Wednesday, 26 August 2015

4 - Mixing with Raw Umber

This is the 4th on my series of colour mixes using my Ultimate Mixing Palette

Raw Umber is a neutralised yellow. You could create this hue by mixing a purple and a yellow but that's quite a fiddle. The Daniel Smith and Da Vinci versions are wonderful and dark so they add a dark cool brown to the palette. I find Raw Umber really wonderful for shadow colours, skin tones and in landscapes. 


Tuesday, 25 August 2015

3 - Mixing with Buff Titanium

Here is part 3 of my series on mixing with my Ultimate Mixing Palette colours, this time with Daniel Smith Buff Titanium. The granulating nature of this ecru colour adds a wonderful dimension to a number of watercolour mixes and creates pastel colours otherwise not possible. I especially like it for skin tones, and for the lovely sandy beach effects it creates with Goethite.

All the possible mixes with buff titanium and my other 14 ultimate mixing colours are painted out in my book and eBook, but this gives a nice summary look :-)

Daniel Smith Buff Titanium mixed with other Ultimate Mixing Palette colours. Moleskine watercolour sketchbook A5.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Mixing with Burnt Sienna options

Burnt Sienna mixed with most of my Ultimate Mixing Palette colours.
I have created a post about mixing with Daniel Smith Burnt Sienna PBr7, as part of a series on mixing my Ultimate Mixing Palette colours, which can be found here.

Burnt Sienna is one of my favourite basic palette colours. Here I'll show some of the other mixing options I explored.







The first shows Burnt Sienna mixed with a basic pair of yellows, reds and blues. Here I was still experimenting with a custom mixed magenta but I switched to Quinacridone Rose as a more useful basic cool red.
Burnt Sienna mixed with possible palette options, Moleskine watercolour sketchbook A5





I like Burnt Umber but it isn't as useful as a mixing colour as Burnt Sienna. I include it in my palette as a convenient warm brown even though it is easily mixed as you can see above - just a little Ultramarine mixed with Burnt Sienna creates a burnt umber hue. Here it is mixed with other possible palette colours.

Burnt Umber mixed with different palette colour options. Moleskine watercolour sketchbook, A5.

Here is the gorgeous Transparent Red Oxide mixed with other possible palette colours. It is slightly more orange than Burnt Sienna and can be wildly granulating, which I really love, but Burnt Sienna is a more useful basic palette colour as granulation is not always required. Another interesting Burnt Sienna option is the W&N PR101 Burnt Sienna, which is very much a burnt orange colour, but without the granulation you can see here.

Transparent Red Oxide mixed with possible palette colours. Moleskine watercolour sketchbook, A5





Sunday, 23 August 2015

Colour mixing with a single pigment green

I recently wrote a post about mixing with Phthalo Green BS - a basic palette colour for me and one of my recommended Ultimate Mixing Palette colours. 

I love the strength of this pigment, but I thought I would add some other wheels I have done showing this pigment as well as some of the alternative single pigment greens, and demonstrating how they mix with some basic colours.


Here is another colour wheel created using Phthalo Green while I was exploring different palette colours to find the most useful basic set. Here I was experimenting with Transparent Red Oxide as a burnt sienna option, and with lovely DS Permanent Alizarin though I later switched to the very similar but single pigment Pyrrol Crimson as my crimson choice. I also decided on Quinacridone Rose rather than a magenta or violet.
Phthalo Green in a colour wheel, mixed with a range of palette colours. Moleskine watercolour sketchbook A5

Green Apatite Genuine is a little like the two great Daniel Smith convenience mixes Sap Green and Undersea Green - a remarkable paint. This is another colour I love as an 'extra' for when I want a more granulating effect in a painting or sketch.
Green Apatite Genuine Daniel Smith Primatek watercolour mixed with other possible palette colours.
Moleskine watercolour sketchbook A5

Below is wheel showing the Daniel Smith primatek watercolour Jadeite Genuine. It is a gorgeous granulating green that is similar in mixes to the phthalo green, though with granulation. In masstone it can be very dark, rather like a Perylene green. In this chart I was exploring mixes with a custom mixed Quinacridone Magenta that I made by mixing DS Quinacridone Rose with  DS Quinacridone Violet, both PV19. I was also exploring the very granulating Transparent Red Oxide as a burnt sienna option. I love Transparent Red Oxide and use it a lot in my paintings but it is an 'extra' as there are many times when I want the more sedately behaved Burnt Sienna (see that in mixes here.) Mixed with a crimson, in this case Permanent Alizarin, Jadeite will also create a rich black. I love the granulating turquoise hues Jadeite makes with Cerulean and Ultramarine.

Jadeite Genuine mixed with other possible palette colours. Moleskine watercolour sketchbook A5

Viridian is a much softer, granulating and less staining alternative to Phthalo Blue GS. Made with PG18, here is Da Vinci Viridian mixed with a number of other possible palette colours. Once again I was exploring the granulating Transparent Red Oxide with the granulating Viridian.
Viridian, Da Vinci watercolour, mixed with a number of possible palette colours. Moleskine watercolour sketchbook.

I have created many charts and wheels in my colour explorations. You can see more here and by searching Sketchbook Pages in my Blog.

Friday, 21 August 2015

2 - Mixing with Burnt Sienna


Part 2 of a series of posts about mixing with my Ultimate Mixing Palette colours. 

Burnt Sienna comes in a huge range of hues. I have posted about many of them here and more can be seen on my website in the Painted Watercolour swatches section here

Burnt Sienna is a neutralised orange. It is a wonderful colour to have in your palette as a mixing colour. It speeds up the creation of other colours, especially grey mixes with blues, as you would otherwise have to mix a yellow and a red and then to blue to create a grey. Even in a very limited palette of a single red, yellow and blue, Burnt Sienna is an excellent 4th colour addition.

While Burnt Sienna is available in a options from a burnt orange to a burnt umber hue and is made from a range of pigments and pigment mixes, I prefer the earthy PBr7 Burnt Sienna (Daniel Smith, though Da Vinci and M.Graham are very similar in colour) as I find it useful as a convenient skin colour when washed out with lots of water as well as being a great earthy warm brown in landscape work. It is also the perfect mixing partner with Ultramarine to make my Jane's Grey - a convenient dark shadow colour that also acts as a neutral tint for the other colours, without introducing a deadening black pigment. To see some of the alternative pigments I tried, have a look here.

Here is Daniel Smith Burnt Sienna mixed with 13 of my Ultimate Mixing Palette colours. It creates yellow ochre and raw sienna hues with the yellows, burnt scarlet and brown madder hues with the reds, wonderful greys and deep blues and browns with the blues and a range of other browns with Raw Umber and Goethite. With Phthalo Green it creates lovely pine greens and with Buff titanium create flesh-tones. 




To see more mixing charts with these and many more colours see the Watercolour Mixing Charts tab on my website. These charts are also available in book or eBook form.

For the full range of colour mixes that can be created with my Ultimate Mixing Set of colours, see my book The Ultimate Mixing Palette; a World of colours. Both books are available through blurb.com as physical or eBooks here.


Thursday, 20 August 2015

1 - Mixing with Phthalo Green (Blue Shade)


Part 1 of a series I'll do on mixing with my Ultimate Mixing Palette colours. 

To see the mixing range this palette can create, you can see the various versions of my book here and look at the previews.


Phthalo Green comes in Blue Shade and Yellow Shade. The blue shade is made with PG7 and is also called Winsor Green BS, Helio Green, Blockx green and so on. Its full name is phthalocyanine green and is a reliable lightfast, staining, transparent and very powerful colour. The yellow shade is made with PG36 and is, not surprisingly, more of a yellow-green. I prefer the blue shade.

I don't use Phthalo Green alone, and suggest you very rarely would as it simply doesn't look realistic, but I find it invaluable in my palette for mixing. Add a cool or mid yellow for bright spring-greens, add a warm yellow for wonderful Sap greens. Add a crimson for the most amazing range of plum, aubergine, deep green and black hues. Add burnt sienna for pine greens. Add a blue for turquoise hues. While some of these colours could be created using Phthalo Blue + a yellow and then mixing with the third colour, most people struggle with 3-colour mixes so having a green in the palette speeds up the mixing process and simplifies it to just a 2-colour process.

Here is a chart showing how it mixes with 12 of my Ultimate Mixing Palette colours to create bright spring greens, lovely sap greens, deep shadow greens, turquoise hues, and earthy greens. With Burnt Sienna and Indian Red it creates yet more pine greens and deep greens. The biggest surprise is the purples it makes with Quinacridone Rose and of course the wonderful black it makes with its opposite, Pyrrol Crimson. All colours shown are Daniel Smith.

Daniel Smith Phthalo Green BS mixed with 12 of my Ultimate Mixing Palette colours.

If you don't like the staining, non-granulating nature of this pigment, another option is Viridian, made with PG18, as seen on the left in this Da Vinci sample. This isn't as powerful, but is liftable and granulating. It varies considerably from different manufacturers, some of whom add PG7 to the mix.                   Another interesting option is the gorgeous Daniel Smith primatek Jadeite Genuine which is similar in hue though in masstone it is a very deep granulating colour. I love the special effects that this pigment creates, though in my regular palette I like the predictability of Phthalo Green BS (Daniel Smith). To see these painted out with other palette colours, see my post here.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Daniel Smith watercolours in 5ml tubes

This is great news for those who want to try these great watercolours or just get some special pigments without having to invest too much money.

Here's the link to the 88 colours that are available.

Interestingly, in the UK watercolours are more often sold in 5ml tubes. According to the UK distributor, the smaller size will make DS more readily available from a greater number of stores.

Great for travel so you can top up your palette as you go sketching :-)