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.