"I was introduced to Daniel Smith Watercolors 22 years ago, and have used nothing else since. I love the rich pigment and colors. The transparents, in glazing are like laying glass over glass. And the sedimentary paints are so exciting, with lots of water and a little movement, they create awesome passages. When I add a new color, I experiment with combining it with my present palette, to see how they mix and react with each other.
I like to choose a different palette for each painting-usually 3 colors-if they will create a dark, great, if not I will add one. The limited palette gives the painting a smooth harmony. While choosing my colors for each painting, I will put a puddle of water on my palette and then drop a bit of each color around this puddle, just touching the water, move it or tilt it a bit, just to get an idea of the different amazing colors that I will be using in the painting. Don't be afraid of using something a bit unusual!
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A combination I love for some portraits is Opera Pink, Cobalt Blue and Quinacridone Gold with my Moonglow as a dark.
The limited palette is a easy way for my students to learn how to combine colors, create neutrals, mix their color on the paper, and how to glaze. A fun method to teach!
I start all my watercolors with a light detailed drawing. I really like to fill the page. For"Grizzly" I used Cobalt Blue, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Moonglow, and Indigo.
I loosely (at random) wet the paper and drop the lightest values of cobalt and quin. burnt orange. You can see the cobalt in his forehead and behind his ear. After this wash is dry I start painting the biggest shapes with local colors.
I prefer to paint around my lights. After I resolved the browns (cobalt and orange) of the bear, I painted the dark(Indigo) as a negative shape around all the fine light hairs, always moving the paint in the direction the hair grows. I then pulled the dark hairs over the light colors. All positive and negative.
After everything was dry, I wet the background again and dropped in moonglow, tilting it a bit so it would move and spread. A few details and he is finished.
When entering shows and competitions -you only have a few second of the judges eye- Color harmony and good composition just might get you that second look!
My full palette includes:
- Quinacridone Gold,
- Quinacridone Burnt Orange*,
- Quinacridone Sienna,
- Quinacridone Purple,
- Quinacridone Rose,
- Quinacridone Coral,
- Naples Yellow,
- Opera Pink,
- Alizarin Crimson,
- Sap Green,
- Cobalt Blue*,
- Manganese Blue Hue,
- Cobalt Blue Violet,
- Hematite Genuine,
- Green Gold,
- Cerulean Blue,
- Minnesota Pipestone Genuine
- *included in this 4-Color Grizzly Set
I use Arches 140# Cold Press, a DaVince 1" Flat Brush and Stephen Quiller #12 Round, and 1 1/2 " Flat Brushes."