Monday, March 1, 2010

Springing for Color

 Happy March everyone! In anticipation of spring, I'm encouraging all my students to play with and use more color this week. If we paint enough, we all get into a color rut from time to time with our favorites (perm rose, indian yellow, and ultramarine are some of mine.) 

A great way to break out and discover new color combinations is to create what I call "mini primary triad abstracts," which is just a long way of saying play with warm and cool versions of red, yellow, and blue. In this example, I've painted the combos as a watercolor sampler, but of course you can create the same thing with acrylic or oil paints.  I promise allowing yourself this "discovery" time will make you a stronger, more creative artist.

In my watercolor sampler example, I've painted all of colors "wet in wet" (dropping in the color) but note that you could also pour the colors for even more subtle and interesting color mixing.  Here are just a few mostly primary color triads to try, but notice it's interesting to switch out a violet for a red or a burnt sienna as your yellow.  You'll likely discover some new favorites along the way as I typically do!
 Quick tip: Be sure to label your tests for future reference and for more detailed pigment info, see Handprint

  • Rose Madder, Aureolin, Cobalt 
  • Perm Rose, A,C
  • Perm Red Violet, A, C
  • Aliz. Crimson, A, C
  • Opera (bright pink), A, C
  • Aliz, Crimson, Lemon, Pthalo Blue
  • Cad Red Light, Indian Yellow, Cerulean
  • Perm Rose, Indian Yellow, Prussian
  • Perm Red Violet, Cobalt Violet, Prussian
  • Magenta, A, Phtalo Blue
  • Rose, Burnt Sienna, Ultra Blue
  • Opera, Indian Yellow, Ultra
Recommended watercolor reading for the week fellow Michigan native watercolor master Nita Engle's How to Make a Watercolor Paint Itself.  For more info about my classes please visit me on TeachStreet (search Scarlet Owl) or write to me at the email in my header.Have a great week!

1 comment:

  1. I am interested in taking some painting classes from you. Could you please let me know what your schedule is?

    Thank you,

    Robyn 303-986-1162 or my email