Saturday, November 28, 2015

After the Pencil or Pen Sketch, Adding Color

The hardest thing for me is to remember to paint the lightest brightest colors first. I am so used to
defining what I see by the shadows and lines! However, in watercolor you can't paint light over dark because the pigments are various degrees of transparent.

If you try, you get mud.

Usually the lightest area is the sky, but I don't always paint it first.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, it is often gray, or white. When young children are asked what color is the sky, they often answer, "white".

If your sky is blue and you have oranges and yellows in your sketch, your oranges will turn brown and your yellows will turn green if you paint them over the blue sky.

At this point you are painting loosely, not trying to stay carefully within your pencil lines, or you will get a paint by number look.

You will get nice color blends if you work "wet on wet". For example, the red and orange were added while the yellow was still wet.  Now let it dry.

Once it is dry you can add your middle values. The darker green now gives definition to the bright orange foliage of the tree at left. Anything you want white or nearly white, leave alone until later.

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