"Color Play".....I developed my present watercolor painting style back in November 2017 and determined I would obtain a cohesive color palate utilizing just three primary colors (triad)...red, blue, and yellow. They produce the secondary colors of purple and green.
Sounds easy and straight forward, no?
These past two years I have created some astoundingly beautiful color combinations and have also made some very yucky muddy blends too. I had the wherewithal to document every single triad combination. The plot is going to thicken a bit because I soon discovered different brands of watercolor paints produced differing results. I found this fascinating... and promise not to be a bore. Stay with me.
Here are a few of my color cards for recent paintings. I staple the reference photo onto the back of the card as an easy identification of the colors for each painting. Right, are the various color combinations I've come up with. Each triad can be a blending of warm and cool colors, only warm and only cool. I have favorites but every trip to the art store, or catalog viewing, has me looking for the next perfect pigment!
Let's look what pigments can do. Left, the paints I choose are not as saturated (intensely pigmented) as the painting sample on the right. When choosing, I think of what outcome I want for my painting...the painting on the left is softer like an early morning hazy day. Hey...notice the sediment-looking particles in the light blue....that is a characteristic called granulating and can be very useful for texture in paintings. Adds interest. Also interesting in the right painting is how the red paint (right upper and lower part of painting) disperses in the yellow...doing it's own thing. I love that uncontrolled nature of watercolor painting!
In the forest sample on the left, the colors I chose created a brown and normally I would consider this muddy in a painting. I painted my darks first and realized this was the recipe I was stuck with, so I made the best of it by popping out pure brighter color...note the peachy oranges, golden yellows, and grey blues. What started out as a mess has become one of my favorite paintings! I'll be sure to experiment more with 'mud' in this manner. And the waterlilies....I wanted the water to augment the pureness of the lilies and went to my 'green-blue' pigment. Again, red (one of my triad colors) combined with green (complimentary colors) produces muddy color... so I chose a 'cool blue-red' to offset the greenish blue. I think it worked well.
So...I don't blindly pick out colors and start painting. Working a lot with pigments and acknowledging their characteristics helps me to choose wisely and obtain the results I see in my mind.
Whew.... I hope that wasn't boring. I get carried away with all this watercolor stuff!
Next week we'll be looking at a topic that has more meaning than we give credit to.... Painting Titles.
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Hi...I'm Patrice... an acrylic painter who writes, and enjoys sharing how I create and think.