Playing With Color


Color is seductive and playing with it mesmerizing. Ink and pen are wonderful tools for exploring the possibilities. However, in recent weeks, transparent watercolors have monopolized my playtime.

Watercolors are rated transparent, semi-transparent, semi-opaque and opaque. This kit is comprised of transparent colors only and will get months of modification and winnowing to a smaller, more manageable number.

Yesterday, I accidentally discovered that Quinacridone Rose and Quinacridone Gold can be combined to make a flesh tone that is perfect for distant figures in landscapes. Such a valuable mix is like discovering gold. Note that in this kit both Quinacridone Burnt Orange and Burnt Sienna can be diluted for flesh tones, but Quin Rose with Quin Gold has a little more depth.

Another recent experiment, this time creating neutrals, was equally productive and confirmed that Burnt Sienna belongs in all of my palettes. Combined with Phthalo Blue or Ultramarine Blue, it produces neutrals with dimension and subtlety as did Transparent Pyrrol Orange with Phthalo Blue.

Yesterday, I paired an unexplored color from Daniel Smith called Mayan Red with a variety of transparent paints to see what would happen. The resulting brown and some of the orange colors were especially attractive finds.

The point of all this is that making your own colors whether with paint or ink is a mini-adventure worth the time and effort. Though not looking for anything in particular, some good things certainly turned up. They are reminders to think in new terms and be playful with my toys. Second childhood anyone?


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