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September 21, 2012

Playtime #2 with Gouache

My first artist grade watercolors were 3 warm primaries and 3 cool primaries - because I wanted to mix my own colors, like I do with procion MX dyes for fabric.  Laura, of Laurelines.... was posting some color studies that she did and I decided to spend 6 months, one for each primary and secondary color, mixing my 6 Winsor Newton primary triads to explore a full range of colors. 

Each month I collected items of the "color of the month" and tried to mix colors as closely as possible to paint them.  Those sketchbook pages can be seen by scrolling down in the color project category on the right side of my blog - under Archives. 

Now I'm experimenting with my first artist grade gouache and I spent another wonderful playtime mixing complementary colors from my 3 tubes.  The primaries, secondaries created, and some glazing from playtime #1 can be seen here.

This time I wanted to mix complementary colors using red + green, blue + orange, and yellow + purple.  I didn't spend much time mixing the secondary colors, i.e. I didn't try to match them to colors created in my last playtime.  I stayed very loose!  My three primaries are all identified in the 3 spectrums.



I wanted to try to mix all of the colors in a small sketchbook painting and found a perfect reference photo - a scene near Place des Voges taken by our cousin when the 4 of us were in Paris in 2005.  I tried to match the colors in the photo as much as possible, although I still need to work harder to get the darkest gray possible.  One turned out too purple and the other too brown.


September 12, 2012

Experiments with Gouache

I love watercolor, and still haven't fallen in love with acrylic paint.  So I decided to slowly buy some Winsor-Newton gouache in one cool primary triad, and to play with them before buying a warm triad.  I bought Lemon Yellow, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, and Ultramarine.  It will take me awhile to decide whether I want to invest in more tubes - until then I will play.

Here are color samples of the 3 primaries, the mixed secondary colors, and one quick mix of complementary colors.  I will explore the full range of complementary colors that are possible, but just wanted to see how close I could get to mixing shades of gold and brown.

 I also did a quick opacity test and was surprised that the Crimson wasn't more opaque.


Jane Davies posted a tutorial on the Sketchbook Challenge blog last week, using acrylics and pens to create abstract paintings, and I watched it right after I bought my paints.  It seemed like a great way to test my 3 primaries and the range of colors I could mix - as well as assessing the ability to glaze in layers and cover some of the background paint.



September 2, 2010

Learning to "Paint Outside the Lines"

Linda Kemp's book, Watercolor Painting Outside the Lines, was mentioned on the Everyday Matters message board, and on View From the Oak Blog.  When I have gift cards, I buy this type of art technique book for my library and this year it is one of my goals to actually read and sometimes do exercises or demos from some of these books.  This was my book for August.

In order to really understand the technique of painting just the negative space, I had to try the first two exercises in this book.

Exercise 1:  Paint many different size circles in groups and paint only the negative space.  This painting has 5 layers.  I was quite messy, and didn't keep nice smooth edges, but I accomplished my goal.  I did understand the concept after doing this exercise.

I just found Linda doing this exercise on a You Tube Video.


Exercise 2:  Same technique, but with a stem with 2 leaves, and a watercolor underpainting.  Again, I was quite messy with the outlines, but now understood working wet-in-wet and creating interesting color washes.

Although I did this exercise from her book, I just found a demo of it on her website.


Extending the Lesson Using My Original Image:  Friends brought a lovely bouquet of flowers Saturday evening and I decided to use the flower and leaf shape from one of the flowers to create my own negative painting.


Then I created Two Magnetic Bookmarks using the same flower and leaf shapes.  The technique for making these was posted previously.  But now I use individual magnets sold at Staples as adhesive business card magnets - and I cut them in half vertically. 


December 5, 2009

My Pens and Watercolor Paints

In Kate's "Artist's Journal class" we are exploring various media that we own or have never used and this week I sketched my whole repetoire of pens and the 3 watercolor triads that I use for mixing colors.  After documenting what I had, I decided to make a trip to NY Central Art Supply today to learn about nibs for dip pens and to bring some home to try.

Here are all of the sample pages done as over the last 3 days:







April 2, 2007

Mixing Colors

MixColors.size.jpg PicassoPicadors.size.jpg

One of the watercolor projects from Chapter 1 in Anne Elsworth's book (Watercolor Skills Workbook - 10 easy lessons) is mixing watercolors to match master paintings.  I chose this Picasso piece (which was done in pastels) and used my regular palette of primary watercolors to mix each of the colors that I could see in the print.  This is a fabulous way to train your eye and I hope to do more of these projects as I work through her book.

I am now done with the projects that I want to do from Chapters 1 and 2 - and ready to move on.  I need to plan my way through these exercises and projects slowly if I want to enjoy them.  I think I was previously unable to appreciate the 10 lessons because I was trying to rush through the book.

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