Friday, March 6, 2009

Black Cat Watercolor

Black Cat (watercolor)

I spent several delightful hours yesterday with my artist friend, Jennifer Mark, in her studio. She is a fabulous watercolorist who gave me several hints and tips on working with watercolor.

She stressed the importance of using high-quality paper (this cat was painted on 300# Arches), spraying the paper with water and wiping it down prior to painting (this removes the starchy finish), and using a tough little brush called a "scrubber" to lift color and make highlights.

I drew this cat for my grandmother Margaret, who loves cats (but can't have pets where she lives) and is celebrating her 98th birthday tomorrow.


angeltreats March 6, 2009 at 8:46 AM  

How sweet! Great colour choices for the background, really makes the dark stand out.

One question - did you mix your black, and if so what did you use to mix it? Lamp black etc can be very harsh but this isn't harsh at all, it's a lovely warm tone.

Anonymous March 6, 2009 at 9:03 AM  

Your grandmother will treasure this and congrats to her.

christine March 6, 2009 at 9:20 AM  

Hi Angeltreats,

That is a timely question because I have been experimenting with mixing black hues in my last two paintings (the St. Bernard's ears in yesterday's post actually look greenish. I used Winsor blue, let it dry, then Winsor red, let it dry, then Winsor green, then a little more of one or the other to get the right shade).

For the cat, I was using my friend Jenny's palette so I don't know the exact colors but they were something like: permanent magenta and a green topped by indigo and a touch of Payne's gray.

I will start keeping better notes for future reference. Who knew there were so many ways to make black?

angeltreats March 6, 2009 at 1:58 PM  

Very interesting and a lot more adventurous than me! When I've mixed blacks it's usually been something like ultramarine and burnt umber mixed in the palette. Oh, I really need to do some painting... tomorrow for sure!

christine March 6, 2009 at 5:52 PM  

Angeltreats, I gleaned the idea of painting black in separate layers of primary colors from a terrific book called Wonderful World of Watercolor, by Mary Baumgartner.

I'll give your idea of ultramarine and burnt umber a try next!

Kate (Cathy Johnson) March 7, 2009 at 5:20 AM  

Such a cutie!

christine March 8, 2009 at 8:24 PM  

Thank you, Owen and Kate.

Sarah Ketelaars March 11, 2009 at 9:14 AM  

This is such a sweet painting, really charming.


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