Watercolour

Colour Play

Some watercolour play is on the agenda today…

Colour Play 1 - NB
Colour Play 1

In this first colour experiment I have some beautiful Daniel Smith pigments painted on beautiful Fabriano Artistico Extra White Rough paper. The rough texture of the paper really exaggerates the granulating characteristic of the paint – I love that. Colours used are: Raw Sienna Light, Cobalt Teal Blue, Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Gold, Cerulean Blue Chromium and Cascade Green. The Cascade Green, Cerulean Blue Chromium and Cobalt Teal Blue complement each other superbly…

Colour Play - Green Envy - NB

Colour Play – Green Envy

In my second colour play sample I have used just six different shades of green. From the left the colours are: Phthalo Green Blue Shade, Viridian, Prussian Green, Cascade Green, Rich Green Gold (all by Daniel Smith) and Olive Green (Windsor & Newton). I just painted the colours on the paper randomly – no over thinking it. Straight away I notice that the Prussian Green and Cascade Green work together beautifully. And I like how the Rich Green Gold and Olive Green contrast and complement each other really well. This is what these colour experiments are all about – discovering how pigments react and mix together, discovering what I like, what works well and what doesn’t….

Colour Play 2 - NB
Colour Play 2

My third set of colour play samples were painted on Arches cold pressed paper. Slightly softer colours this time. Colours used, from the left, are: Manganese Blue Hue, Buff Titanium. French Ultramarine, Naples Yellow, Cascade Green, Cerulean Blue Chromium and Paynes Blue Gray, all from Daniel Smith. I like the Naples Yellow and the Cascade Green together – they’re lovely! And I also particularly like the Manganese Blue Hue and Buff Titanium together.

Three successful colour experiments accomplished. I think it’s important to allow yourself time to just play with colour – with no pressure to paint “a masterpiece” or to be successful. If you don’t like the colours you’ve chosen you just put it down to experience, turn the paper over and start again… ! This is the way to learn about colour and discover wonderful colour combinations…

Watercolour

Rambling Rose II

Rambling Rose 2 - NB
Rambling Rose II ~ WIP

This is the second painting in my rambling rose series (the first was in my previous post). I may work on this painting some more, so I guess it’s a “work in progress” but at the moment I’m enjoying it as it is…

I used the same colours as the first one – Permanent Rose and Naples Yellow. This painting measures approx. 8″ x 6.5″ and was painted on Khadi paper. And this one too looks better when viewed from  a distance – you get the “rose effect” better. It was painted loose, wet in wet and I’ve just let the watercolour paint do what it naturally likes to do – working with it, not against it…

In the summer of 2016 I planted a lovely pale pink climbing rose in my garden. This spring it has doubled in size and, although it is only early may, it has buds forming on it already! This summer I want to paint these gorgeous roses from my garden. So I’m going to take lots of photos of them and also I will cut some and bring them indoors to paint. On a nice summers day I may even do some plein air rose painting in the garden…

BACK TO BASICS

I also spent some time recently getting back to watercolour basics – basic colour mixing and practicing brush control…

Mixing Primary Colours - NB
Mixing Primary Colours

This is a very basic colour mixing exercise. I  picked one of each of the primary colours ~ I chose to use Cadmium Red, Quinacridone Gold and Indanthrene Blue (in the top line of the chart from the left). All of them are quite strong primary colours. I then randomly mixed them together using varying quantities of pigment and water. These are just a sampling of the colours I could produce. This chart measures 5.5″ x 7.5″, but if I’d used a much larger piece of paper I could have easily quadrupled the number of different colours created. This is a fun way of learning about colour – how they mix, what different colous and shades you can produce. And it illustrates that you don’t need to buy lots of different colours, when you are just starting out with watercolour – just a few will do…

Next a fun brush control exercise:

Leaves - Brush Control - NB
Leaves in Earth Colours

I used a whole range of different earth colours for the exercise above. But it’s not about the colours, it’s about brush control. I used just one brush – a Jacksons Icon Quill size3/0. It’s a lovely brush, it holds lots of water and pigment and has a superb point.  The purpose of the exercise above was to practice working from the tip of the brush to the body and then back again to the tip again. I enjoyed painting my leaves. More brush control exercises will be on the agenda in the future…

Watercolour

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose - NB

My mission when I got up this morning was to paint roses… after doing a few household chores first of course! I started by following a YouTube video (I wont say which one) but after three failed attempts it clearly wasn’t working for me. So I stopped for a tea break and regrouped. I decided to go back to what I know works really well – Jean Haines tutorials… ! I found the rose tutorial in Jean Haines Colour & Light in Watercolour New Edition book and got started. I didn’t follow the tutorial to the letter but Jean’s instructions got me back on the right track.

So my Rambling Rose above is completely my own creation but created after following Jeans sound advice. It measures approx. 5″ x 5.5″ and was painted on Fabriano Artistico 100% cotton cold pressed paper. The colours I chose to use were Permanent Rose (W & N) and Naples Yellow (DS). The green for the stem and leaves was some left over mixed green left in my palette. The brush I used was a Silver Black Velvet size 10 Round – this is one of my most favourite brushes.

My Rambling Rose was painted loose, wet in wet, with just a few details and definition added after the first wash had dried. This is one of those paintings that looks better if you stand back a a few feet. I’m much happier with this attempt and am now inspired to try some more loose roses…

I hope you all have a creative week ahead!

Watercolour

Mixing Naples Yellow

A little while ago I added Daniel Smith’s Naples Yellow to my watercolour collection. I haven’t used it properly yet so I thought I would start by seeing how it mixes with other colours….

I picked just a few random colours and made a chart:

Naples Yellow - NB

Naples Yellow is a soft creamy mellow yellow and created some lovely soft pastel shades when I mixed it with a few different colours. I particularly liked how it mixed with Daniel Smith’s Quinacridone Magenta – it created what I would describe as “vintage rose” colours  – very lovely and inspiring….

I only tried just a few colours but what I’ve learnt from this exercise is that when I want to use soft gentle pastel colours in my watercolour work Naples Yellow is a good colour to have in the mix….