Saturday, February 5, 2011

Daisies In The Blue for you...

"Daisies In The Blue"
5"x7.5" Original Watercolor
2011© Gretchen Bjornson
I'm not so sure I can call this piece "finished".  Looking at it on the computer screen with my critical eye makes me think the petals need more detail.  I'm also wondering if I should go darker with my darkest blue values.  Along that line, I'd love to know how you get your darkest values.  Lately I've been really struggling for deep, dark values.  Do you add a black to darken your colors or do you add a complimentary color?  It seems the colors I enjoy working with the most give me nice dark values on their own, for instance Prussian Blue and Winsor Violet.  I tend to lean towards those colors when I need deep values.

Tell me how you accomplish your darks.  This seems to be a stumbling block for me.  And what are your thoughts on this painting....does it need "something"?

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Oh Gretchen, I wouldn't say it needs anything at all. Only you know how you expect it to look. I will tell you I was having trouble with my watercolors not being dark enough until I found with thing called Watercolor Medium. You mix it with your paint, with or without water and the color flows on smooth and dark. I use it for those special areas I need just a smidge darker.

  2. You could go a bit darker in places, using negative painting to shape some leaves. But it really doesn't need it. For me, I always fall back on complements to get darks. I'd take that Prussian Blue (which is a cool, blue-green) and add a warm red to get a real good dark.

  3. Carol....I've seen that in the stores and always wondered what it's purpose was. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the tip!

    Rhonda, funny I was thinking the same thing with the leaves. I'll have to experiment with the complimentary colors more. Maybe I'll do some test sheets and take notes.

  4. I don't think you need to do another thing. I find that all artists are their own worst critics. I never, ever think a piece is done and I have to force myself to walk away. Your daises are beautiful just as they are! :-) For me I find that sometimes black kind of deadens a painting. I also like prussian blue.

  5. I love it as is :)

    For my darks, any sticky mix of a brown and blue.
    Indigo and sepia, french ultramarine and burnt sienna.. they all make nice darks. I don't use a black, the pre-mixed ones feel too "flat" for my liking.

  6. Yes, Crystal, I agree, I am my worst critic!

    Pat and Crystal...I have to say I think black tends to deaden a painting too. Thank you for all your solutions to dark values. I will have to try them. I think I need to do some exercises in values to build upon this and try to master it.



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