#5minutewatercolour Pigeon

The familiar pigeon, painted using ultramarine blue and quinicridone magenta or possibly quinicridone violet, and paynes grey. Paynes grey is a useful colour, and seemed perfect for this subject; though I mostly like to mix my own greys using blues and earth colours, you get some wonderful subtlety and granulation mixing ultramarine and cerulean blues with umbers or burnt sienna. The beak is a slightly dirty hansa yellow and the olive green of the background a mix of almost everything already being used (handprint.com).

With time and experience you get particular about certain brand pigments; I’ve got fussy about raw umber, and prefer the darker, cooler versions such as M Graham, Daler Rowney, or Daniel Smith, over the paler more yellow tones of the Winsor & Newton version; and they are very different. The siennas should, strictly speaking, all be pigment PBr7 and if you are a purist you need to check out whether a certain brand’s version of what they call, for instance, burnt sienna, is a mix of pigments (as with Van Gogh, which they make with a mix of black and red). In the end, though, its wether you like whats coming out of the tube and what you do with it that counts.

I’m using a broken chinese brush masking-taped to a chopstick for part of the painting; I think the head fell off its original handle fairly early in its life, and I was determined to get my money’s worth – which won’t have been much – one way or another. I’m sure I’ve said it before, that the relative inexpensiveness of chinese brushes means I’m willing to abuse them; and I like to scrub them sideways over rough paper or flatten out the ends, not things  you necessarily want to do with your £100+ kolinsky sable! The slightly lateral placement of the brush head is also another prompt and aid to loosening up and not getting fiddly, especially in the early stages of a painting.






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