[By Jane Blundell] Many urban sketchers use watercolours. Some use just a few colours, some use a whole range. Some enjoy them purely for the hue, some for the characteristics each pigment brings to the painting process.
I love exploring pigment characteristics and watercolour is the purest way to paint with pigments. Just pigment and water, with a touch of gum arabic binder - perfect to see what each pigment really does. I have been working with my students on a different colour each week and thought I'd share the paint-outs I did just of blue pigments. Aren't they stunning?
They may be staining, granulating, semi opaque, transparent, liftable or some combination of those characteristics. Understanding which is which and how to use them increases the range of watercolour effects you can produce in your sketches or paintings. It takes your painting beyond just colour. You can use watercolour to create texture too.
So which are the most useful for urban sketching? I'd always include ultramarine and cerulean (I like the PB36 version) as they will be a liftable mixing pair for skies anywhere in the world. Beyond that, I recommend phthalo blue as a great mixer, and adore the richness of indanthrone blue. What about you?
I'm looking forward to teaching all about colour and watercolour in Manchester next month.
Happy painting :-)