Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Triad Symphony: Evocative Watercolor Sketches Using Three Primary Colors (Workshop M)

Instructor: Shari Blaukopf (Montreal)
Location: Carrer i església Sta. Anna

When I select a scene to sketch, I begin by thinking about interesting color and value relationships rather than how to capture a photographic view of the subject. This thought process applies whether I am sketching a quiet landscape, an urban scene or a crowded market. I want my sketch to evoke a sense of place, so I deliberately limit my palette to create a mood through harmony and unity.

Despite its name, a limited palette does not mean limited colors. Far from it! In this workshop students will learn to create evocative sketches using a palette of just three primary colors (alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue and aureolin yellow).

Using this triad of pure hues, participants may be surprised at how they can create intense colors that add unexpected mood to their sketches. We will work on creating a center of interest in the sketch where the lightest lights, darkest darks and areas of purest color reside. By mixing some of our color right on the paper, we will also create lively transparent washes — rather than mixing up “mud”.

Workshop schedule:

I will begin the workshop by showing examples and demonstrating how I work with a limited palette to get bright secondary colors, luminous warms grays, cool neutrals and rich darks.

Participants will then have an opportunity to try the same mixes. Following that I will demonstrate adding color to three thumbnails of the same scene using different color schemes and invite participants to do the same.

In the last half of the workshop participants will choose their most successful thumbnail and work that up into a bigger sketch, focusing on creating a center of interest in the sketch. The workshop will end with participants sharing and discussing their work.

Learning goals:

At the end of the workshop students should be able to:
  • Feel confident mixing fresh vibrant color using a limited palette
  • Understand that value relationships are more important than local color
  • Maintain lively transparent areas that don’t turn to “mud”
  • Create darks that are vibrant
  • Evoke mood through color

Supply list:
  • Tube watercolors (ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, aureolin yellow)
 Pan colors require a lot of water to dilute, so I prefer tubes for richer, creamier colors
  • Portable watercolor palette
  • Watercolor sketchbook (Moleskine or other) or small 140 lb. watercolor block (the better your paper, the better your results will be!)
  • Small plastic water bottle
  • Watercolor brushes. I use three sizes (#3, #10, #14) but a #10 round is a good all-purpose brush
  • Pencil, pen for drawing
  • Folding stool (optional)

Sample sketches:

1 comment:

James Richards said...

I'm in! I hope you have a slot open when I'm not teaching!