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Monday, January 08, 2007

Singin' the Blues

We almost had a full house for the first session of Exploring Watercolor at Hithergreen Center today. Twenty-one returning students, three newbies, one absentee recovering from surgery and one perpetual absentee. (Don't ask.) I decided to get them more involved with different paints. Most have been with me for two or more years and have had the basic color-mixing exercises. Some have tried other colors and others are still using the basic palette. So today we started with the blues. I should have organized the chart, but just put the colors down as I talked about them, so I hope I can reconstruct the thing and tell you the colors in the accompanying illustration.

Top row: Cobalt Blue, Phthalo Turquoise
Second Row: Winsor Blue (Red Shade), Winsor Blue (Green Shade), Cerulean Blue (Red Shade), Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine (Green Shade)
Third Row: Cobalt Turquoise Light, Manganese Blue Hue, Manganese Blue (genuine), Rembrandt Turquoise Blue, Cobalt Blue, French Ultramarine
Fourth Row: Cobalt Blue Deep, Indigo, Indanthrene Blue, Cobalt Blue Deep
Please note that web colors cannot accurately represent paint colors, so the colors shown aren't exact matches for the chart.

We talked about color temperature, discussing the positions of the blues relative to blue-green, which in theory is the coolest color on the color wheel. I also talked about the transparency or opacity, staining property and tinting strength of each pigment. You will find more information on these properties of paints on my web site here and here, and also in my book, Exploring Color.

This was great fun for me and the class asked great questions. Several said they're looking forward to a new color next week.

We're going to do a color per week for awhile to familiarize them with those they haven't used yet. By the time we're finished, they should be able to find the right place for any color they choose.

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Blogger Susan Borgas said...

It must be wonderful being taught by you Nita. I have only recently purchased your book Exploring Color and I love it!

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nita, I haven't done this kind of exercise in SUCH a long time so it was a great reminder of just how good 'exploring color' can be for better paintings. Annette

9:05 AM  
Blogger Nita said...

Susan and Annette--
Thanks for your comments. I was very happy when two of my students told me that they intend to explore all of their blue watercolors this week. I'm hoping others will do the same. I'm sure the color in their paintings will begin to improve when they understand their paints better.

10:40 AM  

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