The last couple of months have seen a celebration of watercolour at Cass Art. From ‘Urban Sketching’ to experimenting with pigments, artists across the country are looking at watercolour in a whole new light. Of course, our talented Cass Art Student Ambassadors are in on the action. We talk to Anna, Roisin and Hannah about the experimental and innovative ways they use the medium in their own artwork.
Anna Kenneally: Fine Art at Bath Spa University (lead image)
I created this painting using the Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour 24 Half Pan Set. These are my first choice when working in sketchbooks as I use them for both on the go and at home. The colours are very vibrant, which can be something watercolours usually struggle to retain. I enjoy leaving areas of the painting as pure drawing, building up washes into areas of purer paint. I also use watercolour to make plans for bigger oil paintings as the watercolour can be quickly applied to suggest colour palettes and pattern.
Roisin Tierney - Illustration and Animation at Kingston University
For this animation, Rush Hour, I used the Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour 36 Half Pan Set. I really enjoy using this set, not only for its vibrant colours but also for the fact that you have individual paint tablets which can easily be replaced or interchanged. I find this especially useful as it enables me to mix and match the colours that I want for a particular assignment on location. Highly recommended.
Hannah Froude: Costume Design at London College of Fashion (UAL)
The designs created are character designs for Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’. They are all designed for characters taken from the opera and the costumes are representations of the personalities we have devised from the piece. In time we aim to realise our designs in 3D. While we love creating creative and exciting pieces there is also a technical element of how we aim to recreate our drawings in real life.
Working with the Winsor and Newton Cotman Watercolour Half Pan and Brush Pen was a classic way to work with watercolour. The brush pen was a new and ingenious way to control the opaqueness of the colours. The colours in the pan are very diverse and a good starter pack with essential blues, reds and greens. By using very little water you get an extremely pigmented colour payoff which I often found useful for details or accents. Additionally you can dilute the bold colours for a much more delicate feel which was useful when creating very feminine and soft lines. I love how compact the pan was, with the pen breaking down into two parts for easy storage - it is perfect for travelling or working away from the studio and is extremely clean to work with - no massive clean up of a water pot and mixing tray. The pan is a great price for what you get and will last a long time due to how little paint you need on the brush - a little certainly goes a long way!
I painted the designs onto the Winsor and Newton Watercolour Spiral Pad. I am not very experienced in watercolour however I find my issue is not knowing what paper to use. The pad was perfect for painting and was not affected when large amounts of water were applied to it. The colours showed up well on the page and did not take long to dry at all.
Additionally, I was able to use the Cass Art Watercolour Pencil set of 12 which were an absolute dream. The colours were smooth on paper as pencils themselves. When using them with water they blended out meaning no transition lines or colouring lines were seen which I found extremely helpful as I could put colour wherever I wanted and easily control how soft the colour could be used. Once using the pencils with water I then went over certain areas with the pencils again which left me with really strong colour for details which was extremely effective and fun to use.
Overall I loved all the products - having not really used watercolour before I was extremely terrified of attempting any kind of designs as I do not have the most delicate touch when it comes to designing. The paint pan was great for travel and taking to and from University with great colour pay off. Additionally, the pencils were perfect for blending out as much as I needed and going back in to add detail. The variety of colours supplied in both was great to start off with and all transferred really well onto the pad. I shall definitely be using more watercolour in the future.