Thursday, 1 November 2012

Still thinking about colours...



One of the joys of watercolour as a medium is that you have the ability to play not only with hue or colour, but also with the other properties of the pigments. In oil and acrylic paints you may be aware of a pigment being opaque or transparent to a greater or lesser degree, but it is in watercolour that the other qualities become visible. Does it granulate? Can it be lifted? Is it heavy so it sits on the paper in a wash, or light so it flies all over a wet page?

Consequently I find water-colourists tend to have a number of paints to be able to explore these variations. A cadmium yellow for opaque work as well as a transparent yellow; a granulating blue as well as an opaque blue and perhaps a highly staining phthalo blue and so on. Limiting ourselves to just looking at hues seems a shame.