The opaques

I have a bunch of opaque pigments —Lavender, Naples Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Turquoise and Cobalt Green — on my palette. I don’t necessarily use them for mixing but I do put them to good use in the final stages of a sketch or painting to add some sparkle or a few highlights to dark areas of a sketch.

Lavender came in handy when I was painting the Veronicastrum in my garden this morning. (That’s the spiky purple flowers on the left that are a favourite of bees.) While the purple wash was still wet, a wind caught my paper and I ended up with a dark green spot in the middle of the flowers where the paper hit my wet brush. When the sketch was dry, I came back in with some spots of opaque Lavender and a bit of white gouache too, to bring back the spikes of the flower. I also used some Lemon Yellow on the grasses at the right.

Another recent favourite is Buff Titanium. I don’t use it much in a diluted state, but it’s wonderful when I’m painting a marsh scene and want to add some dry texture or grasses like I did in the foreground of Wetlands.

16 Comments on “The opaques”

  1. jeanne1937 says:

    This is lovely. Are the opaque pigments watercolor or gouache?


  2. Bernadette says:

    Gorgeous! Love the opaques alongside of the bright transparent colors. It is such a happy painting, another of my favorites! Thanks for posting.


  3. D says:

    Beautiful spring flowers! Thanks for sharing how you use your opaques.


  4. Denise says:

    This is such a happy painting! Can’t help but smile at all the pretty colors and the sense of joy when you look at it! Beautiful garden, beautiful painting.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Vicky Porter says:

    Thanks for the good tips, Shari! Your garden painting is stunning!


  6. Bernadette says:

    Wondering….do you ever use opaque watercolor or gouache in a watercolor painting? Would that change it to a mixed media work? Just curious.


  7. Susie Langley says:

    Happy scene. Pretty flowers. Like the colors.


  8. Nice painting it is loose and abstract, yet still has the essence of flowers.


  9. Nice to see and hear where you use your opaques. This is really nice


  10. friedakam says:

    Hi Shari, I am a bit confused. On the color chart of Holbein, Cobalt green is mentioned as transparent, not opaque.


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