Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mixing Exercises 37, 38, 49, and 50

And that's that! All fifty exercises of Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green by Michael Wilcox are now completed.

37 was a transparency exercise. Especially the cadmiums covered well.
38 compared tonal range of a light wash to a heavy application of a pigment.
49 and 50 were about comparing light washes of a pigment with a mix with Titanium White.


  1. Useful -- the wash/white exercises look especially interesting. You had learnt so much about the relative opacities of the different paints while doing the exercises that these must have brought few or no surprises!

  2. Ya, I had the opacities down but for the sake of completeness I felt I had to get to it.

    I was intrigued with the white mixes. Adding white is supposed to cool off the color and I really did notice it in many instances. It may be too subtle to show adequately in my scan.

    Actually, I had the titanium white around after you had mentioned using it to make watercolors more gouache-like for my zoomorphics. Although I never employed the technique there, the opaqueness and resulting smoothness in this chart was quite enjoyable. I've become most interested in tempera but that's a whole other story. Maybe later... It seems I have more ideas that time or skill permit.

  3. Yes, it's funny how adding white can make a colour 'blue off' as I think of it, and it's sometimes very useful to get a flat layer of colour with no variations in (visual) density. It's a nuisance occasionally too: pale ochre mixed with white is a completely different colour from the equivalent density of ochre wash.

    If you get interested in tempera I will become awfully devoted to this blog. I have a tube of white hanging around, now a couple of years old, which I've never quite got around to learning how to use.

  4. I got to see an incredibly beautiful tempera of gourds painted by a NESBA member. It was on display at the Boston Flower Show. (NESBA has a booth there every year and I'd love to tool up enough to have something of merit in watercolor to show by next spring.)

  5. Now there's a good thought. If, as you suggested higher up, you were to paint an experiment every day until then, you will undoubtedly have something exceptional to offer.

    Tempera handled well has a texture like nothing else -- like a cross between oil and gouache. It lends itself naturally to miniature painting because of the tiny brushstrokes used for shading different colours on top of each other. I keep looking at it and then thinking ... not yet ...

  6. Yes., I'd loved to be established enough by then. It seems that NESBA is hooking exhibits for members every few months--a very active association. It all keeps me thinking. My watercolor course gets underway soon and once I'm through that, I hope to be setting some kind of direction that leads me into winter.