I'm using Arches 300lb cold pressed, and W&N tube paints. I have one quill brush and several round, but not sure if my quill counts as a "mop." I just used what I had. I'm not unhappy with the brushes, I'm just not sure that I really understood how to go about the strokes. Laura explained well, but I think there's something to be said for having a class with a teacher there to tell you if your form is wrong. I feel I could have used that kind of help. :) I definitely need more practice. I'm still trying to decide if I'm patient enough for this. lol I haven't done a lot of working with layers before, and I used a lot here. Usually when I'm supposed to work in layers, I get impatient and start re-working before everything is dry enough, and then I ruin things. I tried to hold back more this time. ;)
It's late and my painting is still "drying" a bit (it's basically dry, but I think the paper is still holding some water and is buckled big time) so I'm waiting for it to dry thoroughly and for daylight before posting a real picture of my finished project. The one at the top was taken while still drying, and at night in artificial light, so I know I need some daylight to get a better shot. However, my trademark impatience has me putting something down in the projects now so I don't forget my thoughts later.
I didn't have liquid watercolor, so I don't know if that made a significant difference in my black - probably not - but the black seemed to be almost too thick by the time I was done. But I'm also still a slow painter, so things were drying quickly. I also didn't have white chalk or a white pen, so I used my bottle of W&N white ink for the stars. I used both the brush tapping method and a little bit of toothbrush flicking for the smaller stars. I know she warned against overdoing it, but I like how the smaller and larger stars look together and give a little bit of depth as well. I definitely have experience in overdoing it, so it was nice to hear that reminder.
I used a 9x12 sheet of paper, but taped off to a working size of about 6x9. I struggle with the blending, I know... I am afraid to let the black in. I want bright, light, vivid colors, and the black takes that away. I know I should trust the process, but it's difficult. I also find myself wanting to start off with wet-on-wet for my first layer. Maybe I'll try that sometime.
I'm not giving up on this. I'm not 100% satisfied with my first attempt, but I think I will practice and see if I improve. Maybe I'll learn some patience too. Here's my "day after" photo:
I think this photo definitely looks better than the other, but my camera isn't quite capturing it accurately. Things look a little brighter in this photo than they actually are. My husband liked it, but suggested brighter colors in the future. I think I agree. :)