Even though I love Buff I rarely use it in mixes because
- it’s so opaque and can easily make washes murky
- I normally prefer a more lively result.
And so I generally create my own Buff mix using three favourite colours in my palette:
FU – French Ultramarine (Schmincke)
TRO – Transparent Red Oxide (Daniel Smith)
MANS – Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (Daniel Smith)
These three colours create wonderful lively washes – what I call ‘pigment parties’ – on my page. To create this I use a good amount of pigment and plenty of water!
It’s amazing how much variation you can create with these three colours!
And another example that clearly shows the pigment parties in action mid-sketch! See more photos of this sketch here.
BTW all these examples are done on Stillman & Birn Alpha paper – so imagine how much more watercolour magic you can achieve using true watercolour paper!
Putting this blog article together today is making me think two thoughts:
1. I so rarely use Buff that maybe I should try removing it from my palette. I’ve done this in the past and survived so maybe it would be good to try this again. When I have done this before I swapped it out with Lavender.
2. How important it is to be able to consistently create watercolour washes with the right amount of pigment and water. Many sketchers tell me that they struggle with this when sketching with watercolour (especially when out on location). So this is a big emphasis in my Watercolour course which we will be going through again soon – starting on 15 March. Find out more details here.
I intend to create some watercolour-themed articles in the coming weeks so would love to know if there is anything specific you would like me to discuss. Please let me know in the comment section below.
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