Watercolor Painting – Winter Cat Garden, and watercolor links for you

watercolor of a cat
Winter Cat Garden 8×10 watercolor on Strathmore Plate Finish Bristol (sold)

Shades of Gray for your Watercolor Palette

Here is a Winsor & Newton demo video of three different grays to consider for your watercolor palette. Each of them are mixed with manganese blue and carmine for variations and tonal shift transitions into beautiful color options. Davy’s Gray, Payne’s Gray and Neutral Tint are the three grays in the demo. I have one of them, but I’m considering adding all three. Do you use them in your palette?

Scout’s version of a Winter Cat Garden is an occasional nibble of catnip. Fortunately, he’s never been interested in munching on floral arrangements, despite his former life as a feral cat.

Adding Quinacridone Watercolors to your Supplies

If you’re wondering about whether or not to add quinacridone pigments to your watercolor palette – or you’d like to know what the heck Quinacridone colors are, here is a helpful post by Jane Blundell on the subject. I love that she showcases particularly beautiful colors, and their gradations of mixing shades with other colors. Example: look at her Quinacridone Rose panel mixed with Ultramarine Blue. I can think of tons of paintings where the shades in that gradation could add to stunning shadows, flowers, water, reflections or landscapes, right? Choosing colors for your watercolor palette can be akin to furnishing a home: such exciting choices!

I prefer tube watercolors over the pan option, which I squeeze into wells on a palette. Which do you use?

Get Inspired by Photos from Space

I’m a firm believer in getting unstuck by making simple abstract watercolor swatches (or any media you use) before diving into a more ambitious or representational painting. Even if you’re not yet racing towards that challenging painting, spending time simply playing with your paints is a worthwhile activity. Knowing *all* of your brushes, and *every* one of your pigment choices is a smart investment of your time. (Better yet, gather some friends for this exercise!) Getting acquainted with each pigment characteristic builds your knowledge-base: what does your cobalt blue do with little or lots of water, and are there any granulation effects from your favorite colors on rough vs hot press watercolor papers? Do your favorite “go-to” colors lift if you want to lighten a passage with a clean, wet brush, and which of them stain? Which of your watercolor papers do they lift the best from? If you need some inspirational images for an afternoon date with your paint and paper and water, have a look at NASA’s database of thousands of hi-res images of space, available for free right here.

The Lena River Delta in Siberia, as seen from Space (photo courtesy of Visible Earth, home planet photos at Nasa) If you painted opposite pools of Yellow Ochre and Van Dyke Brown, and then tilted your paper to make river deltas, what would happen?

Cleaning Your Creative Space

I’ve cleaned my studio (again) after the last Spring Art Festivals ended. All my show gear is put away, framing supplies are shelved and display panels are stacked in the garage, waiting for me to put them in their storage place. I still need to “thin” my accumulations to reduce storage clutter (do you do this too?) because I think more clearly if my studio AND my closet shelves are neat and airy. It reminded me of this article about 45 art/craft studio organization ideas. I’ve looked at it before, but seeing it again this week renewed my conviction to get some of these organization projects rolled out this summer. What are your plans for a tidy art-making space this season? Whether it’s a chair at the kitchen table, or a corner of the basement, how will you make that seat so irresistible, you can’t help but get into it?

Thanks for stopping in to say hello, and I’ll see you in the next post –

Belinda

P.S. If you enjoy challenge-style assignments, there’s a free creative photography class by portrait photographer Lindsay Adler taught online here. Reference photos of people can be a challenge for painters, so taking a class can super-charge your skill set, and your confidence. 💪🏽

P.P.S. You’re welcome to subscribe to this blog to get each post via email. Sign up (free) right here.

Click the monkey’s to get six tips to paint more often… your art supplies miss you.

12 Responses to Watercolor Painting – Winter Cat Garden, and watercolor links for you

  1. Steina Einars Fine Art June 19, 2019 at 2:52 pm #

    This is a wonderful painting of the Winter Cat Garden. I love your creative mind Belinda.

    • Belinda Del Pesco June 21, 2019 at 3:58 pm #

      Thank you for your kindness, my friend! I hope you are deep in your creative flow, making so much art, you’re having a hard time finding places to store it all! 🙂

  2. Patrick Pollei June 18, 2019 at 6:07 pm #

    I just LOVE the Winter Cat Garden painting!

    • Belinda Del Pesco June 19, 2019 at 7:44 am #

      Hi Patrick, Thank you for the kind comment, and the enthusiasm. I really appreciate it. 🙏🏽

  3. Mariette June 18, 2019 at 10:46 am #

    Beautiful painting!

    • Belinda Del Pesco June 19, 2019 at 7:47 am #

      Ivy! You’re such a sweetheart to search for the clip! Thanks for that, my friend! It’s close, but this one uses watercolor – I did fix the link now, so take a look at the beautiful grays in the video.

  4. Ivy Fasko June 18, 2019 at 10:35 am #

    Hi – quick comment – the Windsor & Newton link goes to something about mixing with secondary color bias, not greys!

    • Belinda Del Pesco June 19, 2019 at 7:45 am #

      Oh Ivy, Thanks so much for letting me know! I must have fat-fingered the link as I inserted the code! XOXO

  5. Laurel Barile June 17, 2019 at 7:46 pm #

    Amazing capture of winter cat garden moment by you and your watercolors!!!
    Such depth and delicacy!!! Thanks for sharing the image 🙂

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