This year I decided to try out Tamara LaPorte's LifeBook 2017! Although I know how to do many of the techniques and things that are taught, my personal choice and reasoning is because I want to do more exploration in my art. I also thought that it might be a bit of an impetus for me to get back to doing art every day like I used to do. 2016 was not exactly what I would call the "Year of the Artist" for me although I did accomplish the creation of several beautiful pieces of artwork that went to very happy homes--which makes me happy and thrilled to know I am fulfilling my purpose by imparting beauty to others.
Anywhoo--the lessons in LifeBook are well organized and thought out (after her many years of doing this I would say that Tam has it down to a science!). The price is not outrageous for an entire year of classes and I love that the videos are downloadable so I can watch them whenever I want--like last night at 12:30 a.m. when my sweetie was asleep and I couldn't sleep.
I enjoy seeing the materials that other artists are using and I have vowed to try a couple of new ones (for me) out this year. For those that know me, you know I have an ABUNDANCE of art supplies and in 2016 I tried very hard not to purchase any new ones since I had so many already--and for the most part, I did not buy anything new supply wise, although I replaced a few worn out items that I use regularly.
The art medium that I am exploring this next couple of weeks (and will probably use throughout the year) are liquid watercolors. I have used them in several classes but I do not own any except for three small bottles which are mostly used up now. As I do love watercolor painting anyway and making washes--this seems like almost a "cheat" to me, but I absolutely adore how vibrant the hues are and the deep saturation of color that is possible with liquid watercolor.
I have not decided which set to get yet. There are several to choose from including Ecoline and Dr. Ph. Martin's on the higher end, and Sargent and Color Splash which are more geared toward the student than the artist (my guess would be they are less pigment than the higher end ones although for the money you get quite a bit more product than the higher end options.) I believe Ecoline is a British product but can be purchased on Amazon in sets--what I wish is that they said which colors come in that set--they have all these amazing color swatches but don't say on the product itself what colors are included in the grouping. I may purchase Dr. Ph. Martin's at a local art supply shop to give them a try. So I am excited to give these new art supplies a whirl and see how they up my art.
I was going to try to do a price and quality comparison but as you can see from the photographs, it really wouldn't be a possibility of comparing apples to apples as some of the bottles are larger than others and some sets have more in a set among other variables. I guess as an artist, the rule of thumb would be "buy the best quality you have the means to purchase." The other option is to buy one of each brand and see how you like each one after a test run or two and then purchase whichever brand you actually prefer. I am interested in the Ecoline mainly because it has a nice wide neck for getting to the paint and the Dr. Martin's feels a little smallish in size for the money. Dick Blick by the way, also has their own line of liquid watercolors and I am sure there are many other possible options. These were the ones that I found most easily.
With that said, I'm off to go work on my LifeBook. I'm already two weeks behind and it's only three weeks into the program!
(c) 2017 SZing, Bohemian Art Cafe. All Rights Reserved. Photographs from Tamara LaPorte's LifeBook 2017 and from product photographs.