When I bought my watercolours in Italy almost two years ago, I was really, really excited. I had been told by an artist friend about the paints sold at, Zecchis, an art supply store that sits tucked away on a centuries old street called Via Dello Studio in the heart of Florence. The acacia honey and gum arabic watercolour paints were created from original Zecchi recipes and made with the same materials used by pre-Renaissance and Renaissance painters. So when I purchased my paints at the tiny cluttered store (think Olivander’s wand shop in Harry Potter) I was thrilled. And, yes, I was very pleased with the handful of tiny scenic watercolour paintings I made during the rest of my Italian trip. But I have to say I was not as enthralled with the paints when I applied them to kids illustration. To me, the colours looked washed out and sad. Though I admit its possible I am just not a very good water colourist. I also now realize that my aesthetic has been formed by the times I presently live in. A time where any colour you can imagine can be purchased and printed. I do love kids’ book art with vivid eye-popping colours and my sweet-smelling honey paints just don’t cut it. I will continue to use my Zecchi watercolours for scenery or portraiture, but for my kids art I believe will stick to the bolder and the richer colours of my time.
This picture was coloured with the watercolours And this one was coloured digitally