Thursday, 17 July 2014

Color charts

In botanical painting one has to be really careful and accurate with choosing the right colors. A good idea to know your colors better is to play with them. You can mix your colors in a sketchbook, you can make your own swatches and colors charts. Eunike Nugroho, who is an amazing artist, her works are just mind-blowing, showed on her blog how to make a radial color chart. It is very, very good idea and her charts are just beautiful.
The most basic way to make a color chart is just to paint all the colors you have. It's very important to write down the name of particular color. I also write the brand and the pigments that are in the ingredients. 

My watercolor chart of Schmincke Horadam and Winsor&Newton paints
Another way to make simple color charts is to draw a grid and mix the colors from above with those from the left side (or the right side if you wish). I've made quite a lot of charts like this and I have to say they can be really helpful. When I'm looking for a particular color, I can take a look at those charts and I see what I have to mix right away. Here are some examples:





You can also make these kind of color charts a little bit more complex. For example you can add a tonal range of your colors. Let me show you some examples:





I have a video showing how I was painting color charts like those above:


Painting tonal range can be sometimes difficult, because you don't know how much paint or how much water you should use to make the tone darker or lighter. I also recorded a video showing how you can paint a tonal range. Here it is:



The best way to know you colors better is to experiment, practise, play with them. There are so many colors to discover!

6 comments:

  1. These are fabulous, thank you for sharing. I think all watercolour beginners should do these charts- teaches you so much about colour.

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    1. Thank you Vicki for your comment! Yes, this is a very helpful exercise. A lot of fun and so much to discover! :)

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  2. Wonderful and very informative post, Krzysz.. thank you for sharing this and my blog as well.

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    1. Thank you Eunike! Your blog is worth to share everywhere :)

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  3. I love your work... I'm not a newbie, but I still forget, sometimes, the colors I've used. I do see that you have identified the first (top) color used in your color charts, but not the bottom color. Perhaps you have the colors memorized, but I think I'd have to include the identity of the bottom color on the chart. In order to remember it. Incidentally I think your charts are rather frame worthy... Thank you.

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    1. Hello! I did write the names of both colors. I always do, otherwise I would not now what I used. I think you are referring to the last 4 photos. I used abbreviations for the colors + a slash mark. For example: PM/WY stands for Permanent Magenta + Winsor Yellow. Thank you! :)

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