What’s on my drawing board, Sept 06 2017

Karen Smith - what's on my drawing board this week? Sept 06 2017
Karen Smith – what’s on my drawing board this week? Sept 06 2017

Greens and Purples

This weeks drawing board has preparatory work for some new tropical watercolour paintings. I’ve been looking at deliberately planning complimentary colour schemes to help make my tropical compositions pop.
I’ve been adding purple, which is the complementary of yellow, and this works with the Lemon Yellow I often use for initial colour washes. A true complementary of green is of course red, but I think this would make things too heavy.

Top row: Sketch book with Tropical leaf studies. Black and white reference photographs, its easier to see tonal values in a grey scale image than a full colour one.
A Watercolour in my Palm House series, I mentioned this in a previous post unfortunately as I worked on this painting I realised the watercolour paper I was working with, which had been stretched on a board for some time before using it, wasn’t in a good state, it took up the water too much, and the surface of the paper pilled and tore easily. I completed it and use it as a reference for other work in this series, but after this I carried out a thorough testing process with all of my watercolour papers that I am currently using – just to make sure I wouldn’t repeat the same mistake!
Sketchbook open on a simple rose sketch, and a watercolour blob painting in another sketchbook using Prima Watercolours. I am experimenting with creating bright washes and then applying an ink pen design on top, making images out of the colours, like this one on my Facebook page.

Middle row: A purple and yellow and lime green watercolour, I dropped Methylated spirits onto the wet paint with a pipette to create circular patterns, I’m going to work this up into a study of grapes and vines. A study of tropical grasses, introducing purple to the colour scheme, I mixed Dioxazine Purple and Winsor Blue to create this shade. (Inside a plastic sleeve) a watercolour of Monstera leaves mounted and ready to wrap up for listing on Etsy.

Bottom row: My A3 rough sketch pad – (just visible) a swatch card for the grasses painting above it on the board, I use the A3 pad to try out colour mixes as I go along with my painting.
My flat light box which I sometimes use to start off a drawing when using my reference photos, it has LED’s so is bright enough to show through 300gsm watercolour paper.
My usual Winsor & Newton paints, plus some Artist Spectrum tubes of watercolour (an Australian brand which I’m trialling): Sap Green, Hookers Green and Phthalo Green.