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Little [Expanding] Set of Paints

"A musician must make music,
an artist must paint,
a poet must write,
if he is to be ultimately
at peace with himself.
What a man can be,
he must be."
Abraham Maslow

This work is in pencil and watercolor on an 8x10" Clairefontaine watercolor pad. Dreamy paper. My favorite part was definitely drawing the squares of color. Precise, focused.

I've discovered that I love watercolors! It started with a little travel set of Cotman Compact Set of half pan watercolors. {Note: Now called "Winsor & Newton Artists' Watercolor Compact Set"} After some time, I wanted to add colors that I frequently attempted to mix. So I researched palettes to find a selection of colors to extend my current set. So I bought another travel set (because I wanted the box), removed the duplicates for future use, and bought 4 Winsor & Newton half pans. Editor's note: I use tubed paints as well now! Here's a post about tubed watercolor and gouache paints and how I organized them.

Now 24 spots are filled. Yes, I know that I can make all colors with a few basics. I understand that. But I am a realist. I want to sit down, paint for a bit at a time, and have the colors I want ready to roll. I still mix a lot of colors to get variations in my work.

I'm a beginner at color mixing, because I still don't understand why certain colors work together and others don't. My analytical number-crunching brain doesn't grasp the science. The Color Mixing Bible is a great book on mixing colors, with grids showing the color result when you mix two colors of acrylic, oil, watercolor, etc. There are charts for different mediums. I don't use it as a color recipe book, but it has really helped me.

So that's the long story leading up to this watercolor piece. The idea was to draw some simple curves and to paint the remainder freehand with a #8 pointed round. It's a challenge, and I like challenges, especially those where I learn something in the process.

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Reader Comments (8)

Theres so much here to Ahhh and Ohhh over! I love this! Fun reading about your journey so far :D

12.11.2009 | Unregistered CommenterEden

I am really loving the vividness you get with your watercolors! I'm going on an unexpected road trip all next week and was really sad about having to abandon my creative pursuits for the week, but decided to bring watercolors (either in pencil, crayon, or palette form, or some combination thereof) and my journal. I admit, I don't use watercolor that much, but I think they will travel better than jars of acrylics and I'm really inspired by what you're doing!

12.11.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeannine

I'm swooning over all of this luscious color and pattern! Magnificent! Hugs, Terri xoxo

I love your watercolour pieces. They are so bright and vibrant. Full of life. I've been wanting to get back to painting for a few months now and haven't done it yet. Maybe this weekend will be a good time for that...


12.11.2009 | Unregistered CommenterMissKoolAid

Ahhh, so gorgeous. There is just something so captivating and beautiful about the way you use color and design. It is so inspiring.

12.11.2009 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

the problem with reading such inspirational posts and taking in such beautiful photos is that i want to do everything RIGHT NOW, when i should be sleeping! thank you so very much for the vivid, rich idea-seeds you plant in my head!


12.12.2009 | Unregistered Commenteringrid

you asked me on flickr if i ever used watercolors with my doodles. you make it quite appealing. my biggest challenge right now is finding available space for watercoloring. i do most of my line work in bed. i am thinking about experimenting with neocolors in new ways though. we'll see what transpired
i love the way you photograph your progress. it's all very intimate. i like your squares, too, and the spirals. it's fun to see you having so much fun!

12.12.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSue

Sue, as for space for watercoloring, i watercolor at the breakfast table - a travel paint kit, 1-2 brushes, mug with water, paper towell for drips. keep everything in a basket when not used... easy set up, easy tear down!

12.13.2009 | Registered Commentergypsy

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