About Me

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Stan Fellows has been an illustrator for thirty five years, painting for magazines, corporate clients, and children's books. Clients from the past two years include: Martha Stewart Living, Harper's Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, Audubon, National Geographic, Field & Stream, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, NYU, Notre Dame, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, (what’s with all the airlines?...) Kiplinger's, Arts & Antiques, Simon & Schuster, and for six years he has worked monthly for the Wall Street Journal's Friday wine column. In his native Minneapolis he taught watercolor painting and illustration at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and has also taught watercolor workshops in Iowa City, where he lives with his daughter.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


A friend contacted me tonight and asked about WC gear; paints, paper etc. For what it's worth here's my answer.
My first advice re: WC painting is to buy all of Charles Reid's books and read them over and over and over again. I've been painting in WC for many years and am still reading Reid's books and am still learning from them.

I use a folding pallet that keeps all the trays flat in transport. Some pallets fold in such a way that half the colors are upside down when it's closed. Bad design.
On Reid's suggestion I use Holbein tube WCs. These refresh beautifully with a few drops of water.
I put them in plastic full pan trays with strips of magnet tape on the bottom to keep them from scooting around when I'm digging for colors.

The colors shown here are, left side, top to bottom: mineral violet, smalt (a Winsor color), ultramarine deep, cobalt blue, cerulean, lavender. Second row, T to B: ivory black, perm yellow orange, cad yellow medium (almost never used), cad yel. pale, another Winsor color I forget the name of, lemon yel., sap green. Right side, T to B: burnt umber, raw umber, burnt sienna, raw sienna, carmine, cad. red light.

I set my folding pallet on a 16x20 gessoed panel and use this for mixing colors. I prefer the tooth of the gessoed panel over plastic or enamel. It cleans up easily, is cheap, and flat. (easy to transport to life sessions etc.)

The water can is the bottom half of a Platypus water jug (I forget the size). It is astonishingly rigid and stable when full, but weighs nothing and folds flat. I put bright pink tape on it so I see it and don't knock it over reaching for something.

The paper I use is Canson Montval 140 lb. cold press. I like other papers as well but this one is the most versatile for the way I paint. I use both the spiral bound sketchbooks and 15x20 blocks.

And here is where dear Mr. Reid and I part company; Brushes. I've used expensive sables for many years (and still have a lifetime supply of new ones in a drawer) but a few years back I stumbled onto a cheap synthetic brush from Dick Blick and now use it for everything. All my oils, acrylics, watercolors are painted with this one brush. It's a 1/2" Golden Takalon #2060 (it's a square brush). I simply like the way it handles, but maybe that's just me. 
March 5  2009  SF

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, Stan. I'm off to Abe Books for Mr. Reid.

Phil Dorothy