UK Artist David Howlett
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When it comes to watercolour paper I do not have a favourite brand but I do have a preference for the heavier types as it suits my style. I also use the more expensive papers with a weight of at least 140lbs to 200lbs, acid free and on the rough side or NOT (Cold Pressed). I use HP (Hot Pressed) or smooth paper if I am going for detail but it doesn't happen very often! I use album; pads, spirals or blocks and occasionally I will treat myself to a cotton paper. The canvas used for my acrylics is triple-primed and acid free with a medium texture.

I like a variety of top quality brushes when putting something on all this paper or canvas including, Sable, Hog and Squirrel Hair. I use large wash brushes from time to time, round brushes (04, 05 and 10) and a couple of riggers. I also have a couple of old flat oil painting brushes, two palette knives, a small general purpose brush, a toothbrush, crumpled-up hankies or tissue paper and bits of sponge in an assortment of sizes at my disposal!

A selection from my main Palette

When it comes to the watercolour and acrylic paint I do have a favourite brand. When I used to paint with oils it was Windsor & Newton paints I used and it seemed the obvious choice to try their watercolours. For me, it is important that the paint I use is nice to work with, with good covering properties and hue radiance. I use the top of their range of paints (the Windsor & Newton Artists’ range), for the majority of my artwork, but I find their slightly cheaper Cotman range suitable for laying a wash.

I have an extensive set of watercolour pencils that I use from time to time - I use them when designing a garden and they are a useful addition when detailing a painting, particularly fine-work.

Time to Think
A selection of my additional  Palette

I have recently started to work with Acrylics and Oil Pastels. Being a crayon, oil pastels have less of the mess that’s involved with normal oil painting and the overall effect is good. Acrylics have the consistency, opacity and permanence of oil paint but dry much, much faster... instead of hours it’s just minutes! Apart from that acrylics are similar to oil paint in their use, giving the same texture and rich, vibrant colour in your work.


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