Mouse Colors: learning

Well, let me share something with you.  I “thought” I wanted to paint glass bottles..  I started and realized I was way out of my league.   What a mess!  Such an advance painting project for an essentially  a beginner.  Although I painted regularly years ago and did ok.  It is very much apparent to me I need to get my watercolor  knowledge back.   So I carefully put away my glass bottles…  and pulled out my painting palette to experiment .  I’m keeping it to just 6 colors at the moment.  I also pulled out one of my favorite books by Jeanne Dobie “MAKING COLOR SING”.

Today just sharing my “experimentation” with my 6 colors… She has a chapter describing luminous grays.   By mixing your one of your primary colors with their compliment you can create these most gorgeous grays.   This is just experimenting, and as I look at this loose painting it  probably could use more detail.. It is suppose to be a mountain  scene, ( I’ve included a close up view of the top of this painting)   I followed her example to work on my mixtures.  It is a beginning..  trying to get what is in my head down on paper.  I figure every time I paint it will help, and I will learn.  Watercolors can easily turn to muddy colors so easily So I’m in great need to figure out how NOT to do that! .. I want beautiful colors..

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This  picture just shares the mixtures done today  along with my mixtures of mouse colors.   These grays are not neutral by any means, they actually have colors to them, they can be cool , warm, greenish, reddish,blueish,  at any intensity needed..

This is what has pulled me to watercolor is the gorgeous luminosity,  I don’t want to simply copy a scene I want to create a scene from reality.  Make it artistic if this makes any sense.

DSCN7487 Let me show you the picture of what I wanted to attempt… took lots of great pictures to do later!! What was I thinking??? lol  Someday I’ll go back to it.

Tulips from long ago (step by step)

This is the final painting of theses tulips, but the pictures following it show the progression of this painting.   I used a limited palette , and for me that is very difficult.  It was done on fabulous Fabriano watercolor paper..  Rough 600 g/m2 .  This paper does not need to be stretched and  can take loads of water.

The story behind this painting is short and sweet, I started it last year sometime.  Of course my artistic plans and thoughts where totally different from what they are now.  So it started out one way and ended up another.  I started out with a pastel painting soft and very transparent to what you see here.  It got very heavy and dark, felt like some areas got muddy.  As I worked on it, I did not feel it was going in the direction I originally wanted, but felt I would see it to the end.  Sometimes paintings have a way of painting them selves.  You just have to go with.  Also being the first in a long time this was truly a getting to know my medium again and brushes.   Thank you for taking a look, I will probably post this on wet canvas to get critiques.  We all can learn from one another that is my goal here.Image

This was my first layer of paint and light pencil drawing.  Unfortunately my cat max (maine coon) loves pictures… he loves to chew them.. so he got a hold of this one and put his fine mark on it.


This is where i picked it up from last year  and started laying color in.. Image

Added some back ground and worked on the leaves and flower more


I really love when the water added causes these interesting reactions.. moving the paint around.  I also like to mix my colors on the paper.  more reactive looking.Image

At this point I really started adding my darks.. to make things pop.ImageImage

for a few days I let it sit…  not sure if I wanted to call it done…  sometimes you just have to stop.  I have great difficulties in that.   Actually I probably could have stopped on this one along time ago .  But kept going..


I was liking the missing lines in areas..  where the back ground and subject sort of mesh in..  There is a term for this but for the life of me I can’t think of it right now.  Ah Yes I remember now… Lost  Edges.   Unfortunately I did lose the stem to this tulip.  Not happy with that.    After several days of just letting sit and having me walk by it and glancing at it from time to time.  I decided to add some black lines.. to redefine lines.  This was not my “vision” for this painting.  It was  my time to  work on reacquainting myself with the watercolor paints and brushes.  So No matter what I was going to see this one to the end.  Good or Bad.  Not a total lost there are things I like about it.


This was my final addition to this painting… just adding a wee bit of detail.


these are the actual colors and mixes I used on this painting.  They look so much better here… as I said I was a bit heavy handed with the painting..  I usually enjoy more transparency.Image