We first met Valerie Chua back in January when she interviewed James Jean for the Philippine Star. Her interviewing partner, Karen Bolilia, explained that she had asked Valerie to come along as Valerie knew James’ art very well, being an artist herself.
Little did we know that Valerie did in fact have a portfolio worth boasting about. When we met her then, she had just exhibited her first solo show in Heima Home & Lifestyle. The show was entitled “Backyard of the Universe,” a phrase that perfectly embodies the whimsical, dreamy aesthetic in her art. With watercolor and acrylic paints, she portrays a world of females in fantasy, filled with wonder and expressions of mystery behind their eyes.
Now that we meet up with her again, she is preparing for four more exhibits in the near future, the closest of which already opening next month! Here, she helps us enumerate and recommend a few tools for budding watercolor artists and any interested enthusiasts.
For paints, Valerie recommends ArtCreation gouache and Rembrandt colors. They both have good consistencies to work with, and they don’t dry up easily while in the tubes. Liquitex acrylics are also a prime choice, and it is one of the brands used by professional artists around the world.
A brush’s behavior can be just as important as the paint one is using. Valerie explained that brushes made with soft sable hairs are the most ideal (and at the same time, most expensive) to use. The top of the line brushes come from Windsor & Newton’s Cotman and Galeria lines.
However, if you’re at an intermediate level (not quite professional level, but beyond the beginning stages) Lefranc and other Windsor & Newton brushes made of golden synthetic sable are best to help you step up with materials and skill.
A few months ago, Valerie wrote a blog entry about her experience with Clairefontaine watercolor paper and how she likes to use it with gouache paint. She still recommends the brand as its thickness makes it “easier to lift the paint when one makes a mistake.” Moleskine watercolor paper and Carson sketch pads are also good for drawing.