It is insane to take a new palette out on location without knowing what is in it… well insane is too strong a word but to take an untested palette out on location and to expect to be able to work with the same flow and ease as the tried and tested one is crazy. That is what I did this week.
So tonight, I just sat down and worked through my standard mixes using the three 'primaries' in this kit… working out how to get the colours I wanted.
The most important strip is the one on the right… mixing easily a raw sienna, a burnt sienna and a neutral grey. I worked out which order to mix the Y, R or B and got a feel for the quantities. Eg. to mix the grey I started with blue mainly and then a little yellow and a little red.
To a certain extent, as these three primaries are all transparent, I can keep adding paint to the mix and adjust its hue but the problem with that is that you are in danger of getting a dirty palette or water very quickly.
Better to have a feeling for the ratio of colours and mix it first go.
I have a few things to catch up on... including a lovely time with the Medical Artist Group last Tuesday. I showed them my portable studio, my
sketchbooks (including my first real travel sketchbook in 2007) gave a
slideshow talk and then did 2 very quick demos (sitting
on the floor… an important posture for travel sketching) of a tea cup
and a Sydney building from a photo. The point of the demo was to show my approach to fast spontanoeus sketching both with ink and wash and with watercolour pencil and watercolour. It was not to produce a stunning painting...as I note it is more a glorified thumbnail. I then combined the two quick sketches into a spread and wrote a few words.
We then had a lovely lunch together
and of course I sketched my meal as well...and then demonstrated how I took a photo of it and uploaded to instagram, facebook and flickr in one click!
Thanks AnnieS so much for the
invitation to come and share my love of sketching with the group
today….and for taking these photos for me!
Paul Wang and I have discussed reducing the colours in our palette - in essence to go on a colour detox. It is like going on a colour diet, going back to basics, revisiting colour mixing and challenging yourself with limitations. He recently set up a little kit for himself and I am doing the same.
So here is my colour detox palette…
I am trimming down from 16 to 4 main colours - a primary triad (hansa yellow med, carmine, French ultramarine) plus a 'burnt sienna'.
and then I have 4 additional colours that I can rotate as I feel like...
Quin Gold is just so useful for mixing greens help keep my yellow clean! yellow
Cerulean Blue for neutral greys for white objects and the australian blue sky
Green Apatite and Indanthrone Blue… for a special reason that will be revealed later.
Using a pill box from diaso - I think those lids are going to get in the way but hope that they will keep my paint moist which is what I want.
BTW I am using my green sailor a lot these days for sketching and painting first before line…but note to self: writing with it is a little too unpredictable.
And here is the first sketch I did with this small kit... It was fun and I only really missed one colour - cobalt turq light... I can see that the green apatite is under threat already!!!!
New sketchbook… so going to find new subjects (not teacup after teacup like there was in the last one). This evening it was my brushes.
I bought a FEW beautiful big sable Da Vinci brushes when I was in Penang and also recently got a sable blend sword liner from Rosemary brushes. These brushes are softer and hold more water than I am used to and am struggling to have my usual 'control.' The sword liner in particular is hard to use - so long and floppy (the splashes are not all designed!) I am enjoying the challenge and the fun of more wetness on the page… somewhat out of control but I love that feeling because then watercolour does some surprising things before your eyes. I have also been watching some Charles Reid so I have the masters techniques in my mind as well.
I have a random collection other brushes and a few flats that I bought in NYC in 2011 - I was in a flat mood back then.
I am also using a ceramic palette and squeezing fresh paint for each painting (using some of the tubes that I recently discovered when I loaded up my paint tube cabinet)
Having lots of fun!
(Looks like I omitted to hit 'post' last night... so sorry about two posts one after the other)
A grey wet day - lots of rain as I crossed the harbour bridge on the train in the morning… but I did have a good wet weather plan. It included some time in my prison cell classroom at Le Pain Quotidien (new cafe in the old Rocks Police Station) and then under shelter in front of an empty shop in Bakehouse Place, then lunch (and I offered for a bonus demo of me sketching my lunch!) Afterwards, a lovely afternoon back at the quiet courtyard opposite Susannah Place Museum (I am getting to know all the guards that look after this building now!)
Today was all about sharing some basic concepts to get people sketching on location… we looked are ways to start your sketch (including using a view finder) and exploring some options for using line or colour to describe edges and textures. Being Saturday, we had the extra bonus of a few wedding parties posing in front of us and I was very excited that one sketcher in the group managed some lovely quick sketches of one them!
Most of the group had never used watercolour before, so I wanted to give them a few tips to get them started…. A really lovely and inspiring group! Even though we didn't quite get out and about as much as I have planned due to the weather - it was a great day and I had a ball!