09 March 2012

failed experiment

When I began my two current sketchbooks, I decided to try sticking to the same palette that was illustrated on the first page through to the end of the sketchbook.

Um . . . . . never mind -- I just couldn't do it! I love seeing how certain colors work together and got bored with the first set for this sketchbook. This new combination was inspired by Laura Climent Munoz' sketch on page 135 of Gabi Campanario's excellent new book, "The Art of Urban Sketching". I love the effect Laura achieved! At first, I only had one blue, as Laura did, but later added a cooler blue because of the rich greens when mixed with quin. burnt orange. I also added three more colors --- I'm such a color-addict!

For like-minded color-lovers or those just curious:
Laura listed cobalt blue, Naples yellow, yellow ochre, yellow-orange, burnt sienna, Hooker green, and Payne's gray. I'm wondering if she might have had a red also, for the lovely pink in the sky?
My set: quinacridone burnt scarlet, quin. burnt orange, yellow ochre, Naples yellow, terra verte, Prussian blue, cobalt blue, raw umber violet, sepia, and Payne's gray.

On the back of a color chart insert, I tried out the various greens mixed from these colors. I'm thinking this set-up will be great for landscapes and urban sketching. Until I get inspired to change palette choices again . . .

UPDATE: I'm thinking about removing the Prussan blue after all, along with the raw umber violet. More of a challenge with fewer colors!


  1. Its fun to come here and see what you are up to. I learn a lot. I've been an oil painter most of my life but trying to learn watercolors for journaling. I didnt know there were so many different colors to buy. I am using one my Mothers Cousin willed me when she passed away a few years ago. She was 91 when she died and took lessons for years up to the last couple years of her life and was pretty good.. its a Dixon watercolor set.. not sure if its a good one or not and a winsor & newton set I bought. When they run out I will need to figure out what I want to replace them with as some of the colors are about gone. I am having so much fun with watercolors. Thanks for posting your 'failure'. :))

  2. What a precious gift to be willed to you! I remember my grandmother's art supplies always being out and ready to use, but she worked in pastels and I've never had any desire to use them. I do own the one watercolor she did -- she never liked it but it's precious to me.

  3. Looks like a successful experiment to me! You have a gorgeous blog. I'm learning quite a bit by browsing around.

  4. Hello, Karen, and thank you! I still have lots to learn about keeping this blog but I'm having fun with it. Most of the time, I post sketches on my Flickr site. (If you click on any photo, it takes you to Flickr)

    I am a notorious collector of color --- Just wanted to see if I could stay with one palette selection of colors through a complete sketchbook. I don't mind failing that silly notion one bit.


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