It's Amaz-za-zing -- A Little Water, A Little Color...

I'm terrible when it comes to names. Ask my children. (Grin) It's even worse when it's the name of something, such as a paint color.

When I first started painting, I had no idea there were so many shades of red: Carmine, Grumbacher Red, Vermillion, Indian Red, Rose Madder and my favorite, (the tube is almost gone) Alizarin Crimson. You'll notice none of them were just plain red. And that's just what I use, I know there's lots more available.

In my ignorance, I figured they were all shades of the same color.

Take green, for instance. There is Chrome Green, Viridian and Lime Green. Apparently Chrome Green and Viridian are the most popular shades, because that's what I've got the most of.

What I discovered, is that it's important to know the tint as well, because if I want to paint something with warm tones, and it has too much blue in it, that messes the whole thing up.

It is also somewhat limiting. When buying beginner kits, they usually come with five to six, sometimes twelve, colors. Sometimes these will be basic colors, that they presume all artists are going to use, and sometimes they are a variety, to give you an idea of what colors are available. If the kit contains shades like Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine, Phthalo Green (pronounce that one!) -- blue shade, Yellow Ochre and Titanium White, then you are limited in what can be produced with those particular shades in that pigment. Who came up with these names anyway? It reminds me of the names they come up with for plants and insects. I think someone has way too much time on their hands.

I like watercolors. Watercolors are far cheaper than other mediums, and last much longer. When it comes to watercolor, there are several colors that have ended up being my basics, and that I always have on hand. Black, (although, the tube says Ivory Black -- isn't that a oxymoron?) Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, (which are both a type of brown) Lemon Yellow, Cobalt Blue, Alizarin Crimson (favorite red) and Viridian (a bluish green). I also keep white on hand because I like to lighten colors sometimes, and I never did get the hang of blocking watercolor paper to create the white spaces...(like I said, my style is different) While these are my basics, I do have other colors that I like to mix in and play with. Especially the latest one I found, Violet Purple. (sigh)

One would have thought the art class I took in college would have reviewed color, explained the color wheel and mixing colors. I don't even remember having that explained in any of my high school classes. Is that something considered so basic that it isn't covered any more? I don't know, but I finally got myself a color wheel. The only problem is, I don't have the corresponding paints in my box. If it's not one thing, it's another.

This picture is my favorite. I painted it a couple of years ago, and while it didn't win anything at the State Fair, and it came in 5th at the county, it's still the one I like the most. Why? Because of how the ducks came out. I had never painted them before, and they were little wooden ducks my father-in-law had carved a long time ago. I also liked how the jar with the flowers turned out. While I know it's far from perfect, and there are many things I would change, I really like it. This is the reason I do still life more than any other subject.

I'm told that anyone can paint with watercolor. Considering how different my style is from my art instructor in college, I would have to agree. (grin) Anyone who wants to try out painting, should start with watercolors. It's the most forgiving, quickest drying, and least expensive.

I would recommend picking a basic kit and starting with the basic (gee, another oxymoron) colors so you won't have to wonder what in the world is going to come out of that tube. Play with them, get familiar with how it feels on your brush.

Next week I'm going to cover a little bit about the other basics you'll need, like brushes. That's a whole new world...

Return to the Neighborhood.


Great advice, Gaynell. I remember being able to do portrait sketches but I never mastered art. Derek Hegsted, one of my favorite artists, has sworn he can teach me to paint. I told him to hold on to that until the millennium because I have too many books to write for now.
G. Parker said…
That's fun, Candace. Perhaps when you retire?? grin.
Keeley said…
DUDE! You can PAINT! Wow, what a beautiful painting.
G. Parker said…
You're so're really good for my ego. Thanks!!
Ryanne said…
I do wish I had aan artistic bone in my body. Guess when the gene pool got to me it decided to skip so my lil bro and sis could have what was left. It's up to me to just enjoy others talents.

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