Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Subtle Desert Colors

The colors of the desert circulate around subtlety. The greens are grayed and lean toward blue, sometimes. The grays are are somewhat blue, yet have touches of brown.

When mixing colors for desert watercolors, you move from bright, pure colors to their complements, those that are more teal and taupe and gray.

One of my charts takes phthalo blue and combines it with yellow ochre and raw sienna. As the two colors mix, first a big puddle of one with a touch of the other, the color dips toward the desert.

An agave plant in a pot, photographed against a stucco wall, has those tones. I can see the blues and the browns as I ask myself the question, "What colors could I use to create this plant in watercolor?"

It's that subtlety that I am learning to see as I take out paints and find a palette that works.

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