Palette Detective: Watercolor Mixes for "Nasturtium" Botanical

 
In watercolor, it's not about the paint color, it's about the colors you mix. "Nasturtium" analysis. | VanillaArts.com
 

Colorers tend to use color names as a security blanket

What colors did you use on this project?

What's the marker list for that image?

What's your favorite red blending combination?

Admittedly, this has always been a hard thing for me to wrap my brain around.

I totally understand that using the same exact marker or pencil colors as the instructor increases the odds that a student will be able to duplicate the look of a class project... but it seems to me that holding the same supplies in your hand is only about 20% of the necessary information.

This is especially hard for crafters, people who are used to working with detailed supply lists and step by step tutorials. 

I get it. You want specifics, lots and lots and lots of specifics.

But I'm warning you. The next time I'm up in the bell tower ranting at the top of my voice, this is what I'll be yelling-

It's not the colors you use, it's how you use them!

It's not the name on the tube of paint that matters, it's what you do with it. | VanillaArts.com

Write that down and tack it on your craft room cork board. Tie a string around your finger to remember it. Tattoo it onto your dog's forehead so that you see it multiple times daily.

I can tell you every single color that I use on a project. I can list all minute details right down to the UPC code and link to the best price on the internet. And yet that tells you virtually nothing.

It's especially true with paint

Very few painters use color straight out of the tube.

For my watercolor classes, it's not enough for me to tell you what brands and what color paints I used. If you want to duplicate my look, you need to understand the mixes I make and their concentration levels.

I saw a photo on instagram a few weeks ago

The watercolorist had captioned it something along the lines of "Isn't my palette almost as pretty as the painting?"

And she was right. Her palette was absolutely beautiful. But the more I stared at it, the more I understood her painting. Her palette told me what colors she was mixing and I could trace the mixes on her palette right back to specific areas of her project.

Her palette was a road map to recreating her artwork.

And that idea has been brewing in the back of my mind for weeks now.

Here's "Nasturtium", the project for tonight's watercolor class:

"Nasturtium" a beginner watercolor project for H2Oh! class. Teaching marker students to apply their coloring skills to watercolor paints. | VanillaArts.com

And here's my palette, which was clean when I started:

Green watercolor mixes used in "Nasturtium". Teaching marker colorers to apply their skills to watercolor paints. | VanillaArts.com
Orange watercolor mixes used in "Nasturtium". Teaching marker colorers to apply their skills to watercolor paints. | VanillaArts.com

okay students, be a palette detective

The greens are mixes of:

  • OH Sap Green
  • DS Hansa Light
  • MG Prussian Blue

The oranges* are mixes of:

  • DS Hansa Light
  • DS Pyrrol Scarlet
  • DS Carbazole Violet
  • sometimes I instinctively grab bits of MG Quin Red or Rose to brighten things

* remember that I shade last, so some of these oranges have now been neutralized by the violet. They appear dirtier than they did when I made my original passes on the petals.

We can make palette shots a regular thing

If you think it helps.

Thoughts?

Can't wait to paint with you tonight!!!

VanillaArts.com

h2oh! Botanical Watercolor classes for Copic Colorers- Nasturtium

 
"Nasturtium" an H2Oh! Watercolor class for Sept 2016. Teaching Copic colorers to apply their skills to watercolors | VanillaArts.com
 
 

Orange paint? Save your money!

All year long we've been gradually working up to mixing our own custom colors.

That's something pretty foreign to Copic fans because when you need a specific color, you have to go out an buy it.

Not so with painters and using colors directly out of the tube is a sure fire way to kill off your unique voice.

Orange is one of the easiest colors to mix and no two persons will create the same orange or use it the same way. Join us as we learn the keys to finding an orange that reflects your style and taste.

 

Wednesday, September 28th from 6 to 8:30pm

Remember When Scrapbooking is in Macomb Township, Michigan. Seats are limited so call to RSVP at 586.598.1810.

Watercolor Lesson: Mixing Orange

Color Theory Lesson: Understanding Paint Ingredients for Mixing

Image: "Nasturtium" by Vanilla Arts Co.

No drawing skills required! 

Join us, we laugh while we learn. It's great fun.

VanillaArts.com

Digital Stamp Shop: Designed Especially for Copic and Watercolor

 
Finally! Digital stamps designed especially for the unique needs of marker colorers and watercolorists | VanillaArts.com
 
 

In a week of big announcements...

I didn't want this to get overlooked.

The Stamp Shop here at Vanilla Arts Company is now open!

I've started with a group retired Club images, each comes with the marker/pencil recipe used in the sample. I'll be adding more digis plus retired watercolor class images next week.

"Go Fish" a digital stamp image designed especially for marker coloring | VanillaArts.com
"Triple Scoop" a digital stamp image designed especially for marker coloring | VanillaArts.com
"Bluebird" a digital stamp image designed especially for marker coloring | VanillaArts.com
"Snowman Supplies" a digital stamp image designed especially for marker coloring | VanillaArts.com
"Celebration Cupcake" a digital stamp image designed especially for marker coloring | VanillaArts.com
"Tree Frog" a digital stamp image designed especially for marker coloring | VanillaArts.com

Digis with a difference!

What makes my digital stamps unique?

Well, it's simple.

Actually, it's the stamps that are simple.

Painters and colored pencil artists always start with a basic sketch. While the levels of detail may vary, artists generally give themselves only the strong basic shapes and landmarks.

What they DO NOT draw every last freekin' detail. They don't draw whiskers, veins, wrinkles, or texture marks. Artist's starter-drawings are simplistic because:

  • there's no point in drawing something that's going to be painted over

  • guide lines can peek through later, ruining the look of the finished piece

Stamps are different. Stamp companies and stamp artists want to sell their images to as wide an audience as possible. That means working to the lowest common denominator- in stamps that would be the card maker who stamps the image in a single color and leaves it plain.

So when you know your stamp may never be colored, you tend to add lots of tiny details, texture marks, and artistic squiggles. Commercial stamps tend to be over-decorated because wide-market stamps must look great naked.

Those details are a gigantic problem if you intend to color the image realistically or use it for watercoloring.

 

Vanilla Arts Co. digi stamps are plain vanilla

On purpose.

Your coloring should be the star of the show, not my stamp images.

I draw just the bare minimum and I encourage you to print my stamps in as light a gray as you can get away with. I want to fade into the background and let you sing center stage.

I give you only what you need and then I sit back and let you take over.

 

Fully tested images

Here's a bonus fact:

I teach with these images. Before it goes up in my shop, each stamp has been colored by 20-30 students. And I watch them as they color.

So there are no surprise areas, no debating what the weird shapes are, no flower stems that lead nowhere, no unattached locks of hair, no extra hands on a mermaid.

(Not kidding- I taught a class using an incredibly popular commercial mermaid stamp and found she had two right hands)

My drawings are clean and clear.

 

Check out my new stamp shop

... and hey, let me know if you don't see the VanArCo stamp you're looking for. I've got 5 years of original digis just sitting here twiddling their thumbs. I can dig for your favorite and pop it into the shop ahead-of-schedule.

Ask and ye shall have coloring materials!

VanillaArts.com
 
 

H2Oh! Botanical Watercolor Classes for Copic Colorers- Checkerboard Geranium

 

Warm colors love mud

They don't mean to, it's just what happens when you try to add shade to sunny yellows, snappy oranges, and warm reds.

"Checkerboard Geranium" H2oh! lesson for Aug 2016. Learn to apply your coloring skills to watercolor. | VanillaArts.com

Why?

Because gray is naturally cool. Even if it says "warm". Warm simply means warmer than cool.

Learning to add realistic shade to warm colors is important in art but it's essential in watercolor. 

This month we're celebrating Scarlet, a warm and almost orange version of red. Learn how to shade Scarlet beautifully.

Join us for watercolor class!

 

Wednesday, August 17th from 6 to 8:30pm

Remember When Scrapbooking is in Macomb Township, Michigan. Seats are limited so call to RSVP at 586.598.1810.

Watercolor Lesson: Shading warm colors

Color Theory Lesson: Using the CMY color wheel to prevent mud

Image: "Checkerboard Geranium" by Vanilla Arts Co.

No drawing skills required! 

Join us, we laugh while we learn. It's great fun.