Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mixing Colors on the Paper

Over-mixing two or more colors can occur on the palette or the paper.  The more you squish the colors together, the more uniform and dull the resulting color.  To avoid this problem, you can use two methods.

First, tilt the paper to at least a 45 degree angle.  Now you can rely on gravity to do some of the mixing for you. 

Next, brush on a wet, juicy swatch of pure color, say alizarin crimson.  While this first wash is still very wet, apply another color, maybe a blue. Run this color across the area.  Do NOT keep going back and forth over the same spot!  Start with another brush load of paint right where you left off the last one.  If you want to gradate the value, add a little more water to your palette color.  Let gravity do its thing, and the two colors will mix.

The second way to mix colors on the page takes a little more patience.  Put the first wash down and let it dry COMPLETELY!  Then load up your brush with the second color and a fair amount of water.  Make sure the water goes all the way up to the feral. Then stroke the second wash on top of the first, being careful not to push down into the paper.  If there is enough water and paint, you can just use the tip of the brush.  Gravity will release the water from the end of the brush, and you won't have to press down or go back and forth over the page.  That's where the "mud" comes from.

Here are some exercises I did for my student yesterday.  In the first one, I just went around the color wheel.  That takes the pressure off in deciding which color to use next.  In the second exercise, I used the same colors, but not in the same order. 

Practice  will give you confidence.  If you are hesitant and slow, the water will go damp instead of wet, and that will also result in an unsatisfying mixture.

No comments:

Post a Comment