Watercolor Painting Technique: Shadow color mixes
Shall I use Blue and Yellow or should I use sap green?
When mixing a shadow color you have many choices. I always use a small amount of blue in my shadow mix to create a realistic shadow.
But sometimes I use Sap Green instead. Why? Because it gives a softer look to my shadowed area. Sometimes I require a softer look. This is often in subjects such as skin tone.
Sometimes adding Thalo Blue to a skin tone can create a large shift in the color temperature. It may cool the shadowed area down too much. By using Sap Green instead (which of course has a small amount of blue in it) you will find your shadow mix will give you a more natural in final hue. But there are times when Thalo Blue is required and is ideal.
I hope you can see that there are no hard and fast rules. Each variation has it’s applications and benefits.
It is interesting to note that using mix of blue and yellow gives you more choice in your balance of colour versatility. A slight dominance of blue or yellow will give you more color choices.
In your shadow mixes you can use Aureolin Modern or you could use Indian Yellow – depending on the warmth you want (the glow).
You also have the advantage of being able to adjust the ratio of the hues. You can make the
mix favour blue or favour yellow or balance out to give a more neutral final hue.
If we think about our complimentary colors – it stands to reason that Sap Green can be used in a shadow on a pink skin tone. Try these different permeatations. Create a color mix chart for your reference. You will be amazed at all that you will learn from this.
Trial the hues in fine washes to see what suits your needs. You can always adjust the Sap Green by adding a touch of Thalo Blue or one of the yellows too.
Instructional Art DVD’s and Video Downloads
Click on any of the DVD images below to find more in-depth information on the contents of each of the DVDs and Video Downloads.
DVD: Watercolor Masterclass Volume One: “Painting Life-Like Leaves and Vibrant Greens” – for all skill levelsUS$54.50
One-on-One Watercolor Workshops with Susan Harrison-Tustain – for all skill levelsUS$54.50
Painting Watercolor My Way with Susan Harrison-Tustain – for all skill levelsUS$54.50
Watercolor Portrait Workshop with Susan Harrison-Tustain – for all skill levelsUS$54.50