Friday, February 15, 2019

Mixing Colorful GRAYS

Color mixes from my palette
Early in my painting career I used neutral colors to create gray.  I often used Payne's gray to darken or neutralize the bright colors in my paintings.  My paintings were dull and lacked luminosity. After attending several workshops I discovered that I could create my own more colorful grays by mixing all three primary colors in unequal proportions.  For example, mix a primary yellow with a primary red in equal proportions to obtain an orange.  Then add a small amount of primary blue to gray down the orange.  The resulting gray, however, will be a colorful orangish-gray.

Suddenly my paintings took on a new life, and the only thing I had done was eliminate Payne's Gray from my palette. My paintings were more luminous  and pleasing to the eye because I was mixing "primary grays."

To make colorful grays, there are a few other options you can explore.  You can create grays not only from the primaries, but also from complementary colors.  You can lighten grays by diluting the color with water, or make them saturated for darker areas of a painting by using more of the pigment achieving a "darker black."

There are thousands of combination to come up with a colorful gray.  That is what is so fascinating abut mixing color and getting a different result each time. Some of my color mixes for gray are shown in the photo above.

more on Color to continue ...........

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Color Wheel Attributes

The Artist Color Wheel consists of twelve parts:

1. Primary Colors (red, yellow, and blue} placed evenly around the circle.  
2. Secondary Colors (green, orange, and violet) located between the three primary colors 
3. Tertiary Colors are found between each primary and secondary color.  The color between yellow and , orange, for example is yellow-orange. The color found between blue and violet is blue-violet.  

Keeping these three basic kinds of color - the primary, secondary, and tertiary in mind we can define  complimentary, saturated, and compound colors.   

Complimentary are colors found opposite each other on the color wheel.  Red and green are complements, blue and orange are complements, and yellow and violet are complements. 

Saturated colors are all the colors found around the outside of the color wheel. They contain no black, no white, and none of their complementary colors.(or opposite) colors.

Compound colors are colors containing a mixture of the three primary colors.  All the browns, khakis, and earth colors are compound colors.

In order to mix pigments into clean, saturated colors, it is necessary to include a warm and a cool of each of the primary colors in your palette. There is no such thing as a pure primary pigment.  When mixing green, for example, choose a cool blue such as cobalt blue and a cool yellow like lemon yellow to ensure there is no trace of red in the green. Using a warm yellow like yellow-orange or a warm blue such as ultramarine blue would introduce a slight trace of red into the green, resulting in a compound color.

As mentioned above, there are no true primary colors.  Therefore we must know that we are using colors that have a bias toward another color, and we must be able to distinguish which colors they are biased toward. Knowing a color's bias helps prevent artists from ending up with muddy colors when unknowingly mixing two colors that together contain all three primaries. (Red + blue + yellow = brown.)

Watercolors are the hardest paints to keep clean and bright because they often gray when mixed with colors that are incompatible.  The first rule for painting bright watercolors is to use only two or three colors in a mixture. Whenever you add a third color to a mixture, unless it is a tertiary color (those colors closest to the first two colors on the wheel), the mixture will be grayed down or even blackened.

For example, if you mix a red and a yellow, then add a red-orange, your color mixture would remain within three tertiary colors.  The mixture would retain its brightness.  On the other hand, if you added a blue to the same mixture, you would lose the brightness. 

Another rule for keeping your colors vibrant is to make sure that the previous color is completely dry before you glaze with/on another color. be continued on Color

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Learning about Color

We will never be able to learn everything about color, but we can really have a lot fun trying to find the answers.  Every  time we open our palette, we are challenged to study and improve our work.  An open mind, dreaming, reflecting, and studying will bring us a little closer to reaching our goals. However, we cannot ever assume that we have mastered the seemingly endless possibilities of working with color.

Why is it important to to understand color?  When working with watercolor, if you do not completely understand individual color properties, you will never know what a particular watercolor will do on a piece of watercolor paper. That means that you will find it difficult, if not impossible, to comprise and design with color.

Knowledge of the properties of watercolor will help answer the question, "What do I do?"  Is a color grainy?  Is it opaque or transparent?  Is it luminous?  Is it a staining color or one that can be "lifted" easily?  My On-Line watercolor class "Fundamentals in Creating a Watercolor Painting" teaches why colors work together or work against each other. This color theory foundation can be used forever in all future paintings.
Creating your own color wheel from your palette colors is the foundation of understanding what each color will do.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Watercolor History in America

A great article on Watercolor (Must Read)

Watercolor has a fascinating history of American 19th Century Artists such as John Singer Sargent, Thomas Moran, William Trost Richards, John William Hill, and John La Farge as well as modern artists Andrew Wyeth and Milton Avery.

During the second half of the 19th century, watercolor painting developed into a significant force in American art.  By the turn of the century, the popularity of watercolor, as well as its boldness, directness and cheerfulness, led many critics to proclaim watercolor the "American Medium."  Working in a wide range of styles and motifs, amateur and professional artists produced watercolors of technical brilliance and captivating beauty that pushed the boundaries of the medium and positioned watercolor at the leading edge of American art.

The arrival of watercolor as a major genre in American art can be traced to the founding of the American Society of Painters in Water Colors in 1866. Watercolor had long been popular in the United States, but it was largely considered a medium best suited to amateur artists or specialists. such as naturalists and miniature painters.  The Society's first exhibition in 1867 drastically altered this trajectory, and America's leading artists increasingly viewed watercolor as a serious creative and commercial pursuit.

Watercolor continued to attract the attention of the country's most well-known artists through the end of the 19th century. Current museum exhibitions follow the history of watercolor into the 20th century when it became an important medium for artists at he forefront of American modernism and played an important role in the development of abstraction and other modern stylistic developments.

Beyond tracing the historical development of watercolor in the United States modern exhibitions explore the variation in techniques and different approaches taken by forward-thinking American artists.  Today's Watercolor paintings reveal that the American watercolor movement was defined by experimentation as artists continually pursued innovative methods and effects.

Studying watercolor paintings will give a deeper understanding of watercolor's place in the history of American art and an appreciation for the versatility, exuberance and delightfulness of the watercolor medium.

Hampton Roads Weekly

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Everett's Classroom Update

My attention has been on developing an on line Watercolor Course. to be released this year.  There was quite a learning curve in using the software and downloading files on the internet. 

The live studio equipment and art demonstrations have been working fine.  There are some new videos to be put on YouTube.  Go to YouTube and type in Everettswatercolors in the search.

Posts on Facebook include a daily drawing of  different subjects. Go to

These updates will show up on my website (Classes) page.

Comment on this post and we can start up a discussion about anything art related.

Friday, March 9, 2018

A live broadcast of Everett’s Watercolors Classroom is beginning on March 14, 2018 at 1:00 PM.  The title is   Demo #1 – Basic Landscape in Watercolor, Part 1 of 2

Visit my website at  -  view the Introductory Video and go to the Sign Up page. After you sign up with your name and e-mail address, you will get a broadcast link prior to the live demo airing on March 14. 

You will also receive notifications for future Live Broadcasts, Art Demos, Art Talks, Product Information, Art Classes and more.

Join me in the fun and adventure of learning and trying new things!