Watercolour Swatches

Monday, 28th March 2005
Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

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watercolour swatches

I've done a lot of drawing in recent years, including going through Betty Edwards' exercises in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, so I now feel that it's about time that I applied the same amount of thought and practice to colour.

As I mentioned yesterday, I've just bought a new box of watercolours. Great Art, the mail order supplier I ordered it from, were doing an offer of a free Gerstaeker A4 sketchbook with each order so I decide to use it to paint swatches of the 24 colours in my White Nights Watercolour box.

White Nights Watercolours

Cadmium Yellow Lemon

Carmime Light

Emerald Green

English Red

Cadmium Yellow Medium


Yellow Green

Burnt Sienna

Gold Yellow Cobalt Blue Olive Green Mars Brown
Cadmium Orange Ultramarine Yellow Ochre Sepia
Cadmium Red Light Indigo Raw Sienna Raw Sienna
Madder Lake Light Phthalo Blue Indian Red Neutral Black
cadmium yellow lemon
English red

Adding Cadmium Yellow Light to each of the colours does what you'd expect: it gives a sunnier, summer glow to the colours.

I take a page of the sketchbook for each of the colours; it might be a useful reference to have around. And I need the practice in applying washes, as you can see.

Carmine Light gives a plummy look to the colour range. My previous watercolours included Alizarin Crimson and Permanent Rose. In his set Madder Lake Light and carmine take their place.

These are Russian-made colours and I guess that what they refer to as English Red is what we would call Venetian Red. I try mixing this set of swatches in more diluted form and attempt to do a graded wash of each, adding more water as I go, because I imagine that variations on this colour would be useful in portraits and figure drawing. Next Page

Related Link

Great Art

Richard Bell, richard@willowisland.co.uk

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