Monday, September 15, 2008

My new system for colour mixing in the studio.

Over the years I have used all manner of plates, saucers and other containers for mixing watercolour. I find the plastic palettes good enough, but most of them stain and for this reason I prefer white ceramic palettes. They don't stain and the finish itself doesn't turn to an ivory colour. Plates and saucers were fine, but tended to be shallow and of too large a diameter and I had to be careful when 'sloshing' the colour around; which I tend to do. Since I started using even bigger brushes and the large 'mops', I have found that I need to mix even larger quantities of colour, especially in the studio.

For sketching plein-air, I am using a Winsor & Newton sketch box, with four mixing wells and 20 full pans of colour. This is not too bad, but I do prefer to use tube colour. So I have ordered myself a new box; with 16 empty pans, into which I can squeeze out tube paint. Unfortunately I am going to have to wait for this until January 2009.

In the studio though I have settled on two sizes of porcelain, 'rice-bowls' for mixing my colour, depending on the size of wash I am laying. I think this is a much better arrangement. I'm not saying it is THE way to go, but I am finding it is working well and it's giving me bags of mixed colour to go at when laying big washes. The following images will explain; I hope.

If you want to try this, be my guest. The bowls were obtained online, from one of the UK's High Street department stores, found in most Cities. I bought 12 of each size, and the total cost was around £25.00. Considering the old tiny palettes I had were around £9.00 each, (I have two) I think these bowls are just the job. I must be careful not to smash any!

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