Art by Gabrielle Rose. I live in Oakland, CA. Watercolor and ink are my favorite media. Get in touch at hello@drawgabbydraw.com.

Would you be willing to let me in on the secret technique you use for your lichen!? So beautiful!

Sure. I use white Higgins ink and a tiny paintbrush:

image

Once the dark area is dry, I use the brush to apply the white ink on top of it. Pretty simple! I just figured it out by experimenting with the materials I have on hand. 

(The lichen in question.)

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(Sorry for the double post! This looks better as a photoset, I think.)

A while back some of you asked about the difference between cold and hot pressed watercolor paper, so I doodled on a sheet of each. 

The main difference between the two is that cold pressed paper is textured whereas hot pressed is satiny smooth, as you can see from the images above. 

I’ve also noticed that paint dries more quickly on hot pressed paper, which you can see in blobs 6 and 7, especially.

I’m still getting used to the hot pressed stuff and try to save it for pieces that will have a lot of line work in them, which comes out more smoothly (like this piece or this one). I’m definitely more accustomed to working with the texture of cold pressed paper!

Do you have a preference?

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I’m often asked what kind of watercolors I use. I use Prang watercolors. They are the only tray watercolors that I know of that are worth painting with. I realize I’m stuck in 5th grade art class. I don’t know why I’ve never transitioned to tube watercolors. Anyway, when you run out of a color in your tray you can order refills! I tend to run out of blue and black the fastest. 
There are a lot of watercolor options out there. I suggest trying a few kinds and seeing which you like best. Just avoid “student quality” paints. I bought a tube or two of student quality watercolor, and they were terrible. They turned to chalk on the paper after they dried.

I’m often asked what kind of watercolors I use. I use Prang watercolors. They are the only tray watercolors that I know of that are worth painting with. I realize I’m stuck in 5th grade art class. I don’t know why I’ve never transitioned to tube watercolors. Anyway, when you run out of a color in your tray you can order refills! I tend to run out of blue and black the fastest. 

There are a lot of watercolor options out there. I suggest trying a few kinds and seeing which you like best. Just avoid “student quality” paints. I bought a tube or two of student quality watercolor, and they were terrible. They turned to chalk on the paper after they dried.

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Just a couple!
secousses asked you: What brush sizes do you use most when you’re painting?
I use three brushes for most paintings: a very tiny one for detail; a slender medium-sized one; and a larger round one. Here’s a picture of my brushes.
 
miichoufm asked you: I absolutely love your art, watercolor is my favorite medium. I’d just like to ask if you could give me some tips so that I can get better at it.
toyotacarolla asked you: Youre so good at watercolors! how do you do it? ive been trying to learn how to watercolor but i still need to work on it haha.
 
Here is a gif with the short answer. Read on for a longer answer.
The best tip for getting better at anything is practice. Practice, mess up, practice more.  Try different techniques. Put pigment on wet paper, on dry paper. Use different sized brushes. Try ink instead of paint. I can’t cram everything I’ve learned from years of practice into a paragraph. (Most of my painting knowledge is contained in my muscles and is hard to verbalize.) Here is a great blog post about hard work versus talent and how practicing technique eventually internalizes it.
I can give you tips on materials, however. Paper is very important. Make sure you’re using watercolor paper because it’s thick enough to hold up to water.  I usually use watercolor blocks. (More info about my materials can be found on my about page.)

Also, a few people asked about the difference between hot- and cold-pressed watercolor paper. I’m saving it for a separate post so keep an eye out.

Just a couple!

secousses asked you: What brush sizes do you use most when you’re painting?

I use three brushes for most paintings: a very tiny one for detail; a slender medium-sized one; and a larger round one. Here’s a picture of my brushes.

 

miichoufm asked you: I absolutely love your art, watercolor is my favorite medium. I’d just like to ask if you could give me some tips so that I can get better at it.

toyotacarolla asked you: Youre so good at watercolors! how do you do it? ive been trying to learn how to watercolor but i still need to work on it haha.

 

Here is a gif with the short answer. Read on for a longer answer.

The best tip for getting better at anything is practice. Practice, mess up, practice more.  Try different techniques. Put pigment on wet paper, on dry paper. Use different sized brushes. Try ink instead of paint. I can’t cram everything I’ve learned from years of practice into a paragraph. (Most of my painting knowledge is contained in my muscles and is hard to verbalize.) Here is a great blog post about hard work versus talent and how practicing technique eventually internalizes it.

I can give you tips on materials, however. Paper is very important. Make sure you’re using watercolor paper because it’s thick enough to hold up to water.  I usually use watercolor blocks. (More info about my materials can be found on my about page.)


Also, a few people asked about the difference between hot- and cold-pressed watercolor paper. I’m saving it for a separate post so keep an eye out.

Comments
I am often asked what I use to make my paintings and drawings. My materials are pretty common and are easy to find at a well-stocked art supply store like Utrecht or Blick’s. In addition to the items you see above, I use Prang watercolor paints (although I’m thinking of branching out in search of more saturated pigments) and watercolor blocks by Canson, Strathmore, or Arches. 
You can read more about my materials and other stuff in my FAQ.

I am often asked what I use to make my paintings and drawings. My materials are pretty common and are easy to find at a well-stocked art supply store like Utrecht or Blick’s. In addition to the items you see above, I use Prang watercolor paints (although I’m thinking of branching out in search of more saturated pigments) and watercolor blocks by Canson, Strathmore, or Arches. 

You can read more about my materials and other stuff in my FAQ.

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How do you make your stuff, Gab?

Oi, amigos. I’ve gotten several questions these past few days about how I do this, that, or the other: How do you make your ink look like that? How can I make my watercolor look like yours?

Firstly, here’s a list of resources that I’ve put out there already:

In these links are answers to lots of questions about my art education, my process, and materials I use to make what I make. That should answer most of your questions! However, the short version of my process is 1) put water on paper, 2) put pigment (paint or ink) in the water, and then 3) leave it alone and let it do what it wants.

Secondly, even after reading all of this info, even after seeing how I make my little watercolor things, your work won’t look exactly like mine, because we are not the same person. We are creative in different ways, and I think that’s lovely, don’t you?

P.S. “Oi” means “hi” not “Oi, all these questions!” :)

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