Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Color Wheel Placements

I have both the Susie Short basic 7 set of split primaries and the "intermediate" set from Daniel Smith. My question is how do I know where the intermediate set fits in on the color wheel--in other words, is there a way to tell if Quinacridone Coral is warm or cool? Do you have a handout that shows how those colors fit in?
Thanks --- Judi

SUSIE'S REPLY: Hi Judy, Thanks for your question. There is not a hand out for placement of the intermediate colors on a color wheel. I do have a recommended palette layout for watercolors on my website that includes most of my colors by Daniel Smith. (It's rotated for easy printing.)
One of the best ways to determine if a watercolor paint is warmer or cooler than it's neighbor is to paint a little postage stamp size swatch of each and compare them. If you still can't visually see the difference, try mixing a secondary color with it. For example: If you were testing a red (like Quinacridone Coral!) mix an orange. If you get a pretty clean orange instead of slightly dirty looking orange then the red doesn't contain blue and would be considered a warm red. For secondary colors you simply need to visually compare them to each other, no mixing required.

BTW: Quinacridone Coral is a nice warm red. Compare it to Quin Rose or Quin Pink which both have a touch of blue in them.
HINT: If you make swatches of all the colors you plan to put in your palette you can arrange these little color swatches in the order you want to place them in your palette. Its easy to make adjustments and rearrange them "before " you squeeze out the paints.

I hope that helps! Thanks again for your question!


Fran said...

Please tell me what type of watercolor palette you recommend. I've seen so many like Quiller, Richeson, John Pike??? and I'm confused as to which is the best buy for my money. Thank you kindly.

Susie Short said...

I personally like a palette with flat wells. It's my choice because I like to work with dry paint vs. wet paint. I find that the slanted wells collect too much water under the paint.
My favorite palettes are the 32 well Jones palette or the Richeson palette with 22 wells. Both have lids and an open mixing area without "speed bumps".