I had my second watercolor class yesterday. I won’t post what I painted because it is ghastly and not worth trying to save. But, in painting it I worked through some problems I’ve had controlling values because my water to paint ratio was messed up. I thought I was using enough water, but wasn’t, and the answer that made me laugh…
I was struggling to figure how much water I needed, for the values I needed to establish the composition, and the teacher walked by. “I usually mix up my paints to a consistency before I start painting,” she said. “That way I’m stuck with it.”
Lol! How simple. Mix to one consistency beforehand. That way you learn to use that consistency. No decisions as you are painting, and you can concentrate on other things. You can always try a different consistency on your next painting.
When I got home, I tried this out on a circle triad, and Yes! I did have a great deal more control. I mixed up a circle of paint about the width of my smallest fingertip (just the surface, not the whole fingerwidth) with about two tablespoons of water. With this consistency, I got a very thin wash, which allowed me to build and achieve a very wide range of values. I got more of the green values than I have been. This mixture also showed up the granulating properties of Ultramarine Blue.
I’m not as happy with the triad itself, though it is one of the possible combinations suggested by my teacher. I did use a lot of red, and I’m not much of a red person. I may do this one again, letting the yellow dominate.
Colors: Pyrrole Red, Ultramarine Blue and Gamboge.