Collecting Color Schemes

This latest series of paintings I’ve been sharing have a watercolor background that I paint before I start in on my main subject. Since I seem to pick the same colors (easier than mixing) over and over, I decided to do a little research and look for some new color schemes. Yesterday I explored different color palettes, then painted a bunch of  swatches trying to match the colors I found. I had a sheet of scrap paper to practice my color mixes on before putting them onto the strip of watercolor paper I was using for my swatch collection. Pinterest was a great resource to find a variety of color schemes.

© Jana R. Johnson 2015Feb24--IMG_0702

Here you can see my practice sheet and the swatch sheet.

© Jana R. Johnson 2015Feb24--IMG_0704

I would draw a number of boxes in waterproof black ink to correspond with the number of colors I was wanting for each collection. Once I practiced the color mixes and was satisfied with my finished color, I’d write down the recipe for that mix. This will help me reproduce those colors in the future.

After picking up the mail, I found more color schemes in this Eddie Bauer catalog to try out.

© Jana R. Johnson 2015Feb24--IMG_0706

© Jana R. Johnson 2015Feb24--IMG_0707

It was terrific practice mixing each color, playing with the random colors I had in one of my watercolor palettes, and trying to actually reproduce what I was seeing. Since I’ve been using pastels more than paint lately, it was fun to explore color mixing again. Occasionally I mix the pastels (attempting to make a color I don’t own…) but it’s on the paper or canvas, not ahead of time. It’s also how I usually paint with watercolor, using color straight from the palette and mixing on my surface.

© Jana R. Johnson 2015Feb25--IMG_0708

Every artist should stop and try this exercise sometime—it’s such a learning experience, discovering how many unique colors you can make with the paints you have available to you. Now I’m all ready to go paint some watercolor backgrounds—which color scheme shall I use first?


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