Testing A New Watercolour
Although I tend to use quite a limited palette of colours in most of my paintings I actually have lots and lots of colours! I generally pick out around six or so colours from my range when starting a new painting.
Every so often I feel like a change and I’ll treat myself to a new art materials and this is often a new watercolour. Whenever I do this I like to test the paint before using it in a painting.
In the new year I treated myself to a gorgeous bright new colour , Aqua Green, from the Winsor & Newton artist watercolour range.
Testing Aqua Green
The first thing I do whenever I get a new colour is add it in to my sample book.
I make a small colour swatch and record its name, brand and some of its characteristics, such as if it granulates or stains. I like to see how it appears in when in it’s darkest form, almost neat from the tube. Next I gradually add water to dilute the colour, seeing how it looks as it goes through from dark to light. I’ll add water until the colour is really diluted and pale.
Trying It With A Complementary Colour
Another test I do is to mix it with it with its complementary colour to see how it behaves. Mixing two complementary colours together makes a neutral colour, so I like to see if my new colour will make greys, browns or perhaps muted greens. I’ll often try several different complementary colours for this. For example if red is the complementary colour I may test it with Cadmium Red and then again with Quinacridone Red.
I also I like to try it out with a few of my other favourite colours to see the combinations it makes. I find these combinations can often lead to ideas for future work or experiments.
Short Video – Testing A New Watercolour
I’ve made this short video so you can watch me trying out with my new Aqua Green if you’d like to.
The results from my tests often influence which watercolours I choose when deciding on my palette for a particular painting.
I can see I’m going to enjoy using this beautiful jewel like colour in the future. Although as you can see from my palette I must remember it’s quite a staining colour!
Do you test a new colour or have a favourite colour? I’d love to hear…
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