Corner of William and OttawaPosted: February 11, 2019
In my studio I have a big collection of books on watercolour — some new and some quite old. When I go into a used bookstore I head straight to the section on art instruction, and I often discover out-of-print treasures. There’s always something to be learned from reading about how other watercolour painters work. In particular I like reading about their colour palettes. I guess we all do. As if finding out what pigments people use will unlock the key to creating better paintings.
This week I’m reading Michael Reardon’s “Watercolor Techniques: Painting Light and Color in Landscapes and Cityscapes”. A few years ago I saw his award-winning painting “The Domes of San Marco” at the AWS show in New York and I’ve been following his work ever since.
The book is excellent. Full of step-by-step paintings, concisely written explanations, and detailed examples to illustrate his process. Well worth the read. He uses some pigments that I have but don’t use too often, like Cadmium Orange and Carmine, and others that I’ve never tried, like Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet and Burnt Orange. When you are used to reaching for the same colours again and again, it’s fun to be surprised by some new combos, so I gave them a try when I painted this Griffintown scene. I particularly loved the purples that I mixed from Cobalt Blue and Burnt Scarlet, which is a rich red-brown colour. Great for wet Montreal streets in winter.