Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Only the good colors

I was thinking for a while about reducing my watercolor palette. I was carrying a box with 21 paints and I noticed that I was using no more then a half of them. Moreover, I was constantly mixing up purple and brown, dark green and black. Shari's post about painting with limited palette really spoke to me, but I was meandering around, couldn't really decide which colors to choose?

And than I remembered the thing Jack Black was saying Kate Winslet in that cute movie "The Holiday": "I wrote a melody that sounds like you. I used only the good notes." It is a funny kind of turning of phrase, but I suddenly realized that it actually holds a recipe to my problem. If I want to make pretty paintings, I have to use only pretty colors.

And everything became clear to me. I stripped down my paint box, selected the colors I actually like - chose only 6 this time, and set off.

To make this little sketch I had to march alongside a semi-decolated railway track - no path, only rocks and thorny weeds. You can see one of that converted old industrial building at the Canal at the back and little whitish-blue clapboard houses along the track. There is a crossing where the car and a man passing, and past the curve is canal Lachine.

I am pretty pleased with the results. The painting doesn't look dirty at all - although I discovered that my new pen is running in water. It looks little yellowish after scanning, but believe me it looks better in person. So - only good colors for now on!


  1. I hope to see this one in person on Sunday! The colours work well together.

  2. yes! At some point in my life I realized the same about the clothes: if I just buy the things I really like, they somehow magically match. Removed all thinking from shopping :))

  3. It has a very fresh watercolor! Maybe you call those six magical colors? Thank you very much!
    A hot iron is a very simple way to combat the spreading lines but is applicable only at home :-)

  4. Thank you, Alexey! and I don't really mind the running ink lines - they look kinda cool :))