|4/18/14 Platinum Carbon and Diamine Grey inks, Kuretakebrush pen, watercolor, Zig marker,|
Canson XL 140 lb. paper
This slightly asymmetrical maple growing in a traffic circle has become my favorite seasonal sketching tree – the one I track from season to season to watch it change. A few blocks west of my house, it’s easy to walk to on a comfortable day, and there’s plenty of parking if I need to stay in my car. Though not exactly sunny, today was unexpectedly dry, so I took a short walk to sketch it, now fully in leaf. Since I could stand anywhere instead of staying in the car, I took a slightly different angle this time. Here are the other three times I’ve sketched it:
Technical notes: Today’s tree might be something of a small watercolor milestone: I think I’m finally ready to ditch the sap green paint that has been in my palette for probably a year (preceded by various other greens before that). I used to depend on greens from the tube, at least to get me started in a mix and sometimes entirely. But the longer I sketch, the braver I become in mixing my own greens from various combinations of blues and yellows (with uneven success). I used to think it was the blue that was critical, but now I’m finally learning that it’s the yellow that makes the difference between an OK green, a really muddy one or a vibrant one.
All the greens in today’s sketch were made with varying combinations of nickel azo yellow (which I learned about from Stephanie Bower), Quinacridone Gold, French Ultramarine or Indigo. Not a touch of that sap green was used. It hasn’t been used in quite a while, but I left it in my palette as a security blanket. I’m ditching it – and maybe I’ll replace it with something more useful.
On a similar subject, I’ve been using cobalt blue the past month since Stephanie’s workshop also, but I’m not convinced it’s useful. I like it when I need a clear blue sky, but I could also use Ultramarine for that. (Let’s face it: I’ve had few opportunities to paint clear blue skies!) I might ditch the cobalt, too, and then I’ll have two vacant spaces in my paint box for something else. Or maybe I’ll decide that six paints is all I need! With the two ditched colors, here’s what’s in my palette:
Alizarin Crimson (WN)
Quinacridone Sienna (DS)
French Ultramarine (WN)
Nickel Azo Yellow (WN)
Quinacridone Gold (DS)
Any suggestions on one or two really useful colors to add?
Leaves? Lucky you. Most of our trees haven't even started exposing buds.ReplyDelete
As for colors, I mostly carry only 6 as you describe. I'm not familiar with Quin Sienna but assume it to be similar to my W&N Burnt Sienna. My 12-color palette still has Sap Green on it and I find it handy for darkening reds. Truly a 'convenience' sort of thing but having complements to the primaries (orange, violet and green) are handy if you want more colors. I'm sort of simple-minded when it comes to such things to learning how to manipulate half a dozen colors seems to give me more flexibility than throwing a large palette at the same problem.
Cheers --- Larry