Monthly Archives: January 2010

I just started this yesterday.

12×16 inches on Fredrix watercolor canvas

I am experimanting with Stephen Blackburn‘s technique of pouring the masking fluid.

1. First poured the MF, and let it flow around a bit…
2. Then I poured my yellow (Hansa yellow Med DS) and Quin Magenta(W&N).
3. After this dried I pulled out the MF. and did a secong pour of some more yellow and magenta and some Phtalo Blue Green Shade(W&N) on the bottom.
4. I put in some drops of MF in the center for a spark.
5. Then I started developing some petals using Ultramarine Turquoise(DS), Quin Gold Deep(DS), Transparent Pyrrole Orange(DS), and Hansa yellow med (DS).
And here it is:

Some more petals:

And here I put in the first wash in the center with Ultramarine Turquoise & Transp. Pyrrole Orange.

So here it stands… I’LL BE BACK

Now you must be wondering what I am going to do with all this fabric etc…

Here is where the creativity and fun begins!
I need to trace out or draw the pattern on the fabric on to the canvas.

Then, I would decide on an interesting way to devide the painting into 6 areas.

1. In the first area I would cut out the fabric to that shape and glue it there.

2. In the second area I would try to exactly replicate the colors of the fabric on the drawn pattern.

3. In the third area I would paint it into the exact complimentry of the original colors.
NOTE: An exact complimentry color is a complimenty color of the same value on the value wheel. So a complimentry of Green at value 2 is Red at value 2.

4. In the fourth area I will paint it in the same hue but opposite value. So if an area had a Green at value 2, I would paint it with Green at value 8. opposite on the value wheel clock. (Check the clock faces on the value wheels above.)

5. In the fifth area I will paint it in the same hue but opposite intensity. So if an area had a Green at intensity 2, I would paint it with Green at intensity 8. opposite on the intensity wheel clock. (Check the clock faces on intensity value wheels above.)

6. In the sixth area I will be painting it back in the original colors.
Let see how this goes!!! Pretty exciting! 😀
Here are my violet blue and green wheels…

Next I will be starting on my paintind and hopefully applying all the labor of painiting the Wheels!!!

I decided to do this on the Watercolor Canvas 12×16 but one can do this on any surface…

Walked over to Joanne’s fabrics this morning and found a nice piece of fabric that would make a good design for this experiment…. Found a good 12×16 piece compositionally and cut it out an inch bigger to the canvas on all sides.
If I were painitng this on paper to be framed under glass, I would cut it out to the size of the paper.

Here are my Yellow Wheels: (DS Hansa Yellow Med; complementary: W. Violet)

The two value wheels:

White (of the paper) to pure hue:-

Pure hue to black:-

Intensity Wheel:
Pure hue to no color:-

See how when you add black to yellow you get beautiful olive colors; while adding complimentary violet gives gorgeous browns

Here are my Orange Wheels: (Winsor Orange; Complimentary: Ultramarine Blue)

The two value wheels:

White (of the paper) to pure hue:-

Pure hue to black:-

Intensity Wheel:
Pure hue to no color:-

Notice how the dark value wheel on this and the intensity wheel are not much different!

Here are my Cool Red Wheels: (W&N Perm. Alizarin Crimson; complementary: W&N Pthalo Green Yellow Shade)

The two value wheels:

White (of the paper) to pure hue:-

Pure hue to black:-

Intensity Wheel:
Pure hue to no color:-

Again not much difference in the last two wheels….


As you see we are not just one color wheel around the palette, but “three” wheels for each hue to help us get a deeper understanding of each hue, and also to get a deeper understanding of color mixing

I have seen many posts on WC! asking how to mix a particular color (be it blond hair/ or dark skin/ or of copper jugs .)

Doing these wheels will help us “see” what color is really there in the object we are trying to paint! And also help us understand the hue/value/intensity of each color.

A particular color has the following properties:
1. Hue: This essencially means what color it is: red/yellow/violet or blue, etc…
2. Value:this is the darkness or the lightness of the color.
3. Intensity: the brighness or dullness of a color.

We take each hue and we do 3 color wheels for each.

Two Value Wheels:
From white to a pure Hue and back again
From Pure Hue to Black and back again

One Intensity Wheel:
From Pure Hue to No-Color* and Back again.

*No color: Mixing complementaries reduces the intensity of a Hue. Until it reduces to a no color… it’s neither this color or that…., for eg, if you keep adding the complemetary violet to yellow, there will be a point where it will be neither yellowish not towards violet… just PURE MUD! this is No Color.

For the first wheel we add water to the pure highest chroma pigment to change the value.

For the second wheel paint pure pigment at 12 o’ clock. Paint black at 6 o’ clock. We don’t add any more water, we use the paint at the highest chroma, just keep adding more and more black.

For the third wheel we have pure pigment at 12 o’ clock and No Color at 6 o’ clock – by adding the complimentary to our hue. Again, we don’t add any more water, we use the paint at the highest chroma, just keep adding more and more complimentary. Paint a small circular swatch of the complimentary in the center.

I am leading a class currently at Wetcanvas! on “Color Explorations” based on the book “COLOR” by Betty Edwards, who as you all know also wrote the amazing book on drawing “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” (I am also working through that book on the side as well.)

I haven’t read the whole book but what I have read, was really good and I am in the process of going through the exercises in the book. At the end of the section, the exercises and the knowledge gained are put together and lead to a very interesting painting showing you how to have color harmony in a painting.

Now, in her book she uses acrylics, but of course, me being me, I am doing them in watercolor.

It starts simply with instructions to make a color wheel of hues but then has exercises to train the eye to recognize value and intensity. There’s a value wheel and intensity wheel too…

She only uses 7 pigments + black & white in her book.
Although I usually never use more than around 5 pigments in a painting, I really have no intentions of limiting my palette to 7 pigments I enjoy having all kinds of lovely delicious colors
But then maybe it will be good to learn and to know the few basic pigments and their characteristics, and that is in fact my main goal in trying this out.

The acrylic colors she uses are:
Titanium white
Ivory black
Cadmium Yellow Pale
Cadmium Orange
Cadmium Red Med
Alizarin Crimson
Cobalt violet
Ultramarine blue
Permanent Green

I will be using these watercolor paints:

DS Hansa Yellow Med
W&N Winsor Orange
W&N Winsor Red
W&N Perm. Alizarin Crimson
W&N Winsor Violet
Schminke Ultamarine blue Finest
W&N Winsor Blue Yellow Shade

The reason she recommends 2 Reds is because a warm red does mix well with cool blues to make a good violet and vice versa.

She has a very nice template in her book to make color wheels:

To use it, you print this out on a paper and cut out the outside circular edge.
Now use a small craft knife to cut out the narrow spaces indicated on the template.
To use the template, simply place the template on watercolor paper and draw the outside circle and draw into the openings that you slit.

Here is a picture of my color wheel template:

Now paint your color wheel.
Yellow on top at 12 o’ clock,
Red at 4 o’ clock,
blue at 8 o’ clock.

Orange at 2 o’ clock,
violet at 6 o’ clock and
Green at 10 o’ clock.

Here we’ll mix the colors…
Yellow-orange at 1 o’ clock
Red-orange at 3 o’ clock
red-violet at 5 o’ clock (the red we mix for violets is alizarin Crimson or another cool red)
Blue-violet at 7 o’ clock
Blue-green at 9 o’ clock
Yellow-green at 11 o’ clock

This is my color wheel… with the colors mentioned above:

And here is a value wheel done with lamp black:

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Srishti Wilhelm Srishti Wilhelm is an award winning Impressionist artist who paints plein air paintings from life in oil and watercolor.