Lesson 3.1 – Colour Families – part 1

Today I decided to try to paint a picture using only the green colour family (only shades of green).  I decided my definition of green can go from ‘almost blue’ to ‘almost yellow’ since green is a secondary colour anyway.  I also wanted a focal point which did use (as part of the colour mix – not on it’s own) a bit of red.  I was hoping that having this red hue mixed into this one object would make it stand out.  (My ‘object’ is another owl – sorry – I just love those little feathered friends.)

So I began with a sketch:


Then I began to lay down flat colour.  I was using a gouache method called ‘The Mid-Tone Method’ where you paint the middle tone and then darken and lighten that later to give texture and form.


It was really odd using a yellowish/green for the sky.  On the palette it looked really too green for sky but against the more green greeens it looked yellow.  I didn’t realise that colour could change with context to such a significant extent.


Another experiment I’m doing at the moment is that I’m seeing how gouache responds to being dried out and reworked on the palette.

Here’s my palette:


I found this worked perfectly for watercolour paints.  I thought it would work well for gouache since it reactivates so easily but I’m finding that it only works well when I want to use the gouache in a dilute form like you would with watercolour.  For the flat colours I needed it to be just a little bit thicker than I could easily mix from the dried out paint.  This is a pain because the flat colour I wanted looks less flat.  It probably also means that, long term, I’ll need to move to a different palette system to work with gouache.  I think I’m going to go for a paper palette since it’s nice an easy to clean up.  As you can see (in the partially completed painting above) the paint is not as flat as I wanted.

I’ll finish it tomorrow…    🙂



4 thoughts on “Lesson 3.1 – Colour Families – part 1

  1. I always do – I love painting – the way the brush moves on the paper and the paint runs out or is pushed around, I find it endlessly beautiful. 🙂 Good tip!


  2. My palette is sealable – it folds halfway and can be sealed, but he paint still dries eventually – it did take a number of days though. I suspect it dries while I’m working – especially when I’m working with mixed colours and not touching the original paint. Thanks for your tips!


  3. A trick you might want to try to keep pont from drying out is when you are finished painting for tge day, but still have paint on your palette. Cover the pallette with plastic wrap. When the paint is not exposed to air, it doesn’t dry.
    Also try a pallette with no dip bits… just a straight pallette. Better for mixing.
    You can add white to the green to give various tonal values to it…different shades.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.