Sunday, June 8, 2008
Using analogous colors to darken
As you can see from my apples, I need a lot of practice learning to judge the correct paint/water saturation. In fact, I've painted so many really bad apples in the past couple of days, that I've decided that my real problem may not be with the color red, but with my inconsistent watercolor skills. The two "apples" on the top right look like those anemic, unripe tomatoes so common in grocery stores. The apple on the top left might be okay with more glazes, or it might become dark and opaque. I just decided to stop. I painted a disconcerting number of apples, none of which I like. It's discouraging to spend so much time with paint brush in hand, and make so little progress. But I guess that's what makes watercolor so challenging. Good days and bad days. (The glazed apples do seem to have the richest colors.)
Charles Reid (Painting Flowers in Watercolors) uses colors from the same color family, rather than complimentary colors, to create mid and darker value areas. He also recommends avoiding the color values seen in the light, instead painting the color values seen in the halftones, the area where shadow and light meet. According to Reid, colors in the mid-to-light value range should be painted richer than they appear, 25% water to 75% paint. So now I need to take his advice and practice some more.