Friday, May 15, 2009

Velazquez Palette

My son surprised me this Mother's Day with an excellent watercolor book titled, Creating Nature in Watercolor - an Artist's Guide by Cathy Johnson. He knows I am always looking for new books for watercolor tips and to share with my watercolor classes. He made an excellent choice!

The painting above was taken from this book and uses a limited palette, a variation of the Velazquez Palette. The Velazquez Palette was named after the Spanish artist who used it so frequently in which Burnt Umber acts as the red, Yellow Ochre acts as the yellow and black (and in this case Payne's Gray) acts as the blue.

No drawing is required. Simply lay in a wash of Payne's Gray with a touch of Yellow Ochre about 3/4 of the way down the page. While this is still wet, lift the clouds using a paper towel. Dab in washes of Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre, and Payne's Gray to suggest the trees and shrubs. While still wet, scratch in the branches using a piece of a credit card. Add shadows under the trees and shrubs and a small bird in the sky! A fun painting and an excellent exercise using a limited palette!

I can't wait to try some of the other tips in this book and painting samples. Thanks again, Shawn!

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