decent everyday carry kit. A few searches for “altoids watercolor” and I had a pretty good idea of what would fit.

The next step was to gather up paint and a brush.

Gathering the supplies.
Gathering the supplies.

Here’s my list of stuff:

Continue reading “USk Gear: Altoids Watercolor Kit”

Just registered: fakeartschool.com

I recently started a series of posts jokingly titled “Fake Art School” where I look at historic art books and do drawing exercises found in them. The name was a joke that came out of nowhere. Imagine my surprise when I found out that fakeartschool.com was an available domain!

So for $13 its mine for the next year at least. Right now the domain just redirects to my FAS page here on jennifermack.net.

So to go along with it, I was able to sign up on Twitter and Instagram with the same user name. How often does that happen? Now I have even more places I need to keep updated.

I don’t have any plans for FAS other than continuing with the posts I have planned. Maybe in the future I might start doing videos, and build the domain out into its own site.

But for now, I’m just happy that I was able to claim that little spot of the ‘net.

Fake Art School: 002 Elements, Values

Fake Art School is my attempt at learning from the old masters using primary sources freely available on the internet. Download the book from the link below and join in! Discuss and share your work on Twitter.

Textbook: Elements of pen-and-ink rendering
Assignment: §1 pp. 2-6, Values (PDF pp. 20-24)


Chapter Overview

Value was touched on in the introduction. This chapter give more detail and some exercises to do. We start with two simple drawings that show values being used in different ways.

Values, fig. 1 & fig. 2.
Values, fig. 1 & fig. 2.

Continue reading “Fake Art School: 002 Elements, Values”

Fake Art School: 001 Elements, Introduction

Fake Art School is my attempt at learning from the old masters using primary sources freely available on the internet. Download the book from the link below and join in! Discuss and share your work on Twitter.

Textbook: Elements of pen-and-ink rendering
Assignment: §1 pp. 1-2, Introduction (PDF pp. 19-20)


Chapter Overview

The introduction to this section is short and to the point. But it also provides definitions of the major concepts discussed.

Continue reading “Fake Art School: 001 Elements, Introduction”

Fake Art School: 000 The Beginning

This is an experiment, something I’m calling Fake Art School. The name is to poke a little fun at how art education has gone from an apprenticeship to a pay-your-money-get-your-degree system. It’s also a way to organize a series of upcoming articles about going back to basics using old instruction books.

Use the Fake Art School page to quickly find all these articles.

Digging around in the Internet Archive, I ran across several books on pen and ink drawing:

The third book, Elements, seems to be a grouping of several related texts. It covers pen, brush, watercolors, and nature and life drawing. It’s also a hefty tome weighing in at 652 pages.

Book listing
Book listing

So my plan is to work through these old books and write a series of articles along the way. I’ll be starting with Elements. To follow along, download your own copy using the links above.