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.
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. This weekend is probably the last one of the spring that will see the daytime highs staying under 100℉ (38℃).
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. Test strip in window. For a quick review, see the first article in this series. Here’s the side-by-side scan of the two halves. Scan of both halves.
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.
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.
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.
I took a walk around downtown Mesa the other day and wandered into the Arts Center there. It was a blustery and cold day and it was all I could do to get the line work done before I had to get up and move around. I did the watercolors a bit later after I warmed up. Mesa Arts Center, Jan. 2016 This was also posted to my Instagram but the phone pic didn’t turn out that great.
One thing that’s oddly caught my attention is watercolor painting. In the past I’ve dismissed it as childish.1 But as I’ve been rediscovering my artistic side, I’ve been captivated by the simplicity and beauty2 of watercolors. The thing that really sold me on the idea of picking up a brush was the existence of small, portable watercolor kits. With just two items, the watercolors and a sketchbook, I can paint most anywhere.