Ripe Pumpkin for Inktober

Artwork – Zebra Zensations Technical pens and PM-701 Permanent Marker on Hahnemuhle Nostalgie Postcards

It’s the last day of Inktober! I’ve had fun!


  • Inktober – Ripe
  • Doodlewash – Pumpkin

Happy Halloween for all who celebrate!

Interference Back-to-Back

After using my new Van Gogh Specialty set on both the Van Gogh black watercolor paper and on the Stonehenge paper, I decided to do a back-to-back comparison, so I could really appreciate what the differences were.

I wasn’t looking to see which was better. That’s not my philosophy when it comes to art supplies. I wanted to see how each handled the paint, so I’d know how to get the best out of each in the future.

Van Gogh Speciality Palette & Van Gogh Black Watercolour A4 Pad

The Van Gogh black paper has a marvelous texture. It isn’t labeled as Cold Press, Hot Press or Rough. I’d say rough, but toward the smoother end of it. The paint moves well – almost too much. You can get detail but have to work at it. The paper is cellulose.

Stonehenge Aqua ColdPress Black watercolor paper

The paint moves well on the Stonehenge black, but not as freely as on the Van Gogh. The paint takes a bit longer to dry, which results in brighter color. It was easier to get detail, and keep more contrast because I had more control. The paper is labeled as Cold Press. It still has a definite texture but it doesn’t show as much through the paint. The paper is 100% cotton.

I really like the texture of the Van Gogh, and this is the paper I’d choose for looser effects. I like the brighter colors on the Stonehenge and would use it if I was looking for specific detail.

Bekki Page reviewed the Van Gogh Speciality Palette & Van Gogh Black Watercolour A4 Pad and I reviewed the Stonehenge Aqua Black watercolor paper. at Doodlewash earlier this year.

Interference Landscape

Artwork – Van Gogh Specialty watercolor and black paper.

This is another painting I did, playing around with the Royal Talens Van Gogh Specialty Palette set.

One of the problems with using only shiny colors is that it is difficult to control what the viewer sees. These colors are usually formulated to look different as the light changes, so the painting can look fine sometimes and confusing to the eye at others.

Simplicity and contrast is key. Here I was experimenting to see if I could get any contrast by layering the colors. I could – to the eye and in certain lights, but it is pretty much lost in the scan. It would have been better to just leave large areas of black and up the contrast.

Also, in the abstracts I did for yesterday’s post, there was a wonderful sense of texture because I only used one layer of thin paint and the weave of the paper showed through. With the layering I did in this landscape, I lost the texture.

Kind of what I expected, but it’s fun to confirm what you know. Makes you feel like you actually know something, lol.

Overall, I think these colors would be better used, in moderation, to add shine to other pigments, like the sheen on a bird’s wing.

Bekki Page reviewed the Van Gogh Speciality Palette & Van Gogh Black Watercolour A4 Pad at Doodlewash earlier this year.

Interference Abstracts

Artwork – Van Gogh Specialty watercolor and black paper.

Recently, I picked up a Royal Talens Van Gogh Speciality Palette set which comes with a Black Watercolour Pad (A4/8.3 x 11.7 in) and 12 paints in a cool black palette. Even the interior of the palette is black. I wouldn’t like that with regular colors because it could mess with your sense of color. But These paints are all metallic or interference colors, which in essence means shiny! and you don’t usually mix those.

The colors are Silver, Graphite, Light Gold, Deep Gold, Copper, Bronze, Interference White, Interference Violet, Interference Blue, Interference Green, Interference Red and Interference Yellow.

I haven’t had much chance to play with these, but I did a couple of abstracts just to see how the colors look and these are what I came up with.

The paper has a really nice texture. The scans, of course, are not showing all the shiny but I think these look very interesting even without it!

The colors are semi-opaque so you can paint light over dark. It does take a bit of work to pick up a good amount of the interference colors but that’s the nature of interference colors!

And what are interference colors? At a glance, they look much like iridescent colors, with an opalescent shine. But in the right light and on the right paper, an interference color will ‘flip’ from one color into it’s complimentary color. In other words, if you look at Interference Red, it is red in one light, but move to another light and suddenly the color is green.

Have to admit – most of the time, with any brand of interence colors I’ve seen, the ‘flip’ is rarely seen. It’s more obvious with white paper, but even then the light has to be just right.

The important thing is though – the colors are purty!

The set also has a small (tiny) brush that will work in a pinch, though it wouldn’t be much good for large paintings.

Bekki Page reviewed the Van Gogh Speciality Palette & Van Gogh Black Watercolour A4 Pad at Doodlewash earlier this year.