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1. How long have you been using watercolors?
I started more actively as I entered high school around 2002.

2. What kind of paper do you use?
3 different ones: Classic watercolour paper 250g/m², Bockingford watercolour paper 300g/m² and Canson's Montval watercolour paper 300g/m², which I found from a discount.

3. Paper size?
Usually A4 (8.27 x 11.69 inches) or half smaller format A5, since they're so easy to file in that size.

4. By "aquarelles" do you mean colored pencils?
No, but fine watercolors. All the watercolors I use come as button-colors (or "cakes" as some call them).

5. What's the difference between fine watercolors and thicker watercolors?
Fine ones need more water and less color to look smooth and make wonderful washes, unlike with thicker ones you need to use more color and less water for it's different opaque. The thicker watercolors I use are called "peitevärit" in Finnish, but I don't know the correct translation for them in english. My painting gear:…

6. Where did you buy the colors?
From an art-supply store, since I couldn't find fine watercolors from bookstores.

7. What brand watercolors?
Schmincke Fine Water-Colours, and Van Gogh Pocket Box Original. I don't know what the thicker ones are. I buy them separately and they don't have any labels on them.

8. How do you mix the colors?
Firstly on my fine watercolor case, but most of them on paper. I wet the selected area before adding the color and let the colors run over each other before drying with a hairdryer. That way the blend into each other much smoother.
With thicker watercolors I mix on buttons and on paper.

9. How do you stretch the paper?
Just wet it from behind with a sponge or similar before stretching it with masking tape. Very basic thing my teacher taught me back in high school, but the tape only holds smaller works.

10. How do you apply the colors?
When it comes to fine watercolors, I always work with color-layers: at first I cover almost the entire paper with chosen background colors by wetting the paper and let the colors blend into eachother (white parts are covered with masking fluid before this). After this I keep adding the color to selected surfaces, like skin, objects, leaving the darkest parts for very last. This also prevents the colors from bleeding.
Step by step:…

11. What colors do you use for the skintones?
All primary colors, keep mixing till you find the one you like and let the colors blend. I add redder tones where the circulation is stronger and colder colors for shades.

12. What kind of brushes do you use?
Plain basic ones you get from bookstores, small ones for details.

13. What do you use for line-art?
Mostly pencils.
First I draw the sketch clean on a good-quality paper by using a light-table and strenghten the lines with tiny brushes while painting. I also used to use black ink and a hairline-pen. Remember NOT to press too hard when using pencils for the lineart, or it might smudge the colors. Else you should try a colored pencil instead.

14. Do you use masking fluid?
Yes, always when working with fine watercolors. The white paper gives the work such a wonderful contrast. Never use thick layers or cover large areas with the fluid, for it can tear the paper once it's dry. Rather use small portions, don't leave it on the paper for a very long time and once dried, gently rub it away.

15. What brand masking fluid?
Talens, but seriously the brand doesn't matter for they all dry up very quickly. You just have to constantly dip the tip into the fluid while smearing it on paper and wash the tip with water when the fluid starts to pile up. Never ever use a good brush to smear the fluid, for it'll destroy the brush for good!

16. Do you use colored inks?
Yes I do sometimes, Indian ink or colored inks by FW acrylic artists ink.

17. Do you use gouache?
Maybe? The thicker watercolors I use are cakes, not tube colors. There are too many opinions about the fact are they gouache or not. 9w9

18. What kind of a scanner do you use?
Basic Canon Pixma MP150, but I use the advantaged mode when scanning (nowadays in 400dpi). Finally I adjust the tones in photoshop by using "curves", so the work on screen would look closer to the original.

19. Would you make a watercolor-tutorial?
Uuh, no, for those take forever to put together if you're not a fast user with photoshop and still need to learn how to use a camera. T_______T
Some step by step pictures can be found from my sketchblog:

20. Contests?
Sorry, but I never have that much of an interest to participate in any contests for I 'd rather spend that extra time on my own projects.

If you have more questions about the subject, do let me know and I'll add it up. C:
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TheSlaveQueen Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013
Since you wont make a tutorial would you consider making a video of you painting?
Halogenhamster Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
This was very helpful! May I ask what size of brushes you use? I couldn't see it on the step-by-steps in your blog.
tir-ri Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012   Traditional Artist
Uhh gosh, most of the brushes I've had for so long that their size number is no longer visible. My favorite one for details however is a sharp-pointed little brush I got from the Van Gogh watercolor case, it has a number 3 marked on it. If the brush has a good sharp point, it doesn't have to be the smallest possible. :- )
Hanraven Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
Hello there I'm an aspiring watercolor artist who has admired your work for a long time. I've always wondered what masking fluid you use, because your lines and whites are so crisp and lovely. Could I get the name of your masking fluid, the one I use is awful! Thank you so much, you are amazing <3
tir-ri Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012   Traditional Artist
It's written in the FAQ, Talens, and thank you. <3
shiroyuki-hime Featured By Owner May 25, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
When I use masquing fluid, can I paint over it after it has dries?? Thanks so much!
tir-ri Featured By Owner May 25, 2012   Traditional Artist
Only if you scrub it off first, since masking fluid isn't supposed to be left on the paper. :o
I've heard of a permanent masking fluid too, but unfortunately I have no experience of using it, so I'm not sure can one paint over it once it's dry.
shiroyuki-hime Featured By Owner May 26, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Okay. So did I understand right? After rubbing off the masking fluid, I can paint over it without worry?
ringlov Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012  Student Filmographer
I'm so sorry to bother you, but do you maybe have any advice on choosing the material for the painting board? Do you think plywood is okay? I'm worried plywood would get damp and hurt the painting, but I don't know what other options I have :/
tir-ri Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2012   Traditional Artist
I remember my art teacher saying the same thing about plywood, that the board would eventually suffer if it gets often damp. But I still use it, have been doing so for years with the very same board and it's still just fine. :- D
ringlov Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2012  Student Filmographer
Well, that's good news. Thank you so much, you've been very helpful. :)
Tharshinaa Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you for taking the time to make the compilation, tir-ri! Your art is really very beautiful, and I'm so happy I found it. Your use of colours and motifs together with the fluidity of the lines is AMAZING! =)

I just like to ask two questions:

I've noticed they have a nice outline for them that blends in so well with the picture. How do you get the lines for your painting, after filing in the colours?

My second question is, How do you put in patterns in your drawing and still remain so consistent? Do you print it out beforehand? =)

Looking forward to your reply, and have a great day!
tir-ri Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2012   Traditional Artist
If I need to strengthen the lines here and there after filling in the colors, I use the thicker watercolor and thin brushes, since the thicker colors are easier to control.

I feel my English is a little poor, for the second question is a little confusing. :'D
I just go with patterns I'm already familiar with or take ideas from various sources, such as Japanese Print Art, plants or other inspiring artists' works, also here in DA. I do scan my works once they're finished, but never print them out (my scanner is a really cheap one and printing inks are too expensive). =v=
Tharshinaa Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Just re-read the second question, and I feel I might not have worded it so clearly. What I meant was, how do you put in the patterns into your drawings? From what I can see, they look very, very neat and clean, so I'm wondering how you put them in pencil so precisely.

Hope that is much clearer for you. :DDDD
tir-ri Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012   Traditional Artist
Ahh, practice helps and I use more simplified patterns, which helps too (especially when the canvas size is small). :3
Tharshinaa Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you. :3 :3
Nahkampffussel Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
very useful FAQ, helped me a lot.
and I know the Problem with finer and thicker watercolour.
here in Germany we call the thicker ones "Wasserfarbe" ( wasser means water, farbe means colour) and the finer ones are called Aquarellfarbe.
tir-ri Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2011   Traditional Artist
Ohh yes, I used to get so frustrated over the different names, since all simply don't translate between English and Finnish for example. =v=
Annoying-Anne Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Watercolours are new to me, and I'm exited to learn how to use them. (:
But I have a question, in my area they don't have much watercolour stuff, and I'm terrified that I have the wrong watercolours.. The brands are Van Dijck and ArtCreation.. If you know them haha..
But this was very useful, I love your artwork! :heart:
tir-ri Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2011   Traditional Artist
Unfortunately I don't know the brand, for the selection in the art supply stores in my country is very limited, so I just buy what ever I can get my hands on and isn't the most expensive one. :'D
Any discounts are always good to keep an eye on, for the Van Gogh Pocket Box Original was quite a cheap purchase and they're just wonderful. =o=
Annoying-Anne Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh well, thank you for the tip! I will search for these Van Gogh paint, they seem very useful. Thank you~ :heart:
kensin83 Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My name Seung-Eun.
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So, I am supossed to introduce your pictures to my blog.
I hope to spread your pictures in Korea and share your pictures.
My blog introduce good illusts and designs to people.
My blog's web address is : [link]
I am waiting for your replying to me.
Please, allow me to introduce your pictures to my blog.
Raychol Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2011
Sorry if someone else has asked, but do you sell prints?
tir-ri Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2011   Traditional Artist
Ahh, I tried the DA print sales for a brief while, but didn't feel very comfortable with it since it's a rather expensive progress. :'3
Raychol Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011
Aw, what a bummer. :( I can't blame you, but if you ever do start selling prints, I would buy "Eat you all up" in a HEARTBEAT! It would be such an amazing present for a dear friend of mine. It kills me you're not selling prints of it! :heart:
tir-ri Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2011   Traditional Artist
Aww, I'm flattered to be even concidered (and I wish printing wasn't so expensive in my country). TvT
Flitterpaw Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
I am in agreement with Raychol. If you were to start selling prints (through another venue or dA), I would buy a bunch of them. I adore your art and would love to have printed copies <3
tir-ri Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013   Traditional Artist
Very late thank you and yes, I should try learn more about print services! I've heard about Society 6, need to check that out soonish. *o*
HayUnaMoscaEnMiSopa Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, is not a tutorial but this FAQ is very useful, :clap:
SarahBoreal Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Professional Photographer
Do you ever put up pieces to sell? Or do you only do commission work?
tir-ri Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011   Traditional Artist
Unfortunately the other works I've made have been either gifts to friends or then personal works from my unwritten stories, so they hold too much emotional value to be sold. ;v;
Karoish Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011
Selasin varmuuden vuoksi näitä läpi, etten kysyisi jo kysyttyä. Et tee tilaustöitä tällä hetkellä, mutta oletko ajatellut voivasi myydä esim printteinä aikaisemmin maalaamiasi kuvia (originelleja nyt ei taida kukaan myydä)? Kuolisin ehkä onnesta jos saisin työpistettä sulostuttamaan jonkin maalauksistasi. :)
Jos ei, niin ei se mitään! Kysyvä ei tieltä eksy. :)
tir-ri Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011   Traditional Artist
Ahh, kerran kokeilin tätä DA:n printtimyyntiä parin työn kanssa, mutta jotenkin se vain jäi, kun ei sillä kamalasti pystynyt tienaamaan ellei hinnat olleet melko korkeita. :'D

Mutta kiitos paljon (aina ihana kuulla kauniita kehuja)! TvT
Karoish Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011
Mieluummin ostaisinkin printtinä jotain muuta kautta (suomessakin prittaus taitaa maksaa mansikoita...) koska ei kiinnosta työntää dA:lle yhtään ylimäärästä roposta jos sitä vaan voi välttää. :D
JamieKinosian Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
This'll be the first Journal I'm faving once DA enables favoriting journals. ♥ Super valuable guide. It's especially helpful for someone like me that's just now getting started with them.
tir-ri Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2011   Traditional Artist
Oh my, thank you! It's always wonderful to hear people find this FAQ useful. ^////^
c-osmos Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
VERY VERY useful FAQs, thank you very much :)
And it's funny when you explain what you mean by "aquarelle", it's actually the french word for Watercolor :P
tir-ri Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011   Traditional Artist
Haha, a couple years ago a few people kept asking me about the meaning of that word, so I left it in my FAQ just in case. =v=;
Paperopunk Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2011
This FAQ is really useful, and it answered to almost all of my questions!

I should really try those opaque/thick watercolours, they seem very interesting.
Oh, and it's good to know that I'm not the only one who is slightly intimidated by masking fluid XD
tir-ri Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2011   Traditional Artist
Ah, I'm very happy it this FAQ was anyway helpful and yes, people should be cautious when using such aggressive stuff as the masking fluid (many get nasty surprises). :'>
valatdeviantart Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2011
I have a question regarding inking and going over your lines after the main coloring is done...I've used progressively thinner and thinner pens, in both black and brown, and have found the colors so damn aggressive that the end result looks little like the original work (with the soft pencil lines). How do you solve this problem? I for one have been re-lining my drawings with soft pencils, but that's just a temporary solution.
tir-ri Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2011   Traditional Artist
The colored work never really ends up looking exactly like the original sketch, but I haven't used ink and a hairline pen for the lines when working with watercolors since 2008. Nowadays I just use small brushes and watercolors to strengthen the lines after if needed, but not all lines even need this.

I'm not sure what would be the best solution, but you could try this method. Can be a little tricky at first, but practice helps steady the hand eventually. :>
valatdeviantart Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2011
Well, I'll certainly give it a try! :iconrelievedplz: It'll be slow at first (my hands aren't all that steady yet), but with this method I can have pretty lines that match the sections they are surrounding.

Thank you very much for answering, btw! Thanks to you my watercoloring abilities are quickly improving, despite my glaring lack of patience with layering and drying. We'll see how it goes. :)
adamlara Featured By Owner May 29, 2011  Student Digital Artist
You're genius of watercolours. How is to be a artistic hero for someone, being inspiration ?
Toph43 Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2011
very inspirational watercolorist. :)
Tunaque Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
What kind of bookstores do you go to?! lol, I've never heard of a bookstore that sells art supplies.

I must be going to all the wrong ones. Although it probably different overseas.
tir-ri Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2011   Traditional Artist
Could be a cultural difference then yes. I've never been to single bookstore in US, so I wouldn't know. ^^
dreaminglagoon Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
tri-tri, I'm an experienced PS user, if you are willing to do a watercolor tutorial I'D BE DELIGHTED TO HELP!
I have no idea how many people would be eternally gratefull if you did one, so if you want to do one, only if you want to. You could take the pics and I could put them together in PS :D you'd have to tell me the steps I suppose...
does this sound suspicious? I SWEAR IM NOT A BAD PERSON! I JUST WANT TO HELP! D:

anyway..if yer too bussy, I still love your art ;)
tir-ri Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2011   Traditional Artist
You're very kind, but at the moment I really don't have the time for any tutorials thanks to the pressure from school. Also, I find so many technique- related words on english very difficult, when all the ones I use in my own native language simply don't apply. ^^;

But thank you!
dreaminglagoon Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
haha ok no prob...I'll just add you to my watch anyway ;)
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