When I was at the National Portrait Gallery in London last week, I couldn’t resist buying Colour Mixing Bible, a book by Ian Sidaway. The book is basically full of charts of how to mix endless colours in watercolour, gouache, oils, acrylics, pastels and coloured pencils. So I have been test driving the watercolour section over the last few days, and am amazed at some of the surprising combinations of colours you use to arrive at some of the shades. Who knew that Prussian Blue and Translucent Orange could produce a perfect taupe/grey or golden brown? Not me.
So if you need a reference book, I can highly recommend that one. I’ve already splashed paint on my copy. I suspect its condition is only going to get worse as it will be left open on my worktop for quite some time.
From the days when I studied interior design, I have a wonderful book Choosing Colours by Kevin McCloud on my shelf. I set myself the task of mixing some favourite palettes of colours he has grouped together (which is the basis of the Journeys painting I posted here). This proved to be a really useful exercise, and one I certainly wouldn’t have known how to tackle before.
The other thing I can recommend is the Strathmore visual journal for mixed media. I’ve tried everything from ink to watercolour to acrylics to pencil in its pages and nothing seems to upset it. I shall definitely be stocking up with more of these as my sketchbook of choice.