Aquarius test sketches

March 24, 2021 | Leave your thoughts

As I’ve mentioned numerous times before, the only way to really get to know new paints is to do a few test sketches. Colour swatches can only do so much!

As I work very quickly, mostly working wet-in-wet, the pigment characteristics of each paint are as important as its hue. One property – dispersiveness – affects the flow in my work and it always takes a while before I get the feel for the timing of new paints.

Creating a lively ‘pigment party’ in my mixes is also essential. Something I discuss a lot inside my SketchingNow Watercolour course, but it relates directly to getting a good combination of granulating and staining pigments.

Today I did a few sketches to test my new Aquarius palette which I set up last week (and have just tweaked a little!)

There are so many options available in the Aquarius earth colours that it will take me a while to work through them all and decide which ones I prefer.

Doing a Palladio sketch is a perfect way to test a few earth combinations.

Today I was comparing Italian Burnt Sienna with Burnt Sienna Monte Amiata. I still haven’t made a decision!

In terms of granulation, layering and dispersiveness, doing a quick experiment landscape was a perfect test. I wasn’t really trying to create a convincing landscape sketch but instead I was just exploring different effects.

Still, a long way to go before I lock-in a palette, but so far so good! And I’m having a lot of fun!

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