Class 22 – Water Colour Chart

Filed under: Art Class — HART @ 11:56 am

Guy St. Godard emailed me a few weeks back noting that he still had openings for his Thursday Afternoon art class, and wondered if I wanted to fill a slot. My last class was in March 2012 and since then I have only painted one painting, so it was a no brainer for me … I’m in!

Take Three!

For the start of this year’s sessions, Guy wanted to introduce everybody once again to the simple Colour Chart. This is where you have only three colours (red, blue, and yellow) and with mixing them you can create almost any colour, including black! The white would be the paper canvas sheet and today we would be using WATER COLOURS!! I have never used water colours before.

I painfully went through this the first time around in September 2010, but when the second time around came in January 2012 I opted out and just worked with the sketches and would paint instead. I wanted to opt out a third time, but since today we were to do the colour chart with water colours which I never tried before … and since Guy took the trouble to set everybody up with some water colours and brushes and paper canvas .. well – I decided I should do this!

The image below is an 11″ x 17″ ‘ledger size’ paper canvas, that was taped on a styrofoam board. For the top 1/3 of the ‘landscape size’ paper we pencilled out 1/2″ squares about 8 rows down. The remaining 7″x17″ was split into two sections where we were going to practice WATER COLOURING a few simple pictures afterwards.

Making water colour charts is always useful because you can see what colours you can create with just three colours (which could be cheaper than buying a gabillion different tubes of paint colours). It also gives you perspective how colours mix together. For instance, in my image below .. the top row is the basic colour chart. Red on the left. Yellow in the center. Blue on the right. When you mix red and yellow you can get orange. When you mix yellow and blue you can get green. When you mix red and blue you can get purple. When you mix orange (red and yellow) and blue you can get brown. When you mix yellow red and blue together you can get black. And so on. And so on.

The challenge was to create the colours and on the water colour palette keep these colour for mixing. You don’t nee much water, but you do dip your brush slightly (1/8th of the tip of the brush?) in water and then make the colour. In the color chart, the top row is the colour mixed. Going down the rows, we don’t add any paint to the brush from on the palette that was just mixed, but instead dip the brush in water to thin it out slightly and paint another box below of the same color. You keep doing this until you get a very light colour. While I think I have a good grasp at mixing the colours, I really didn’t have a knack for watering down the brush because .. well, I simply use too much paint on my brush! Every time I dipped the brush in water, the water changes colour, affects the brush and then changes my colour. It was ridiculous that by the end of this experiment my entire palette ended up being that green you see on the far right taking two 1/2″ columns. I just started over when we were now going to paint some little pictures.

Mini Picture on the Left

This was supposed to be bottom 1/3 rolling hills and top 2/3 rolling sky colours. You don’t need much paint and water on your brush, but painting with water colours is quite different than painting with acrylic paints. Acrylic paint doesn’t dry out as fast and easy to do a “mulligan” because you can paint over it. But when acrylic paint dries out it is garbage. With water colour paints, it dries extremely fast, but if you add more water to it you can keep using the paint. I wish I had not ruined all those different colour blobs on the palette because I had to start over mixing colours for the pictures. First we wet the paper canvas to make it nice and watery, then slowly brushed over light strokes from side to side of the water colour paint over the watery canvas and watched what happened! It was actually cool 🙂 as the paint just takes on a life of its own bleeding through the watery canvas. We were just practising stroking water colour lines for the sky (2/3) and rolling hills (1/3) and worked on the next picture on the right while the water and paper was drying. Afterwards, we used another brush to make ‘dead trees’ in front, and possibly grass beneath.

Mini Picture on the Right

Here we were to try and do a similar painting as on the left, except with two exceptions – include clouds (white colour) and add mountains instead of rolling hills. White with acrylic painting is white acrylic paint, but with water colours, white is just the paper itself. We try to make clouds by painting the sky around them. I didn’t really do that good with my blues, but to clinch it – I couldn’t mix grey which might be at the bottom of the white space to show shadows and I didn’t like the greenish colour it came out when it started to dry on the paper. I pretty much did the rolling hills the same way as the first, except slower this time 🙂 which made darker colours and added some yellow behind my hills which I thought was very “HART”‘ish of me to do (my style?) and to finish added only a single tree and then some birds.

MY First Water Colour Painting – Here it is! (11″x17″)

Here is a closer look at the images …



Leave a Reply