I finished the painting I showed you yesterday and I am SWOONING over it. It includes some of the Schminke Galaxy super granulating paints I mentioned, too, and they do NOT disappoint EXCEPT that, unlike other watercolours I’ve used, they go *very fast*. I’ve had to refill the pan twice already, and that’s kind of a bummer because these paints are *not* cheap!

I’ll be saving them for special occasions, I think.

I love granulating watercolours. There’s something so magical about the randomness that happens when they dry and the pigment disperses. There are a lot of Daniel Smiths that granulate beautifully, but if you’ve got paints that don’t granulate, there’s something you should know!

Windsor and Newton has something called “Granulation Medium” and it makes your watercolours even more magical than they already are. It’s not terribly expensive, either! I bought my last bottle for $9 CAD at a local art supply store.

Here it is on Amazon. Note that I’m Canadian so all links to Amazon go to the Canadian store.

I use it with my Prima palettes, which don’t granulate like the more expensive brands do. These palettes are *gorgeous*. My favourites are “Currents”, “Woodlands”, and “Odyssey”. They also have a “Complexions” palette which includes a variety of skin tones and “Decadent Pies” which are metallics. I did a search on Amazon so I could link the page here. 

The granulation medium also works well with Jane Davenport’s watercolours, which I haven’t seen in stores in a while, but you can get them on Amazon or from Jane’s website here.

Can you tell I love watercolours? :)

I didn’t always, though. When I first started art journaling, watercolours felt too fussy to me. They aren’t waterproof, I found them too unpredictable, and I didn’t know how to layer with them without making mud. Over time, though, I discovered Workable Fixative, which is another must-have tool in my toolbox. There are a couple of brands I like – namely Krylon and Blair – both aerosol sprays that when applied to your work “fix” the layer so it doesn’t smear or get reactivated when you add new layers. The word “workable” is key here because it means that you can continue to add more mediums once you’ve sealed the painting. I get Krylon Workable Fixative from my local art supply store, Bijan’s (which also ships!), but you can also find it at Michael’s (don’t forget your coupon!), but I haven’t been able to find it on Amazon in quite a while.

There are other brands – Windsor and Newton and Grumbacher but I can’t speak to how well they work since I’ve never used them.

Once I discovered how well workable fixative prevents smearing and reactivation of mediums like watercolours, sprays (like Dylusions), Stabilo All pencils, Neocolor II crayons, etc., I became a “kitchen sink” mixed media artist, which you already know if you’re in any of my classes. I am never limited by how one medium might react with another because I can seal between layers and that means I’m totally free to do whatever I want with very few limitations.

Speaking of “Kitchen Sink” mixed media…

I made this as part of my offering for Make Create Express (which will include three lessons from me – one for the free tempter session and two for the year-long e-course – this is for one of the main lessons) and it is packed with mediums and techniques. I used watercolours, india ink, acrylic ink, black gesso, charcoal, acrylics paints, stencils, markers, paint pens, and collage in this baby, which would not have been possible without workable fixative!

As I grow as an artist, I do find myself less dependent on it, though. There are times when I know that the palette I’m working with can take a little reactivation without making a mess, but learning how to judge that has taken time and practice. If you’re new at “kitchen sink” mixed media, I recommend playing around with how your mediums work together when they’re not fixed vs. when they are.

If you’re working mediums that are all waterproof, you won’t need a fixative at all, though, and just a note that this stuff does not work with oil-based products. If you’re using oils (eg pastels), save them for your final layer since you can’t use anything over them except wax or more oil.

And that’s me on this fine Saturday morning! I hope you’re having a gorgeous weekend.




Before You Go

I would love it if you'd join my "Beloveds List", which is my newsletter. I use this list to send you coupon codes and information on classes that are opening for registration, to announce giveaways and other subscriber perks,etc.  This list is especially for my people, and you are obviously one of my people. xo

You have Successfully Subscribed!