Mixing Colors: Shades of Gray

One of my favorite aspects of watercolor is mixing colors. I can’t walk by a garden or drive by a field of late day winter grass without thinking about what paints I would mix to get those shades. And gray might not seem like the most exciting of colors, but there’s something beautiful and subtle and almost iridescent about getting to gray from more intense shades, especially ones that leave their mineral traces when they dry. Because burnt & raw sienna are my constant watercolor companions, my grays are a bit on the earthier side; but the idea is just to mix two colors on the opposite side (more or less) of the color wheel, then adjust. Here are some of mine.

-Amy

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Here’s a couple of Velma Dinkleys I did for the @sketch_dailies a while back.

It’s been a good exercise to ease my way back into drawing regularly. Now I just need to remember to post what I’ve drawn after I draw it. : /

But I swear have a good excuse: I’ve been a bit distracted by this super cute baby I had!

Alicia
Illustration from The Year of the Fortune Cookie, by Andrea Cheng, HMH Books for Young Readers, May 6, 2014I absolutely love illustrating chapter books. It’s kinda freeing to use only grayscale and to let go of color. It feels very immediate, spontaneous, nice and fresh. I like to capture a moment or gesture… and a second later the moment has passed and I’m on to the next sketch.I remember once in 7th grade I wrote a book report for The Diary of Anne Frank, complete with illustrations. I sketched while I read the book, needing to capture in pictures what Anne had captured with her words. It was very satisfying. Which brings me to another reason I love working on chapter books - I feel so very lucky to be a part of the excellent books I’ve illustrated! They’re the kind of books I loved reading as a kid… I bet I would have sketched while I read them too!
~patrice High-res

Illustration from The Year of the Fortune Cookie, by Andrea Cheng, HMH Books for Young Readers, May 6, 2014

I absolutely love illustrating chapter books. It’s kinda freeing to use only grayscale and to let go of color. It feels very immediate, spontaneous, nice and fresh. I like to capture a moment or gesture… and a second later the moment has passed and I’m on to the next sketch.

I remember once in 7th grade I wrote a book report for The Diary of Anne Frank, complete with illustrations. I sketched while I read the book, needing to capture in pictures what Anne had captured with her words. It was very satisfying. Which brings me to another reason I love working on chapter books - I feel so very lucky to be a part of the excellent books I’ve illustrated! They’re the kind of books I loved reading as a kid… I bet I would have sketched while I read them too!

~patrice