When I first started teaching myself to paint I would only use the one colour as it was in the palette (or in my plastic tray box from my local craft shop.)
I only occasionally mixed one base colour with a bit of white to get a slightly lighter shade, but it never really worked.
As I learned more and started to follow various watercolour artists on social media I started to pick up a few hints and tips.
Mixing colours in a tray, for example, to create different shades has been really useful. (I know, sounds like painting 1-0-1, but it’s really helped in getting blends of colours that don’t come in a tube or tin)
I recently saw an Instagram story from an artist I follow about doing colour swatches to understand the various shades and hues you can create.This helps to a) understand the base colour of the paint and b) the various shades you can create.It also helps to see how the colour will look on paper before committing it to a project.Starting with my favourite colourSo, I decided to get to know my paints and what better place to start than with my favourite colour – Purple.
I started with 3 base colours and worked from there.I use Daler & Rowney paints, for no other reason than they were the ones available in my local craft store when I first bought paints in tubes.Other watercolour paint brands are available 😁Using 3 base colours of Violet, Portrait Pink and White, I first did a swatch of each colour.Then, adding tiny amounts of each colour in a different mixing tray, I started to play around with the shades, writing down the colours used along the way.
I use pluses and minuses to indicate how much of one or the other colour I have added to the base, as I have no idea the actual quantity when I mix them with my brush and have no desire to measure each one out 😂
Doing this colour swatch has been really useful in starting to understand the colours and consistencies of my paints, and also…..how much water to use when mixing for deeper – richer colours.
I would definitely recommend having a bit of a play around with your paints if you’re new to watercolour, or like me, if you are starting to build up your understanding of painting and want to progress your artwork further.
This method can also be applied to other crafting tools in the stash – For example; Brush markers,Calligraphy inks, Colouring pencils…..
It’s good fun too, and can create some really pretty pieces in itself.
I hope you have found today’s post useful and if you create your own palette I’d love to see, tag me in on Instagram or via my blog.
Thank you for reading and Happy Crafting!