Those who have known me for a long time know I've been learning to watercolor. It's taken me a long time but I've finally gotten pretty good at it. Now, though, I've discovered gansai, which is Japanese watercolor and I'm entranced. I just ordered my first set and I'm so excited to get my paints. They're supposed to be here Monday. I've been painting Christmas cards for all my neighbors with western watercolors but the gansai paints are a different type of watercolor that more can be done with.
For Christmas this year, I didn't paint the usual Christmas-y kind of card. I had heard that people were leaving their cards up on the wall all year because they liked them, so this year I thought I'd paint something that wasn't specific to the holidays. So I painted 6x9 inch paintings of animals that are local to our area or other woodsy scenes so they can leave them up all year if they want. I just put the "Happy Holidays" message on the back and not the front. I painted elk and cougars and houses and log cabins in the snow in the woods and things like that. This year's cards will be made using gansai----I'm very excited about that. I may even make small ornaments with my beads for each person, too. (I really AM feeling lots better. 🙂 )
I doubt very seriously that I'll ever work on a deck but if anyone here would like me to use my gansai to make them a painting of their favorite card (like Queen of Swords or a Major or something like that in general but not deck-specific) send me a message and I'll make a special effort for you. It will be one you can print out but if you're willing to send me postage, I'll snail mail the actual painting to you when it's done. (I do have paypal.) It will be good practice for me. I posted some examples so I can get some comments on my ability. I started in the 70's with oils and I can paint anything with those. Watercolors are much harder.
I don't know why that middle picture is upside down because it isn't on my computer but those are examples of my progress with watercolor painting. It's taken me so long to get that far with using watercolor. I'm not any huge shakes as a painter but it keeps me thinking, keeps me busy and I hope some of you will want to give me some requests. I don't actually go anywhere, partly because it's $40 for gas just for one trip to town and back and partly because my doctors warn me that even with vaccine, I still should try not to get covid again so I really would appreciate requests, but I just need postage if you want the actual painting instead of you printing it out. I could use the requests as painting prompts because I run out of inspiration.
Back to why I'm making this journal post, though---
My gosh, it's snowing so much right now. It's beaufiful but the power may go out and I always hate that part.
I started this out talking about gansai. Gansai means "watercolor" in Japanese but the paint uses a different binder and although I won't go into technical stuff when I don't think most people would be interested, it's really got some intriguing differences from western watercolors and would be excellent to make a handmade deck with. Does anyone else know about Japanese watercolor? I'm finding that a lot of the youtube watercolorists who do reviews of them seem to have no idea the real deal with gansai. They think they aren't getting as much pigment for their money because the paints are in bigger, shallower pans but in reality, they're getting more pigment and less binder. There are more differences, like the fact that the paint will stay on the surface of the paper more instead of becoming a part of the paper like western paints and that means you can even use them on rice paper and not get serious buckling like western paints will cause.
Is anyone here a user of gansai? It would be great to chat with someone who knows the technicalities of Japanese watercolor.