Capturing Movement and Light with Watercolor

Today we are going to try to use granulating colors in a limited palette along with a little bit of ink and iridescence to capture the essentials of some pretty dragonflies.

This is a very simplified way to paint these complex creatures. For the purposes of this exercise, I have deconstructed the insects into segments and eliminated all drawing, and used a few colors which granulate and blend to give a light and pretty effect.

Today I’m working on a one-eighth sheet of Bockingford 140lb NOT paper. I’m using my A. Gallo paints and a size 14 round brush from Drawell.

Granulating Paints and a Limited Palette

It’s been a bit of a thing lately to use only three colors to complete a painting. For me this is nothing new as I’ve been a fan of a limited palette for years. The advantage is that your painting will be much more harmonious and tasteful if you limit the number of colors you use. You are less like to end up with muddy mixes and clashing colors. And if you choose your three colors wisely you will be able to create many harmonious mixes with little thought.

If you are majoring on granulated paints for the purpose of this exercise as I am you might find that the colors you attain are not very bright. But they will be restful.

About Granulating Paints

Have a look at this article by Jane Blundell if you’re interested in the whole subject of granulation. She talks about the subject in some depth. But to sum it up, the granulating colors Most earth colors granulate to a certain extent, but in contrast the synthetic colors such as pthalos and quinacridones don’t as their particles are much smaller.

Another way to get a similar texture is to use fine grained salt judiciously on wet paint – but when all is said and done, you can’t beat granulating paints for convenience.

And if you want to see my suggestions for granulating paints I can recommend, check out my Amazon ShopFront here

All the materials I used for this painting are listed in the description below the video on YouTube, and there are full instructions in real time on the video. I basically used my Signature 2 set of A. Gallo paints. You can read all about their paints on their website which is here.

I have two main sources of general supplies – Amazon and Jacksons Art. Jacksons are in the UK but their prices are so good it’s worth paying their nominal fee for worldwide shipping. For your first order using our link you will get 10% discount on top of the normal discounted prices they offer. They also have other interesting features, such as expert-written guides to materials and techniques, an annual competition with a valuable prize, free shipping in the UK for over £75 orders, and very reasonable rates for international orders. Click on the image below to find out more.

Paints from Jacksons

I use mostly Winsor and Newton paints, Professional quality. Cotman are also fine for beginners. I recently acquired a Signature 2 set of A. Gallo paints which Jackson’s now stock – see below.

Other materials from Jacksons – click on image to go there!

I also use Amazon for a lot of my supplies

My brush was a Drawell size 14 Golden Round and size 3 Maestro round – both very good synthetic brush from Drawell in Japan. You can order them from Drawell by contacting Mr Maeyami direct. The prices are very reasonable and they ship worldwide at minimal cost.

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