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More Unfinshed Business with Backgrounds

Sketching on a pre-painted and pre-stamped background with Stabilo Tones.

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Speaking of Stabilo: Stabilo Tones, Now Defunct or Are They?

071008RevMorePurpleCr Left: “Painting” of my favorite Australian Shepherd bitch Reveille, 4.5 x 7 inches, on Folio Antique White. (The muzzle and chest white in this image are the paper showing through.) Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Writing about Stabilo All yesterday made me think of another product of theirs that I love (and actually use quite a lot): Stabilo Tone. The sad thing is these watersoluble wax crayon pencils are no longer made—or have they been resurected.

The Stabilo Tone were (and are for me, because I still have a set of 50 and a set of 10) fat wood pencils filled with a wax crayon center that could be used like a watersoluble oil pastel, a dry waxy colored pencil, or even encaustic! I loved these pencils. I continue to use my stash, mostly for paintings. I find them a bit too messy for work in my journal: the opposite page will get some rub off.

I never did a lightfast test on this product either! I also didn’t have huge expectations, and used them only on personal pieces I wasn’t going to sell. But I do long for a product like this that is lightfast and artist quality, and STILL AVAILABLE.

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Aqua Brique from Cretacolor

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Left: Painting of a pelican made using using Cretacolor Aqua Briques on gesso-coated paper. This image is cropped from an 11 x 14 inch image. As often happens with my paintings I don't like the full image. I'm interested in something closer. The height here is about 11 inches. I prepared watercolor paper with two coats of gesso, allowing my brush strokes to show (this creates interesting texture when paint is applied later) and then sketched (with light graphite) a pelican taxidermy specimen that was hanging from the ceiling of the Mississippi Wildlife Refuge building. (That's not really fun for the neck.) Color was added with strokes of the Aqua Briques which were blended with a large synthetic watercolor brush and water and sometime my thumb (see yellow portion at top left of bird's head). Click the image to view an enlargement.

In the summer of 2006 I picked up a 10-color can of a new product: Cretacolor Aqua Briques. I enjoy experimentation, especially when I can report back to students and friends and maybe help them find a tool they can really enjoy. But I am also always looking for a way to get the texture I want in  my paintings.

For several years I wrote product reviews on a Yahoo list that I had for friends and past students. I stopped keeping this list when I started blogging in 2008. Since that time a number of new students in my classes, as well as readers of my blog, have asked me about Aqua Briques.

This interest and the fact that there many artists who like to draw and paint led me to think readers of this blog would enjoy hearing about my field tests of a tool that functions both ways. What follows is a revised version of my original review.

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