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25 May 2014

Lots and lots of colour

Who doesn't like colour? I love working with colour. I do like working with just a black pen but colour is always special.

Not only do I like making pictures and illustrations with colour but I also just love playing with colour. When I get new paints or pencils or a new palette one of the first things I do is make a colour chart so I can see how good the colours really are. Colour charts are great resource material. It can often be hard to distinguish the actual colour by just looking at the tube of paint or pencil. They seem to look different on the page.

This week's theme for the  52 week Illustration Challenge was colour. Did you guess that?

At first I was at a loss of what to do. Too  many options, hard to narrow it down. So I went back to basics. This is one of my new watercolour palettes. It is bigger than my Winsor and Newton travel palette but still small enough to take with me. As usual I laboured over the decision of which colours to include. You may notice there is still one empty slot. I was going to include Quin Gold but when I tested the paints I saw that the Gamboge I had selected was very close in colour. I am still deciding what to put in there, maybe Paynes Grey...

When I was first learning to paint with watercolours we were taught to paint chickens as an exercise in colour mixing. They are fun and simple and just a bit different from random blobs. But you may argue that they still look like random blobs. Here are a few mixing chickens.

The Bird of Paradise is one of my favourite flowers. Not just for its wonderful colour and great structure but because it does not have perfume and therefore I am not allergic to it. I was going to include a small bird perched on the stamen as I have seen them do but then decided to have some fun instead. The little mouse just likes hanging around...

I am trying to become more proficient and confident with my digital drawing and painting. Here is a simple illustration done in Photoshop. I am trying different styles.


  1. I like your chicken color mixing...much more fun than just blobs. Cute bird of paradise with the mouse attached.