Saturday, July 31, 2021

Triad Accompanied by Steller’s Jay


7/24/21 the backyard again

In my current explorations of primary triads based on the CMYK color model, I have lamented that my favorite Museum Aquarelle collection does not include a hue that corresponds to magenta. The closest I have found in the Caran d’Ache palette is Supracolor Purplish Red (350), which is certainly acceptable with Museum Aquarelle’s Lemon Yellow (240) and Phthalocyanine Blue (162) to complete the triad.

However, when I was comparing the five current Caran d’Ache water-soluble colored pencil lines, I made a curious discovery: Museum does include a color called Purplish Red with the same number 350, but it is entirely different from Supracolor’s! I never recognized it as the same hue as Supracolor’s because it’s a much darker shade, especially in its dry state. Wet, it’s quite a bit more intense – too intense, I thought, to mix well in the triad. But I’d never know for sure until I tried.

In the primary triad swatches below, the reference magenta color is shown at the top – Prismacolor Process Red (994). At left is the triad using Supracolor Purplish Red, and at right is the triad using Museum Aquarelle Purplish Red. The other two hues are the same in both triads.

The only difference between the two triads is the Supracolor and Museum Aquarelle Purplish Red (both 350). Prismacolor Process Red shown at top for reference.

The day after my frustrating sketch with the Lamy pencils, I needed to cleanse my palette, so to speak. I went out on the back deck again, and Museum’s Purplish Red was definitely intense. I like it, though, especially for this summer-bright scene.

Adding to my entertainment as I sketched was a Steller’s jay. I’ve been putting out in-shell peanuts while I’m out there. This piggy jay would stuff one down its gullet, then grab one more in its beak before flying off. A short time later, it would return and repeat – again and again until the peanuts were gone. It never stays long enough to sketch, but maybe I can capture a few quick gestures next time . . .

Sketch entertainment!


  1. Love the purple you were able to mix on the right. Nice intense colors in the sketch!

    1. Thanks! It's kind of exciting experimenting with this triad and pushing myself out of my usual "real" colors!


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