Painting with Carol

Techniques, tips and tricks for watercolours and acrylics

Watercolour paints

March 11th, 2008 | Category: Art supplies and equipment, Watercolours, colour

There is an incredible range of watercolours out there, which can be quite daunting to a beginner. When I first started I wasn’t sure what colours I should buy first or what brand of paint to buy. It is very easy and very expensive to buy 25-35 colours but I personally think it is simpler to work with a limited palette of about 12-15 colours.

You must be able to mix your own colours to become a good painter. You will find it fun - this way you will also discover hundreds of hues. I think one of the most important things to remember is:

only buy artist quality paint.

I am going to give you some of the colours that I mostly use in my paintings and that you will also need if we are going to paint together. You will find that once you get started you will want to learn more and more about colour; I still go to other artists’ workshops to learn new techniques. You will find every artist has different colours that they love and use. I encourage everyone to do the same.

The colours I use most are: 

  • BLUES: French Ultramarine, Cerulean Blue
  • GREENS: Sap Green Permanent, Olive Green Permanent, Australian Leaf Green Dark
  • YELLOWS: Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Aureolin, Yellow Ochre
  • REDS: Pilbara Red, Spectrum Crimson, Rose Madder, Cadmium Red
  • EARTH TONES: Warm Sepia, Burnt Sienna, Payne’s Grey.

As far as the BRAND of paint to buy: I use Art Spectrum. Of course, there are many other wonderful brands of paint but as I live in Australia I like to think I am doing my bit towards our economy, be it ever so small. I also like the the vibrancy of the Art Spectrum colours which suits my style of painting.

I think we are almost ready to start a painting together.

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Watercolour palette - stop the mudslide

February 14th, 2008 | Category: Art supplies and equipment

It is important to choose the right sort of palette - the paints should be separated from each other this will then stop the contamination of the colours mixing together in that grey-brown goop that’s often (quite rightly) called “mud”.

Nobody wants a muddy mess so a well-designed palette is a must - one with a series of wells and a flat area for mixing the paint. There are many available these days and you don’t have to spend a fortune - they can often be bought in two dollar shops! I suggest that you have more than one palette, though, as watercolours can be used over and over by just adding water. It seems a shame to me, to wash expensive paint away.


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