Warmup and New Brushes

Today’s warmup exercise:

I’m still on the chapter about Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot in the Tate Watercolor Manual.* Corot was known for the balance in his watercolors and oil paintings. The book shows that some of his compositions are in spatial balance, equivalent to the Taoist symbol of Yin Yang. In fact, the Yin Yang symbol can be superimposed one of his compositions featured in the Manual: The Bent Tree.

I moved from monochrome composition exercises to exploring how color is used in Corot’s paintings. I painted four vignettes in the warmup chart below using burnt sienna, Payne’s gray and yellow ochre.

Watercolor Chart: 4 Panels of Composition and Color

Warmup Exercise – Composition and Color

All four of the small sketches use the same spatial composition: masses of paint blobs on each side of an open space. I paid more attention to how I could use my new brushes.  I bought a couple of fan brushes with heavier bristles. I had such good luck with my the small fan brush, I couldn’t wait to try the new one.  I also bought some Japanese brushes. They are superb. I was able to reproduce more varied marks than I was able to do with my synthetic watercolor brushes.  It was a lot of fun to see how many different brush marks I could make with my new tools.


Tate Watercolour Manual, Lessons from the Great Masters by Tony Smibert and Joyce Townsend

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