News — pigment

Color Bias - An Eye Opening Lesson

around the web art struggles beginners color theory paint pigment

Color Bias - An Eye Opening Lesson

Do you struggle with muddy watercolors? Do you want to get brighter mixes? Understanding color bias was a major step towards solving these issues for me. As a self taught watercolor artist, I spend a ton of time on blogs and YouTube. There is so! Much! Info! on any topic you can imagine on the internet. I spent a ton of time researching watercolor supplies after the free class I took at the library. I'm such a nerd--and I secretly hoped if I researched enough and bought the exactly right supplies I would have an edge over every other beginner. Silly right?...

Read more →


Pigment: the Scientific Side of Watercolor Paint

paint pigment supplies

It was a forehead smacking moment. It took me much longer than I really want to admit in this eternal forum of public-facing internet to realize that the letters in pigment names stood for colors. PB meant "Pigment Blue," PR was "Pigment Red," and so on. But that slow dawning of realization also meant that I will never, ever forget what those letters on my tubes of watercolor paint mean. All watercolor paint is made from powdered pigment, a binder (typically gum arabic), additives and/or preservatives, and water. You can buy the individual parts and mix your own watercolor paint if you...

Read more →


Ultramarine Blue (PB29)

paint pigment supplies

Ultramarine Blue is in my top 10, probably top 5, favorite watercolor pigments. It's a single pigment color with awesome granulation, and I love to use it with a burnt orange or raw sienna to make interesting neutrals. It's a very "standard" color--it came with all the initial sets of paint I bought when I was starting my watercolor journey in earnest: the Winsor & Newton Cotman palette, the Holbein set, and the Sennelier. I also have it from Daniel Smith and Shinhan. In my handmade watercolor sketchbook, I have a few pages of paint comparisons since I have duplicates of many...

Read more →


How a beat up baking sheet joined my supplies

experiments news paint pigment supplies

How did a beat up old, nonstick cookie sheet become a permanent fixture in my art room? "Billowing Clouds" was created with an old, battered baking sheet and experimentation with a non-traditional painting process: monotype. Monotype is actually a printing process, where a single print is taken from ink or paint spread on a flat surface. For this one, I squeezed pure indigo (always a favorite of mine), gold ochre, and maroon perylene pigments onto an old nonstick baking sheet--also a bit of a break from tradition since monotype is usually done on glass or an etching plate! Next I...

Read more →


Neutrals & complimentary colors

color theory paint pigment supplies

Orange & blue is one of my favorite color combos to use in my abstract work. Color theory tells us that complementary colors mix to make neutrals, and I've had the best results with blue and orange. Red and green (or more accurately, in my experiments, viridian and a cool red) often work as well, but I've had zero luck finding a pleasing combination of purple and yellow. And I've tried! A LOT. Instead, purple and yellow just make mud, almost without fail, and the worst part is it's not even interesting mud. It's just ugly brown. Give me a lovely granulating...

Read more →