Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Small Color Study Continued

I mentioned yesterday that I felt I needed Winsor Violet to approach saturation. Well, now I'm not too sure. So, this evening I tried a mix of French Ultramarine and Permanent Rose. That went quite well so I followed up by replacing the Permanent Rose with Permanent Alizarin Crimson.

I think the Perm Rose mix is perfectly fine. See that long stripe of violet? To the right is the Perm Rose mix. Pretty good? To the left is the Alizarin mix--still not bad but maybe a smidgen less saturated? A bit grayed?

These are fun tests and I can't help but think that all my previous mixing exercises set me up for these refined color studies. It's a tremendous amount of fun seeing just how many nuanced colors can come from two pigments. I'm imagining the subtleties that could be introduced into a flower petal.

I'll be getting into some of these studies with greens, perhaps waiting for the course as this kind of work is called for in a week or two.


  1. The Alizarin mix does look more greyed. The flowers you scanned earlier look pinker overall than the violet mixes, and I am not sure whether the Alizarin or the Permanent Rose is the closer.

    Re the saturation: I don't know too much about watercolour technique but with a very clear colour mix which is reflecting a lot of light in one band I would imagine that the colour looks most delicate and attractive when quite diluted, and looks a little too artificially bright, or pasty, if applied thickly. I'm also remembering your charts, where the most inherently beautiful colours seemed rarely to fall in the most densely painted band.

    So I am wondering whether your colours do need to be more saturated or whether as soon as there is a range of different related colours cooperating within the same petal-space they will 'click' -- so that the non-saturated individual parts will add up to an impression of a highly saturated petal colour.

    Not sure I have expressed that very well ...

  2. I think that scan misrepresents the true flower color. All my Photoshop manipulations skewed hue and saturation.

    I know just what you are saying. Must I work at high levels of saturation or will relative levels of saturation provide the needed look? That is a very interesting question.

    My upcoming exercises will take me into gradated washes, initiating me in flower petal painting. My instructor has specifically mentioned grading with washes of Payne's Gray so we will be seeing some examples. Exciting stuff ahead.

    By the way, it is nice to have you back. :-)

  3. :-) I do like visiting this space.