Watercolor: Dog Bed Squatter

Dog Bed Squatter 9×7 Watercolor on paper
 When I get in a bit of a rut, or feel like I can’t reign my focus in to finish paintings that are oh-so-close-but-now-what, I take a break & work on something simpler, but still productive, or something that adds to my arsenal of artists’ tools. 
Color charts are always a good exercise, so if you can’t finish that painting staring at you from the easel, you can at least grab a brush, and push pigments around to make charts from your paint inventory – to get familiar with what each color (and manufacturer) does in various ratios,  partnered with other colors. 

I painted a quick frame of reference for the three
blacks (from three manufacturers) I have in watercolor tubes
I took a painting class with Bill Patterson in college, and I still
remember his love for the gradients between Cerulean
Blue and Cad Red. (This version is Winsor Newton.)
Color charts in my studio (some are three-hole punched & kept in a binder)

One of the books I have and love in my reference library is a British publication titled The Watercolor Painter’s Pocket Palette by Moria Clinch. I like the small format, and it’s often left open on the table next to my palette as a reference for a family of colors I want to incorporate in a painting.  What are some of your favorite color mixing books?

Art Quote
In 1868, when she was 24, Mary Cassatt had her 1st painting accepted in the Paris Salon. Back in the US, her brother wrote to his fiance: “Mary is in high spirits for being accepted in the annual exhibit in Paris, and not only has it been accepted, but it has been hung on the line (eye level). Her art name is Mary Stevenson, under which I suppose she expects to become famous, poor child.” A. Effeny

3 thoughts on “Watercolor: Dog Bed Squatter”

  1. Absolutely right about the color charts, they’re so useful. Since I paint a lot of landscapes, I’ve always used a chart of blues+yellows to help me choose the right green.

    I have a lot of charts I made myself, but it never occurred to me that you could buy books of them! Thanks for the tip.

  2. Love this painting, and went downstairs today to find my girl cat Fiona, happily sleeping in the middle of the dog’s bed, not something she usually does. I think she’s been reading your blog. They dog, who weighs 60 pounds was upstairs curled up tight in the cat bed, while the cat who weighs 7 pounds luxuriated on the comfy dog bed.

    XO Barbara

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