I enrolled in a watercolor making class with Kremer Pigments which took place last night. I had learned from a watercolorists years ago how to make watercolor but I never wrote anything down, fast forward ten years later and I definitely needed a refresher. Turned out to be easier than I remember, well at least in concept, you still needed a lot of elbow grease to make things happen.
I was able to play with beautiful historic and Kremer-made pigments, like this Burgundy Red Ochre Deep. Pigments are so beautiful in their purest form.
Grinding the Burgundy Red Ochre...color deepens but still retains a beautiful saturation. Love the look of paint being moved around.
We got to play with the colors as we made them, although the time to make fourteen colors was very limited so I didn't get to play with them to much. I could only lay down quick sample swatches in my watercolor book, and of course label each color with the pigment product number, very important if you want to get the same color again in the future!
Here I'm mixing Moroccan Yellow Ochre before grinding. You have to make sure to wet all the pigment before running it under the muller.
Mull away! Such a beautiful color, don't you think? The focus of last night's class was on historic and Kremer-made pigments, which are mostly natural earths and minerals. For those who have never worked with pigments before, earth colors tend to be gritty, some more than others, this is the nature of the pigments. Some color making companies grind the hell out of pigments to make them all uniform across their paint lines and to make people feel "safe." You can certainly feel and hear the pigment grind under the muller.
Meet Russian Green earth, in pigment form this is a beautiful pale bluish green, when wet it becomes deeper.
Have you ever seen genuine Lapis Lazuli in pigment form? Or have you played with it? This one is from Chile, and there was so much of it! We didn't get to make this one ourselves, I think everyone was to scared to mess up, so we had Rachel our instructor mix this up for us.
This one is Jarosite from Cyprus, some people call it Lemonite, and yes it is pretty! I love ochres, actually I love most earth colors, so for me to be playing with all these last night was just incredible.
This is the fruit of my labor and I can't wait to play with them in the studio! Color swatches of these coming up in the next few days, till then have a good one and may you have colorful dreams.
"Anything under the sun is beautiful if you have the vision-it is the seeing of the thing that makes it so."
- Charles W. Hawthorne -
"One of the functions of art is to remind us of common humanity. The artist, like the priest, can sometimes remind us that we are bound by an obligation to one another stronger and more lasting than the bonds of politics or economics."
- John Manchip White, Diego Velazquez: Painter and Courtier -
"To defend an artist as original says little about his work except that it is in some way different from what preceded it. As such, originality itself is rarely a strong defense, for it is born more of admiration for audacity and perseverance than necessarily of understanding." - James H. Rubin, Manet's Silence and the Poetics of Bouquets -