Friday, November 4, 2016

How To Paint With Bright Colors

Watercolor - 11x15

I recently received an email from another watercolorist saying that she loved the bright colors I use in my paintings and that she tends to stick with more realistic colors and did I have any suggestions to push herself out of her color comfort zone.

I told her that I am kind of lazy about mixing colors so I tend to buy bright, pretty colors that I like and then use them straight from the palette without picking up any other colors to dull them. When I am painting I am more concerned about the 'design' of the composition than I am about using realistic colors and shading. It doesn't bother me if the sky is purple, the flower petal has some green in it or the elephant is pink.

I usually start my painting with wet paper and apply my initial colors straight from the palette in bright bold shapes, letting everything move and blend as it wants. This sets the stage for a colorful painting and then I just build from there. In watercolor you can always dull a color down later but you can't brighten it up much so don't be afraid to start bright and bold.

I suggest picking a subject and challenging yourself to use a totally different color scheme and push your boundaries. It gets easier and easier the more you do it and realize that it is a lot of fun:)

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