Watercolour swatches

Doing watercolour swatches is one of my favourite activities! I enjoy seing all the colours come alive, the surprises you sometimes get for the mixing of colours, the therapeutic rythme of filling one little square after the other.

I just did these swatches with the travel set of watercolour “Aquafine” by Dawler Rowney, which I bought earlier this summer before our holidays. I really like that little set – as you can see from the swatches, the colour are really vibrant and make me happy. The only small issue that I have is why is there a white and a black in a watercolour set? I would trade those two for the nice equivalent of a Payne’s grey.

I wanted to do those nice colour justice, so I turned to my trusted advisor “You Tube” for tips on doing watercolour swatches. After watching a few (many…?) videos, I ended up mostly following a video from Teoh Yi Chie (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeRa9IVY63U). What I liked about his approach is that he leaves the middle square white, which I find visually appealing, and he also varies the amount of each color in the two squares at the intersection of the colors. So for example, at the intersection of a yellow and an orange, the square closer to the yellow will be more yellow, and the square closer to the orange will be more orange. This method gives you a better idea of the entire range you can get.

Watercolour swatches, Aquafine, Daler Rowney on Canson XL

I tried to follow his method…. The other tips he gave is to use a small flat brush. I did not have a small flat brush when I started – but that gave me a reason to go to the art store! You might notice that the first half (I started at the top left) looks different than the second half. This is the difference between using a small round brush and a small flat brush.

Do you do swatches too? Let me know in the comments.

Happy art to all!

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