I am a watercolour artist, passionate about colour.
I have been painting professionally for over 30 years and love to share my discoveries. You can see more of my work along with tutorials on my website www.janeblundellart.com.
You can also find me on Facebook at Jane Blundell Artist.
I have a lot of ideas of possible blog posts, and want to get them written more regularly. However it was rather interesting to be writing a Guest Post and answering someone else's questions. Thanks for featuring me Charlie.
As people become more aware of the pigments in the paint they are using, they start to notice that there are a number of pigments that crop up in completely different coloured paints.
PV19 - pink and rose to crimson to violet
PB36 - turquoise and teal to greenish blue
PR101 - transparent burnt orange to granulating burnt orange to earthy red to very opaque earthy red
PBr7 - yellow earth to warm orange browns to dark orange browns to dark cool browns
- are some of the most schizophrenic!
Have a look at the PBr7 and PR101 section in this page of my website and you'll see what I mean. Some pigments cover a small range of colours, like PB29 Ultramarine, but others seem to cover a very large range not only of hue but also of characteristics. I'll look at PV19 here.
PV19 has a more rose version and a more violet version, though it also appears as a crimson (Alizarin Crimson Quinacridone by Da Vinci) and a dusky pink (rose Madder Permanent Hue by Art Spectrum.) Generally speaking, the more rose version will be called a Quinacridone rose/permanent rose colour where the more violet version will be called Quinacridone Violet or perhaps a magenta or mauve, but it does make it a little difficult to choose a colour based on pigments alone. As always, you need to look at the brand and the name to be sure of what you are getting.
I love Quinacridone Rose as an excellent 'primary' red. It mixes beautiful purples with any blue, especially ultramarine, but also mixes pretty oranges and reds with a yellow. I find the Quinacridone Violet colour less useful as you can make a violet by adding a little blue to the rose, though you can't make a pink by starting with the violet.
The crimson hues made with PV19 are also useful to consider in a limited palette - Alizarin Crimson (quinacridone) by Da Vinci for example is a more crimson red, but still mixes nice purples and oranges.
This is a two day workshop, but either day will be presented as a stand-alone workshop, so participants can attend either or both days. The first is perfect for those new to watercolour and just getting set up but will also go into more depth for those wanting to understand more about the medium. The second day is for anyone who wants to get out and paint en plein air with their watercolours.
We'll be looked after with lovely lunches on this beautiful vineyard. Book soon!
General registration begins on the 5th July for the USK Symposium in Manchester in July this year. There will be 500 sketchers, who come from all over the world.
I am really looking forward to presenting my workshop 'Watercolour Your World, One Mix at a Time'. It's all about learning what pigments you need for sketching in order to mix exactly the colour you need quickly and easily - without carrying a large palette!
Here is the workshop information. I've included all the links if you want to find out more about the Urban Sketchers organisation.
In this workshop we will explore artist quality watercolour to understand how to use it when sketching. It will cover pigment characteristics, colour choices and colour mixing, to enable the participants to set up the best possible palette of colours for their individual purposes, and learn to mix them to create the exact colours they see when sketching the urban environment.
To understand watercolour characteristics – opacity, staining, granulating, transparency - and how and why to use certain pigments
To understand the importance of warm and cool colours in mixing
To understand ‘primary’ colours in watercolour – their uses and limitations
To be able to mix realistic greens, oranges, purples, browns and greys from a limited split primary palette and understand which may be helpful to have as premixed colours in a sketching palette
To understand the importance of special mixing colours such as Burnt Sienna and Phthalo Green
To understand how to neutralize colours.
To be able to set up a personalized palette that allows you to mix the colours that you need, preferably by only mixing two colours at a time.
Workshop Schedule First hour
We will explore the different characteristics of pigments and show how and why certain pigments might be used when sketching.
We will learn how to fill palettes from tubes, including possible additives, and how to care for brushes when sketching.
We will discuss different palette setups including how create a palette and to travel light with watercolour
We will explore limited palette setups - advantages and disadvantages e.g. a CYMK or only 6-colours.
We will discuss warm and cool colours and have each sketcher identify what they have and perhaps what they might like to add or remove.
We will chart current palette, looking for gaps in mixing possibilities, identifying characteristic of each pigment - includes demonstration of how to mix watercolour to various strengths (tea, coffee, milk and cream)
Personal palette consultation with each sketcher.
Second Hour (or more)
We will create triad colour wheels and explore how limited palettes can be used for colour harmony.
We will paint a quick thumbnail sketch study in each triad to see how they look in a painting. Experienced sketchers may choose to work larger. Beginners may wish to spend more time on the wheels and do this as homework. Triad sketches may be classroom based or en plein air depending on time and weather.
Third Hour (or less)
We will create additional mixing charts of numerous greens, purples, oranges but especially neutrals in a sketchbook for ongoing reference.
Final half hour (or less)
Sketchers look at each other’s charts, wheels and sketches
Pigment and colour Q&A session
A ‘dot card’ of my palette with 19 colours to try will be supplied
Watercolours – bring all you have, as well as your usual palette colours.
Note – if buying colours, here is an excellent palette of 10 - 12 colours. All are Daniel Smith, though other brands of artist quality watercolours are fine. They are very versatile for sketching and perfect for this workshop. (See also my website tutorials and resources here for alternatives in other brands)
Hansa Yellow light or Hansa Yellow medium or other mid or ‘greenish’ (cool) yellow
Hansa Yellow deep or New Gamboge or Quinacridone Gold or other orange-yellow (warm)
Pyrrol Scarlet or other orange-red (warm)
Pyrrol Crimson or Permanent Alizarin or other crimson red (optional but useful. Remove for just 10 colours)
Quinacridone Rose or Quinacridone Red or other pink-red preferably made with the pigment PV19
Ultramarine or French Ultramarine
Phthalo Blue (green shade) (optional – remove for just 10 colours)
Phthalo green (blue shade)
Goethite or Raw Sienna or Yellow Ochre or Mont Amiata Natural Sienna
Burnt Sienna or Burnt Sienna Light or Transparent Red Oxide
Brushes: Usual brushes plus a ¼” flat or ¼” dagger brush is VERY helpful. If you are looking for good travel brushes consider Da Vinci (e.g. Maestro size 8), Rosemary and Co (e.g. R9 squirrel mop or R2 sable #8 or R12 dagger) or Escoda (e.g. Sable #8) in particular. A size 8 with a good point will be all you really need for most sketching, perhaps with a water brush or smaller sized brush if desired.