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Submitted on
February 3, 2012


10 (who?)

Hello watercolor friends :wave: This is the another installment of an ongoing feature called AquaTips. Members of the club are encouraged to submit tips and techniques they discovered or use to create and enjoy watercolors. Just send a note to the club with "Tip" in the subject line and we will put it into our AquaTips collection. Come together watercolorists, and share the treasure that is our knowledge! :love:

This is a community AquaTip. That means dA members can answer this question in the comments to share their thoughts so others may learn from their knowledge. So give us a hand and share our knowledge!

Topic: Taking care of your watercolors kit.

:bulletblue:How do you keep your brushes in top shape?
:bulletblue:How often do you clean your palette?
:bulletblue:Where do you store your paper?
:bulletblue:Keeping your pans/tubes as good as new
:bulletblue:Any useful tip you'd like to add?

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ossywest Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013
You Will knock over your Masking fluid bottle ,so what I suggest is transfer a small amount to a plastic film containter (one that held the old film on a roll) , also add a small amount of water ,preferably water that has been previousley boiled.
Use a shaped stick (hardwood) to apply fluid and avoid using a brush.
Synthetic brushes are very good , use instead of expensive Sables , use a No 3 Rigger for any lines or fine dots
silvertales Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2012
I'm definitely an amateur and pretty new to watercolors, but...

1. I always make sure my brushes are rinsed and cleaned after every painting session and suspended to dry point down (if possible) then, when I put them away I keep them in a canvas brush roll.

2. I use pan colors, but I clean my mixing palette after every painting, as I often don't remember what "recipe" I made for colors used during any specific painting.

3. I use watercolor blocks, so I store them in a storage cart with the rest of my supplies. as for finished paintings, I SHOULD store them in an archival acid-free box, but since I don't have the space, I store them in a portfolio with acid free page inserts and keep them well away from heat or sunlight.
Jean-Luc-Aeon Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
How do you keep your brushes in top shape?
Every time I use them I clean them with water and put them back in their shape. Only from time to time I clean them with curd soap.

How often do you clean your palette?
Never ever! I handle my colours really economical, I use every little pigment I can get and I never just wash it away.
Also I can't effort buying new colours too often, so I'm in need of not wasting pigments.

Where do you store your paper?
I usually use watercolour blocks and store them in the shadow, therefore they are always in pretty good condition, some of them are even more than 20 years old, they are from "Weißenborn" and the paper is just like new.

Keeping your pans/tubes as good as new?
Well, I try to keep the pans as clean as I can, despite that there is colour everywhere inbetween the pans. I only use tubes to fill up the pans or for really big pieces.

Any useful tip you'd like to add?
When you are bringing your brush back into shape, use your lips to form the wet brush. Repeat this when it is dry, you will get a nice and pointy tip. (If you are using colours from brands like Schincke, Windsor and Newton or Old Holland, you should not have to worry about harmful ingredients, they should only consist of pure pigment. You can check if your colours conform to "ASTM".)
13roses Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2012
How do you keep your brushes in top shape? :
I'm pretty bad at taking care of my brushes, so for that reason I buy very cheap synthetic ones that work well for the level of work I do. Plus I don't feel as bad when they die, but that being said, most of them have managed to stay in pretty good shape for about 3-4 years. So if your a beginner or amatuer like me I'd recommend cheaper brushes to start! ^^

How often do you clean your palette?
This depends on how long I'm working on a painting for, especially if I'm mixing colours. While I'm working on stuff, I might not change my palette for several weeks because I'm constantly refilling colours or adding water to dried mixes to make more of a certain colour. I'll change it when there is no room left on it for adding more- I have a really big palette too!

Where do you store your paper?
I try to store my paper carefully in drawers beside my painting desk, and only take them out when I need a new sheet to avoid getting the paper smudged or dirty. :)

Keeping your pans/tubes as good as new
I try to make sure that there is no buildup of paint where you put the cap back on. When I first started, I didnt swipe it off, and a bunch of my tubes dried out. :(

Any useful tip you'd like to add?
Don't throw out a dried tube of paint- instead use an exacto knife to gently cut and peel away a square of the tube. This converts it into a pan that you can still use :)
zzen Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I keep my brushes in and old tea pot - heads always up. I clean them with normal soap, which I use to wash my hands (Nivea) and water. It is true, that I don´t clean them with soap every time I use them, but I clean them quite regurarly. I have som cheaper brushes, which are already worn out, I have som expensive brushes from Winsor&Newton - series 7 and they are in perfect condition. I ask W&N through their Facebook page, if they think I sd could clean brushes with shampoo and hair conditioner - it worked with some of my cheaper brushes, but they reply they only recommend mild soap and water (not hot).
From time to time I take out all my watercolours in pans out of the box and I clean the metal box with water and dry it before I put paints back.
For paper block, I store them in the box with lid, so they do not catch the dust, and I store watercolour painting (unframed) in the paper box with lid.
AVindas Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
- Every time I use my brushes, I do not let the pigment dry. When the pencil are wet I put to ventilation to dry, never store wet
- I never clean my palette :P If some colors are dirty or stained by other I need to clean
- I keep my paper in a dry place away from direct light and shade/moisture, look for the place it has good ventilation
- I take care a lot of my pans <3 use from the bottom to top, never press the top first.
- when store your materiales, please do it when are wet, never never, clean very well your brush, some colors stay on brush for a long time, and can alter the new pigment. The paper.. sometime moisture can make shrooms.. keep dry always....

Is hard say on english :P I use translator for some things :)
abasss Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2012
OK, thanks for the effort!
Can I rewrite this when I do the journal?
AVindas Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Of course ;)
Jewl242 Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I keep my brushes in the plastick box they came in. There are places that hold them still. I tend to put them in simi wet so they come out hard next time. (IDK if that helps anything... I just like the sound and feel I get when I move the brissels again. [Yeah... I'm waird!])

I am really conservitive with my paints... Sooo I have a palette with the colors I use MOST often! I have another that I clean more often.

I have two diffrent kinds of paper... and I go back and forth. I have water color paper that I just keep on my shelf near my desk... annnd thicker paper that is acholy in a small box in my garoge.

I keep all of my paints and plastic box of brushes in a shoe box with my water color paper. >.< I want a nice wooden box sooo badly... But the funds just are not here... :\ But for now, this works.......
Megadee Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012
for my brushes, i keep them wrapped in a canvas bundle to keep shape. As for cleaning them I just make sure they are rinsed thoroughly, I find too much scrubbing makes them lose bristles, and I only use cold water because hot water can loosen the glue that holds them together as well as keeps the bristles in.

I rarely clean my palette, I like the build up of colors.

I buy my paper from Dick blick and they come in a nice bag that i usually hold onto. It's big enough to totally cover my paper when I stretch it to a board. It's also good for carrying to and from class. As for storing i just keep them in my closet.

My tubes are stored in an old coffee grounds container, it's a smaller size and its perfect for tubes.

If you choose not to stretch your paper, and it starts warping on you you can always use an iron to flatten it again. make sure you iron the back and not the side with color, and don't use steam.
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