Saturday, July 29, 2017

New Colours

Let's talk about exciting new colours I've discovered while reading a blog post by Marc Taro Holmes, aka CitizenSketcher. I was so intrigued by some of the colours he uses in his standard palette that I had to try some of them at least. I do have my own minimum favourite palette, with quinacridone gold, aureolin yellow, ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, PG50, PV19, pyrolle red, phthalo green, green apatite genuine, and burnt sienna - those colours will work for most of my urban sketches and sea and clouds too. But the names of some of these new colours were so exotic that they got me intrigued.

  • Buff Titanium - PW6:1 - it's a white of some sort. Not that attractive on its own, but Marc Taro Holmes swears by it for complexion mixes, and beaches, and crazy skies. And yes, I have tried it for all of the above, and it works. Accompanied by perylene maroon and prussian blue, it makes a perfect mix for painting faces.
  • Graphite Gray - PBk10 - yes, it's a black. Apart from the patch below, I haven't tested it yet. It's a very smooth dark grey, no granulation. Maybe I'll try it for drawing with a paint brush? 
  • Lavender - PW6+PV19+PB29 - so that's a mix of white, ruby red (pink red) and ultramarine. I could have mixed that myself I guess, but it was mentioned as a colour Alvaro Castagnet used to push backgrounds back. And yes, I did think his book on watercolour painting was useless. I still do. But his paintings are amazing. And I know using the same colours as him is not going to transform me into a professional artist overnight, but I believe in using the best possible tools on my journey! 
  • Moonglow - PG18+PB29+PR177 - that's veridian green, ultramarine blue and permanent alizarin crimson to you and me - well the guys at Daniel Smith decided to mix it all together and the result, Moonglow, is just amazing! It's just a purple, I hear you say. But wait until you see it granulate and separate when mixed with other colours. I've tried it with Buff Titanium and Lavender for skies and it makes the most amazing clouds!
  • Bloodstone Genuine - this one doesn't have a pigment number because the pigment is Bloodstone Genuine, or Heliotrope - it's a stone. Quite dark. Not quite sure yet how I'll use it. It granulates beautifully, but I've tried it for clouds and it didn't work for me - I just have to find the right colour to mix it with.
  • Perylene Maroon - PR179 - now if you want to paint the colour of blood, perylene maroon is what you need. It's so thick and intense! But if you dilute it well, it will work for painting faces, as I mentioned above.
And then, there are a couple of colours that I already had which I've included in this palette
  • Chinese White
  • Naples Yellow
  • English Venetian Red
  • Prussian Blue
Prussian Blue and Naples Yellow because they worked well for painting faces, English Venetian Red for no good reason except that I thought it would be a good red to have, and Chinese White because I felt that if I kept it in the tube, it would dry out through lack of use, like every other watercolour white I've ever bought.

So we'll see how these colours will all work out. I have them all together in a little portable palette, so they'll be handy for urban sketching!

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