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.


Lin said...

I think these look wonderful!! Painterly with different accents -- I really love the colors in each of them!!!

Sandy said...

so informative - this is time well spent and thanks for sharing I will 'stay tunes'!!

A Brush with Color said...

I have also religiously read that exact same thing Charles Reid said, and I have yet to figure out what he means--I wish I could watch him do that. I do have several excellent videos of his. I love all these apples you did! None look bad to me!

Peggi Habets Studio said...

I think you have a good start. Just remember that your color will dry 30% lighter than when wet. Charles Reid is an amazing painter. His books are packed full of great, useful information. Good luck with your apples!

Stacy said...

Sharon, I found your blog the other day when I saw it on someone's blog roll (sorry can't remember who). I loved your blog title so just had to come check it out.

I am also a watercolor painter and think that controlling the water in your brush and on your paper is the hardest aspect of watercolor painting. It took me a quite a bit of practice and if I get distracted I can still mess it up.

Keep going with your experiments. You are definitely learning with each apple you paint, whether it feels that way or not.