|Farmyard door £4.50|
I first tried the artbars at an SAA (Society for all Artists) convention in Manchester in 2012. There were very many people there, room was hot, and for a village girl it was all rather overwhelming. I didn't stay long, but whilst I was there I watched a few people having a short workshop, and I tried out the artbars at a stand. I thought they had a lot of potential so bought the not-quite-starter box of 24.
Well when I got home I thought they were awful things! I really struggled to get anything decent - see my previous post here.
But in true British spirit, I will not be defeated. So when we were heading off to Cornwall for our 2 week summer holiday, I took a last minute decision to bring the artbars along for the ride. I already had my watercolours and my oils packed - I'm not sure what forces were at work to make me add the artbars, but believe me I'm very glad I did.
What fantastic weather we had! We were in the middle of that very rare thing, a British heatwave (the last one that I recall was in 1995) and as I reported in my last post on the subject, artbars work at their very best when they are warm. So each morning, whilst the teens snoozed, I took my breakfast and my artbars outside to the picnic bench and the most amazing view of Godrevy lighthouse, and painted. And painted. And painted.
|Godrevy Lighthouse in Cornwall, England, £4|
All of these are highly collectable miniature paintings. They are small enough to hang on the wall of a dolls house or display in a photo frame. An album of your collection on your coffee table makes an extremely good talking point too.
They also look great on a mini-easel.
A few top tips:
I hope this was helpful to you. I'd love to hear about your experiences of using artbars - please leave your own findings on artbars in the comments below.
|Sand Dunes £4.50|
A few top tips:
- Artbars work best when warm
- After a few hours in direct (British summer) sunshine, artbars begin to melt. They are still good for using on the brush, but no good for picking up and applying directly.
- The grater will not work with warm artbars, but the dog shaped multi-tool does work well, and I find it to be easier to be more specific with adding texture using this instead of the grater anyway.
- A waterbrush does not work well with artbars - mine doesn't deliver enough water and just got clogged up with thick not-quite-dissolved wax.
- I start by picking up lots of colour directly from the artbar with a wet brush and applying it to my paper or applying directly from the bar to the paper and dissolving with a wet brush.
- You do not need to use watercolour paper, a thick card will suffice. Once the first layer of wax is down and dissolved , additional layers will glide over the top.
- Apply additional wax as required to build up your painting. You CAN put light colours over dark ones.
- Add texture by either
- wetting an area and grating wax over it
|Wild Flowers £3.50|
- dissolving a small area of your artbar and flicking it at the paper
|Cornish Moorland £3.50|
- building up layers of dry wax and scrape back using the dog-shaped tool