Monday, April 20, 2009

Pen, Ink and Watercolor

A few days ago I went to the Pearl Art Store located near Canal Street in Manhattan. It's the biggest art store I know of - five floors of pure joy.

I picked up a new watercolor set, some Sakura pens and some watercolor paper. It's been a long time since I've painted anything outside the computer. Here are the results from yesterday:

zebra watercolor

And then today:

people watercolor

Both these are up for sale if you are interested. Just drop me a line at

In the past, I've only used sets that had those rainbow-colored rows of little pre-moistened pads. I decided to try something a little more expensive; a small Winsor and Newton set with more professional sounding colors like 'ultramarine.'

I assume these colors were chosen after hundreds of years of trial and error, a gradual, shift of artificial selection toward the perfect set of twelve colors needed to represent the world around you. It feels like that because, despite it's size, this petite watercolor set is amazing. I really love it. I'm itching to do more with it. I'll definitely be taking it to Kenya with me this summer.

watercolor set

These are the colors that came in the set, in order from top left to bottom right:

Cadmium Yellow Pale / Cadmium Yellow / Cadmium Red Pale / Alize Crimson / Ultramarine / Cobalt Blue
Sap Green / Viridian / Yellow Ochre / Burnt Sienna / Burnt Umber / Chinese White

To make a skin tone using these colors, I mixed Yellow Ochre and Alize Crimson.

I add a somewhat darker, more reddish tinted version of the above mixture to the edges of the figure, giving the form a sense of roundness.
roundness implied with darker edges

To make this color, I just add more of the Crimson than the Ochre.

To make the shadowed areas, avoid using blacks and grays, or even browns. A purple/blue color works well washed onto the skin color. I used Alize Crimson and Ultramarine, washing it on lightly. When mixed with the skin tone beneath, it really makes the skin feel more vibrant.

No comments:

Post a Comment