As you can see from my latest Art Bag: Time Saving Tips and Tricks video, (or, scroll to the bottom of this post), I’ve been feeling pretty excited about my Fan Watercolor Set. However, in my excitement about the vast color choices available in the palette, I strayed a bit from what works for me – that is, sticking with limited color palettes.
Limited Color Palettes…
Don’t have to be boring. And working from a limited color palette doesn’t mean that you use just 3 or 4 colors. Rather, you stick with 3 or 4 colors as your base and then mix all of the shades for your illustration from a combination of those (limited) base colors.
A Case of…
Do what I say, not what I do!
As much as I’d always love to produce masterpieces, it just isn’t realistic. Sometimes my initial freehand drawing isn’t that great. Other times, the drawing is really good, but I mess up the coloring process. And, in this case, I should have followed the limited color palette lesson I learned months ago.
Here’s the initial drawing:
To be honest, I think the illustration would have been stronger if I’d left out the top portion – the cityscape – of the drawing. The figures on their own had a lot of life and charm; however, I was afraid of leaving so much white space on the top and bottom of the page. As I moved on to coloring, I was after a playful, carefree vibe.
Could Should Have Stopped Here…
Even so, I knew when I colored the olive green and teal “PoodleOohs” on the right side of the page that I had already strayed too far from a color palette that made sense.
Throwing Caution to the Wind…
I decided to continue by adding a rainbow of colors.
Unfortunately, there was no pot of gold for me at the end of this rainbow!
(Here’s a look at the illustration after I scanned it.)
The in-my-face reminder of the benefits of sticking with a limited color palette (not to mention trusting my instincts when I feel like a drawing is complete) are golden lessons!
Why, more experiments with my Fan Watercolor Set, of course. But I plan to exercise a lot more restraint in my color choices.
To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future.Plutarch