Wednesday, August 6, 2014

It Isn't Easy Being Green

I'm starting to learn about the watercolor pigments in my Winsor & Newton travel palette. I'm mainly just using up the Cotman student colors that came in it because I'm really trying to learn about how the colors mix together and am not making precious pieces of art. Right now, all my art is contained in my sketchbooks (Stillman & Birn Zeta Series & Moleskine) so student colors are ok for now. In the next few months I'll move on to my artist's quality Holbeins and learn all those colors too.

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I must admit, as I run out of watercolor paint, I'll be switching to Daniel Smith and M. Graham watercolors. Nearly every artist I come across uses those brands. I also love the quinacridone colors from Daniel Smith. I have the metal travel palette I want to use all picked out too. I want either the Schmincke, Daniel Smith or the Whiskey Painters Master Palette. Actually, now that I see the dimensions of each, I'll probably get the Whiskey one to save several inches of space. Space is always at a premium, whether you're painting Plein Air or just at home on a desk. No matter what, I'll fill my palette with my own set of personally selected watercolor paints. That's what I'm working on learning right now.

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Anyway, as per Prashant Miranda from SBS, I am now learning how my palette mixes together. I watched a very cool video by Cathy Johnson, who teaches in the second semester of SBS ("Seeing"). She mixes a whole boat load of greens in the video and it inspired my new passion... mixing color. Don't you just love how you can get so many, many different shades of the same color? That's even using my limited palette of twelve colors. I'm using: lamp black (Holbein), shadow green (Holbein), burnt umber (W&N Cotman), burnt sienna (W&N Cotman), yellow ochre (W&N Cotman), cadmium yellow (W&N Cotman), ultramarine blue (W&N Cotman), Viridian (W&N Cotman), sap green (W&N Cotman), alizarin crimson (W&N Cotman), Opera pink (Holbein) and cadmium red (W&N Cotman). I certainly will be changing out the cadmium yellow and red for less opaque watercolors. I'll probably use a quin red and hansa yellow. I know I need a darker blue along with ultramarine and I definitely want to add Payne's gray (W&N artist's watercolor), it's one of my favorite colors.

I was kinda thrilled to see that using viridian and opera gave me a strong not muddy purple. I had tried mixing a purple in the weeks previous to no avail. I ended up with mud! I also have to admit that not only is mixing colors fun, seeing what you get, but I LOVE how it looks on the page, it's so puuuurrrty. And I'll admit, I can be all about the pretty when I want to be, lol.

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I thought I'd include this page as I know many people in SBS have been trying to find both water-soluble and waterproof pens. I tested all my gel pens and I found that they were all water-soluble except the Pentel R.S.V.P., I love how the colors liquify after adding a little water to most of them. The Slicci are a super fine nib, 0.25, so you truly get a needle precision. There's some pretty amazing colors there. I'm looking forward to testing them out on a drawing in the future. I did the page below in my Moleskine the other week. The cubes were done using the black Slicci, that's how I found out that they weren't waterproof. When I added water to add a little shading using a warm gray color, I noticed I was getting a cool color. I then realized that the Slicci was liquifying yet still leaving a much detailed line.

I'll obviously be adding color after color to the mad mixing project of 2014, lol. If you're interested in learning a little about how one of the teachers from SBS "Beginnings" adds and deletes pigments from her palette, then go to this link. I warn you though, LOL, reading Roz's stuff is addicting. Going to her blog has lovingly been called "going down the rabbit hole" on the Facebook page for Sketchbook Skool. The amount of information on that woman's blog is so incredibly useful, an artist could spend her life reading and reading and still learn something every hour! Like here's colors for a gauche or watercolor palette, and here's a post about Pentel brush pens, including the water brush.

Have fun, have a great week. I'm gonna go get a good night sleep because I gotta go accost the postman tomorrow so he coughs up my package filled with a bunch of new PENS. Yay, art supplies!!


If you're looking for this week's APR just click here.
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1 comment:

  1. Your posts are really informative.I am a wannabe artist and looking at blogs like yours is a true inspiration.I don't know much about colour mixing ,so this was fascination.Thanks for the links too.


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