I recently finished reading the 2022 reprint of Hayao Miyazaki's brilliantly illustrated story, Shuna's Journey. I have a copy of the 1983 original which I purchased and read years ago so I thought it'd be interesting to do a comparison.
The first thing to note is the size different between the original and the reprint. The original is a pocket-sized book, about 6" X 4.25" and the reprint is larger at 8.75" X 6.25". I enjoy the size of the 1983 original, but that's a personal preference.
For the text, I enjoyed being able to read the translation because I don't read or speak Japanese. The placement and color of the text matches the original pretty closely. When I got the original version years ago, I found an online translation and read the book alongside that--not the best way to enjoy a manga/illustrated book.
The reprint still has the right to left format, which I was happy to see and it also contains an insightful note from the translator, Alex Dudok De Wit (son of the director of The Red Turtle (2016), Michael Dudok De Wit).
As I was reading the reprint, I was really distracted by the feeling that the artwork was really lacking. So after I finished reading it, I pulled out the original and noticed some major differences. The reprint is very bleached out and as a watercolor painter myself, I was really disappointed; the reprint almost looks monochromatic compared to the original (see below). Now, it may be the case that the original artwork has faded over time and the reprint is showing how the paintings look today; watercolor can fade over years of light exposure, but it's impossible to tell without seeing the original paintings.
Overall, I'm glad that this translated reprint was published and I hope some more of Miyazaki's work gets translated. I'd love to read a translation of Miyazaki's watercolor manga, The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu).. Or maybe I should start studying Japanese..
I just received a set of Schmincke Horadam watercolors, which is an early Christmas present to myself. The set includes 12 colors (5ml tubes) in a solidly built folding palette. I'm always trying out various brands and have found that I like the semi-moist quality of M. Graham & Co. and Sennelier; these two brands are honey-based and allow easy rewetting of the colors. Schmincke is not honey based, but does have similar properties to the brands I prefer. I'm not too picky about the brands I use (I also enjoy Winsor & Newton), but I find Daniel Smith's watercolors to be too difficult to rewet once they're dry.
This set by Schmincke has a full range of colors and each is vivid and lays very nicely on the paper. I was particularly impressed with the ivory black because it laid down really dark and didn't lighten too much as it dried. I know some artists don't use blacks and browns in watercolor, but I find black to be quite useful. Another nice touch is the inclusion of a color chart so you can see the colors in all their glory.
I don't quite know how to explain the fact that these tubes and colors also feel nice. As a painter, I usually follow my instincts and have a more intuitive approach so my feelings are very important to me. As I also mentioned, I like colors that rewet easily and this set does this extremely well. I would definitely recommend this set and this brand to other watercolorists who want bright, vivid pigments that rewet easily. Well done Germany!
I paint en plein air all year round, but it's definitely tougher when I feel the air getting colder as we approach winter. Cold weather and watercolor don't mix because it doesn't dry on the paper and it also freezes on the palette.
I started today by painting a beautiful grave monument at Valleau. My other painting is of a salt storage area; I pass by the structure a lot and always think it would be cool to paint. The huge mound of salt looks like a mini dessert. There were some guys working at the salt storage and they came over to see my painting; it's always fun to talk to people while I'm en plein air.
It's always a great feeling to ship paintings to a gallery. I put my heart and soul into my paintings and it gives me the greatest joy to see others appreciate my work as well. I'm very proud to be showing these oils and watercolors at Jack Meier Gallery in Houston, Texas.