Thursday, July 02, 2009

Limited Palette

Paula asked which colors I chose for my limited palette. This one is modeled after one of Cathy Johnson's, including the altered paintbox itself which is a Koi painbox. I removed the original contents, leaving only the little waterbrush, and added full and half pans into which I squeezed Transparent Yellow, Quin. Red, Winsor Blue, Paynes Gray, Burnt Sienna and Raw Sienna. There are 2 watercolor brushes, a #1 liner and a 1/4" flat with sharpened ends for scratching back, plus a sponge, pencil and sharpener, and molded eraser. You can see by my dirty palette that I reused dried puddles and I don't often clean my colors, preferring to dip into whatever is there that's useable.
Part of the looseness is due to the finish on the moleskine pages. Mine is the sketchbook with the slightly yellow and stiff pages, and unless I wipe the page down with a moist towel to remove the sizing the pages slightly repel water. I like the look but watercolor purists rail against the paper and use other books. I chose moleskine because of the overall quality of the book. It stands up to just about any abuse and since I carry this book in my purse everywhere I go I need the strong structure.
It doesn't matter which colors you choose for your limited palette as long as you've experimented with them enough to know that you can mix satisfactory colors... good greens, bright purples and magentas, and orange. If the yellow, red, and blue you already own as long as they mix to form beautiful secondary and tertiary colors. And of course, be creative with color, using any color to represent any object, as long as the value is right. I could make my daytime sky pink and my water purple, as long as the pink is light and the purple is dark.
And BTW, the link to Cathy Johnson is to her Art Tips page where there is scads of information on how to paint with watercolor. She's the master!


  1. Thanks for sharing. Have a great July 4th weekend.

  2. Jo, Thanks for your compliments on my vacation work! I did not paint the lamp but it is pretty isn't it? You are right, had I not pre-planned the under-paintings, I would not have been so productive! I also have frames for these pieces waiting at home! I have been very motivated with the piece as I am working on them for a gallery in Delray Beach and a show in Melbourne, FL.

    I LOVE your new header, did you stamp the paper? it's gorgeous! And also, the clear drawers have been a wonderful sorting technique for me, I have one small box for scraps that sits on top. I am glad I have inspired you!

    Orange goes in both boxes, red and yellow, doesn't it? Ha ha, the sorting is just a guideline!

  3. I was using Moleskins too and I loved them until the were so full of molding paste that the book was I had to change.

  4. Hi Jo, thanks for stopping by my blog and your comments. I love your journal on Romans 3 - posted on 3/31.
    It's beautiful.

    Also, the note cards on the side of your blog - are they yours?? Is there a way I can see the larger??



I appreciate comments and questions.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...