Playing with Pigments

6:37 AM

Watercolor on
Stonehenge Paper
Click to Enlarge
Funky flowers. Another name would be memory flowers. And I was way off, but I had fun. This was painted using my regular palette of handpicked pigments. Back in this post I mentioned finding all the boxes of pretty pigments and so I decided to do a test run with the Sennelier and Schminke.
Sennelier Watercolors on
Stonhenge Paper
Click to Enlarge
The image above is closer to the flowers that I recall seeing, but in truth, the flowers were not that large and pretty. They were mostly blues and lavenders as they show in this sketch. This illo was painted using just Sennelier pigments.
Schminke Watercolors on
Click to Enlarge
The last page of flowers was painted using Schminke pigments.....can you tell a difference between the three if I had not told you?

The things I noticed:
• The Sennelier pigments were a joy to paint with. The colors activated easily when water was applied to the pan and gave a saturated color when put down on the paper.
• The Schminke pigments did not seem to be as creamy to me as the Senneliers nor did they seem to activate as easily, but the pigments were bright, clean and saturated once they did activate.
• The Stonehenge paper is fabulous. The texture is very creamy and the paint seems to sit up on the surface but not too much so. Just don't think you're going to be doing a whole lot of layering or correcting as this paper is best kept to one layer.
• I also found that the Stonehenge mars easily when erased. Erasing seemed to easily alter the texture of the surface so all of the samples were painted directly with no pencil lines.

The biggest problem I had with both palettes were the color choices. I do not use a lot of phthalos or viridian in my regular palette and spent a lot of time trying to make the greens look natural rather than fluorescent. I didn't have too much trouble with the blues either, but all of the colors I used required some mixing. In a studio, that's no big deal. On location, where every second counts, that makes it a bit more of a challenge.

It pays to spend the time learning what mixes with what, what give you the look you want, what won't give you a good mix BEFORE you step foot out the door. I'll probably be showing some more work from these different pigments. I have to say I'm intrigued by the challenge of learning these pigments.

I hope you get a chance to get out and sketch this weekend. That's on my agenda as we're having a spell of cooler weather and I hope to take advantage of it!

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8 Creative Thought(s)

  1. I like the idea of getting out this weekend to paint. It is supposed to warm up some here. Can't wait. A dose of sunshine will be helpful too. I like your lettering in these sketches. Must practice... Have a great weekend.

  2. I love reading about your experiments. I don't know enough about the tools of the watercolor trade, so it really helps to have explanations of what works and what doesn't, and what the properties of each paper and pigment brand are from your perspective.

    I also got a smile from your comment that you want to paint this weekend because it's going to be COOLER and Lisa's that it's going to be WARMER. Living in FL is certainly different than living in most of the rest of the country!

  3. I have done this before--paint the same subject on different surfaces, with different brands of pigment--it's always fascinating to me: they each have unique properties. I was going to post with Yupo and other papers, and will probably do it at some point. Great idea, Laure.

  4. I always learn something from you. I really need to start painting and drawing more regularly. A blank book does me in. Where to start. sigh

  5. Laure I enjoy reading of your dedicated commitment to your beautiful art. Such a peaceful place it must be to journey with your art.

  6. Thanks for sharing this experiment. I have some Schminke paints but haven't used them in a long time (since you introduced me to D. Smith). Now I need to check into the Stonehenge paper.

    Happy plein aire painting!

  7. ...I really enjoyed this post, Laure. I'm still too new into watercolor to have an arsenal of pigments, but next time out, I'm going to try some of the Sennelier. I think I read somewhere that they are a fab oil pastel too.

    Congrats on your award!! You are definitely a Stylish Blogger!!


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