I have been painting with watercolour paints for quite a few years now. However, I have never really played with the paint and often felt that I was working against it. The washes in my form of botanic art are usually very small. Stepping out to bigger areas of water and paint can cause me to panic. As we know, play is such an important way to learn, even as adults. So I am giving myself permission to play with paint. I am having such fun that the learning is almost secondary.
It began when I bought a tube of Carbazole Violet (weird name, eh?!) by Daniel Smith. I haven’t used this brand before, but the colour on the tube looked dark and inviting. At home I decided to be sensible and do a colour test. Then I decided to play. I mixed other colours with it, simply to see what colours I could make. There were some beauties.
Next play session was to use one of these beautiful mixes as a wash. What else to create but a feather or two?!
Both feathers are available in my Etsy shop.
The next paint to be played with was Australian Grey. Art Spectrum have a range of colours especially created to enhance paintings of the Australian bush. This is one in that range. I don’t know where the ‘grey’ comes from as it is a warm pinky brown. Again I mixed it with a variety of paints to see what happened — and some unexpected things did happen.
Another feather, using a mix of Australian grey and permanent rose. This was too pink, so I added some viridian green to have a soft mauve. I like the result because I like the softness of the colour.
Not only have I learnt about the different paints and the colours they will make, but I have been able to compare the paints. The Daniel Smith violet was smooth, transparent and luscious. It was a joy to use. The Australian grey was very different. It is milky and rather opaque. (This is the composition of the paint, not the Art Spectrum brand. I am very happy with their paints, including this one.) It didn’t move easily through the water on the paper. This was frustrating and unexpected, but it also allowed me to control the areas I wanted left lighter as the highlight.
My next play? I have some of the paint mixture left. I don’t like waste, so I have added more viridian to it to create a very soft grey. That could make an interesting feather.
(That soft pink feather will be in the shop soon — hopefully as soon as tomorrow.)