Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WCW #2: My Pallet

Mission Watercolor Pallet--Maiden Voyage
What I am enjoying most about watercolor is discovery! As a child, I watched my mother paint with acrylic and oils for many years, and I have even experimented with acrylics myself. Because of those experiences, when I started exploring watercolors, I assumed that when you finished, the paints were finished, too! What a delight it was [after having dumped a couple of tubes of paint down the drain] to discover that not only should I keep my paints on my pallet, but I should also keep my mixes as well. This is probably old news to most artists, but trying to learn this medium without any formal training has me groping about in the dark at times. When I finally discover something new--what freedom!
My First Pallets
Above is a glimpse at the pallets I started learning with. The pallet on the left is compiled of wells to represent the primary and secondary colors. One thing I've learned is the wells in the pallet are most likely intended to mix a lot of color at one time. I also have found out that they work very well with the liquid watercolor pigments, such as Dr. Martin Hydrus Watercolors. Since I don't watercolor large scenes, I do not need as much pigment that would be likely contained in the wells...sooo...this pallet will be on reserve for those times when I think I will paint multiple cards.

The pallet to the right was the one that I first learned that tube paints were meant to be loaded into the wells and used as 'pans' once they dried. When I figured this out...on my own, remember...I felt watercolor freedom! Okay, that may be a stretch, and as you can see from the mixes. Obviously, I'm still tentative about mixing my colors. I do tend to stay very 'organized' when I use my pallet...keeping the cools and the warms on their respective sides. It's true, I prefer to keep one mixture at a time, although I have splurged upon occasion and have mixed varying shades of colors adding neutrals and warms to cools and cools to warms.

Experimenting with Greens & Golds

The main thing I love about watercolor is that the pallet is living and organic...ever-changing. One project connects to the next with remnants of the previous piece ready to be incorporated into the next color value. I quickly discover new colors and combinations. Complimentary colors are no longer strange to me...I embrace the combination. I delve into cools and explore the warms. Shadows are no longer illusive as I twirl my paintbrush around the edges of a scene. And if I tire of a color, all I need to do is mix in another pigment and see what happens. It's never wrong, and it's always right!

I hope this post has been a little helpful to you. For more information, please click on the links below to find out more about using your watercolor pallets and starting your own watercolor journey. Until next time...happy painting!!

Angela Fehr: Basic Supplies 

Angela Fehr: Tips for Using Your Watercolor Pallet 

Watercolor Misfit: Best Watercolor Tips

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