Nicole CadetMy name is Nicole Cadet and I’m an Australian fantasy artist. I use watercolours and digital tools to create paintings. I have interests in mythology, history and technology. My day job is in computing (security and software development), and I play Guild Wars 2 obsessively :) I’ve dipped my toes in the medieval recreation waters, where I had an interest in Celtic Iron age, as well as fifteenth century European. I have a set of dice for tabletop dungeons and dragons, though I am very new to it, and I recently got a rescue kitteh, whom I named Murphy… who switches between adorable and terror modes!

Murphy

Murphy

Where did you go to school?

I did 2 years of a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) at Queensland College of art as a part of a teaching degree. I really didn’t enjoy it.  I also have a degree in Information Technology (Computing).

What tools do you use?

Materials for watercolours:

Paper:

I use Arches 100% cotton 140lb Smooth or Medium or hot press for nearly all of my paintings (simply because that is what is most frequently available). Hot press/ smooth is great for detail work whereas cold press is more suggestive and requires slightly different handling. I stretch my paper to prevent buckling and it makes it easier for me to set up on an angle (personal preference). Paper is a matter of experimentation and choice. For smaller pieces like ACEO’s I tend to skip this unless it’s a commissioned piece.

Paints:

I generally use Windsor & Newton. Unfortunately nowhere in my area used to sell pans so I had to resort to tubes and a pallete that I mix in. One thing to note, there is a big difference in the vibrancy of Artist quality vs Student Quality. I also use sepia pitt pens which are filled with Indian Ink, though I do use Indian ink and brush as well.

Colours:

Fleshtones – generally I use a cadmium orange mixed with alizarin crimson and sometimes a touch of permanent rose. For shadows I’ll add in blues (pthalo/ ultramarine)/ greens (viridian) / purples (generally a mix of ultramarine and permanent rose) to my base mix and mix burnt sienna with alizarin. You don’t ‘need’ all of these colours, I just make a slightly pink-orange/ peach colour and layer pale washes for general skin and choose a cool colour for the shadows.

Digital Paintings:

I recently got a Cintiq and love it. I have an Ergotron arm so it can move around a bit. These days I mostly use Photoshop CC2014 with a range of custom brushes that I have collected from other artists.  I used to use Painter and  Photoshop together, and still believe that painter’s brushes are superior to Photoshop, but the editing capabilities of Photoshop are much better.

Digital Setup

There are a couple of tutorials showing some of my techniques in the Tutorial Section