Sustained Saturday – Watercolour Plus

We talked mainly about colour today. I suggested the use of a restricted palette. Most of my watercolours are created with the primaries and one or two other colours. The drawback of limiting your colours may be that there is less intensity in some of them. For instance, a green made from primary blue and yellow may be dull compared with a green made from blue, yellow and some Pthalo Green. However, I find that fewer colours can result in a more harmonious look to the finished work. The numbered areas of the demo correspond to the notes below.

1) The first thing I did on this demo sheet was soak it with water and touch in all three primaries. Randomly and very faintly. Note the swatches on the narrow strip of paper (upper right). This preliminary wash gave a subtle character to the white. Can you see the difference between the wash and the paper white where the two meet? Everything else was painted over this wash after it dried.

2) The plate has been painted with a faint neutral off-white. The grays were a mixture of Cobalt Blue and the yellow and red I used to make orange.

3) This orange was painted with Hansa Yellow Light, Rose Madder Quinacridone and a touch of Cobalt Blue. The lamp is above the still-life so I try to keep the top of the orange light and the lower area darker. The stem was added later.

4) These two oranges are a little brighter. I used a different red; Permanent Red. I used more yellow in the light areas rather than just a diluted orange.

5) Same as #4 except I touched pure Cobalt Blue into the wet area to create the core shadow. It’s quite dramatic.

6) The different blues were made with Cobalt Blue and varying amounts of yellow and red. The blue under the plate leans a bit towards gray. The blue above the orange is warm like an Ultramarine Blue. To it’s left, the teal-like blue is close to green.

7) This is the teal again but with a touch of Pthalo Blue in it.

Have a look at the work done today. Some lovely watercolours were painted but don’t miss the pen and ink work.

Sustained Saturday Critique


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2 Responses to “Sustained Saturday – Watercolour Plus”

  1. Ian Mackay Says:

    The fabulous still life set up and the colour constraint strategy yielded impressive results. What a nice group of paintings and drawings.

  2. Adriene Elfner-Hazen Says:

    Lovely still life pics. Great color combinations!

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