Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sunrise in a Balinese Market Step 1

Like most experienced watercolor painters I use a variety of different approaches to creating a painting depending on the "look" I want to achieve. So no, I do not paint every watercolor this way, only the really "busy" ones. When I design a "busy" composition I find this limited palette layering approach works well. By limiting my palette I believe I achieve better color harmony, and this color harmony holds the painting together. Also, by using the darkest color as layer number 1, I am able to model my shapes and establish my value pattern early on.

When I work this way I usually limit my pallete to 3 primary colors. However, to get the skin tone correct for the Balinese ladies I added Burnt Sienna to my 3 primary colors. So the colors used in this painting are:

Winsor Blue Red Shade
Winsor Red
Winsor Yellow
Burnt Sienna

To insure that my palette would work, I painted two of the ladies faces first using each layer in the same method as the rest of the painting, accept I completed all the layers before going on to work the rest of the painting. When I was happy with their faces, I knew my chosen palette would work.

Now comes the fun part. I worked the entire painting with the first color, Winsor Blue Red Shade. I carefully painted using only this color and the white paper to create all the shapes using only the values of the blue. ("Value" means how dark or how light a color is.) Then I let the painting dry for a day.

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