Making Color Charts

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Yesterday, the Jean Haines’ books I ordered had arrived.  I really love her style.  I would love to paint like her.  She has many years of painting behind her, so that is going to be a tough one to follow.  Anyhow, I am inspired by her work.  Right now her books are my bedtime reading.  One of the things she suggested is to make a color chart of your paints.  It is a good idea to see what you have and find out how they work.  She isn’t the only watercolor artist who has suggested it, so I thought it would be a good idea.IMG_1594The above are all Winsor & Newton Artists’ Watercolours.  These are the most popular in the UK and easily purchased in most art stores and The Range.  It looks like I have loads of blue, but I forgot the name of a couple and had to re-do them. Duh!  I have 6 blues!  I just bought a few new colors this week to use on landscapes.  I basically took straight color either from the pan (they are all tube paints, but go hard on the palette) or straight from the tube.  Then I took some clean water and touched the bottoms and sides to see what they do, how they flow.  Some paints are granulating like French Ultramarine and Permanent Mauve and the rest flow pretty smoothly.  Quinacridone Gold has some very interesting properties and moves around a lot.  My least favorite is Raw Umber.  I purchased it for landscapes, but I might need to play around with it more.

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The swatches above are Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolours, except for the Raw Sienna, which is Daler-Rowney.  These are student grade paints and what I originally purchased when I tried a WC Class a couple of years ago.  It was the watercolor class that never really was as we spent the first lesson stretching paper, one was cancelled, etc.  A complete waste of time!  The yellow and red primary colors are lacking from my Artist’s colors, and so I ordered them in Artists’ quality, along with a few others.

I painted these swatches on the backs of landscape lessons I did the other day! OMG!  I was not happy with them and was never going to re-work them.  I can still see them on the back of my swatches.  I am going to practice a lot on scrap paper.  No sense in wasting it.

With that thought in mind, I had an idea to try the watercolors on my Camino Landscape.

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It doesn’t look like much, but I got some really interesting effects.  My little lavender clumps on the right turned into coral!  It was interesting to see how the paints reacted with each other and when I dropped water in certain places.  I didn’t draw anything, just dropped the colors in freehand.

Art 2015

After this, I tried a couple of exercises from one of my new books and failed miserably.  Although Jean is very positive in her book and thinks anyone can be good at painting, I just can’t help but think I may not be cut out for this watercolor painting lark.  But then I try again!

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