Wednesday, July 15, 2020

With Just Four Colors... Working with a limited palette

... And a waterbrush...  Oh, the colors that can be created!

This exercise was done with Derwent brand watercolor pencils.

Note the ratio of colors used when making the secondary colors.  Knowing this information before you paint is a real time saver.  Colors: Lemon Cadmium, Crimson Lake, Prussian Blue & Golden Brown
It's important to rinse your brush after every color so nothing gets contaminated.  You want to know what each color will give you - you want true color.

Steps for painting the marsh:
- Sky: horizontal strokes of blue pencil at the top of the paper
- starting at the horizon line, with clear water from the waterbrush, I wet the paper up and into the blue. 
- then let the deep blue blend down toward the horizon line by tipping the paper and using the waterbrush to bring down some of the blue into the clear water area.
- Marsh: put yellow pencil down everywhere there was marsh grass (horizontal strokes), then added bits of blue and golden brown. Wet the entire marsh, blending the colors.
- Treeline: now that the sky was dry, I worked on the background trees (vertical strokes).  Blue and golden brown at the bottom of the trees and yellow with a bit of blue at the top.  Added bits of red here and there along the bottom edge of the treeline.  Wet with brush, blending colors. Tried to keep the tops of the trees lighter at they were sunlit.
- added the far trees with blue and just a bit of golden brown (horizontal strokes) 
- Water: with the marsh grass now dry, I added bits of blue to the water area (horizontal strokes).  I wanted to keep it light, so just added spots of color that I blended into the white of the paper with the waterbrush.  The most blue was added to the water in the foreground.
- Foreground:  it's important that the marsh grass in the foreground have vertical strokes.  When the marsh grass was dry I added vertical strokes to the grass where it meets the water.  I wet the strokes with the waterbrush with vertical strokes.  Just enough to wet the pencil a bit.  I wanted to keep the texture of the vertical strokes.  While it was wet, I took my finger and moved the color down to create the reflection of the grass in the water.
- once dry, the added a darker horizontal strokes to create a sense of ground between the grass and its reflection.

Have you worked with limited colors before?  If not, I hope you give it a try!
Let me know if you have any questions!

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