Confused about color? FREE watercolor conversion chart with mixing tips!

Hi friends!  I had a question from a viewer last week about substituting color in watercolor paintings. Sometimes you may be following along with a tutorial and you don’t have the color the teacher is using, usually I will mention substitutions but it sure would be handy to have a reference chart to give out. So armed with my huge watercolor swatch book I compiled a list of substitutions based on color hue, tinting strength and undertones and put it in an easy to print reference. There are also some mixing tips and I put my 9 must have colors (in my opinion) in bold in case anyone was interested:) You can download my free watercolor conversion chart with mixing tips here. This color conversion chart will also work with other wet media:)

Here is a video with more info on using the guide and color theory with color examples.

Below are a couple of recommendations for paint sets to get you started if you are new at various price points.

  • Daniel Smith Essential Into set of 6 tubes
    *This contains a warm and cool of each primary for $31 The quality is excellent and I use this set in my Essential tools and techniques for Watercolor online course. I also recommend having a Yellow Ocher, Sap Green and Burnt Sienna paint for watercolor (Add a titanium white if using acrylic, oil or gouache colors.)
  • Schminke 12 half pan set $57 at Jacksons. *This is the artist quality version of the 12 pan set I demoed with, excellent paint and it is all you will need to mix just about anything color wise. *Sometimes we pick colors like cobalt teal for instance for their granulating capabilities, texture or opacity/transparency but that is more high level painting stuff. Learn color theory basics first:) Remember the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time!
  • For $30 you can get this 30 color set of Shinhan which is lovely, not quite as high quality of Daniel smith or Schminke, but good for a beginner. *This will contain all the colors you need and then some but some of the names are off so you will need to trust your instincts and swatch them. The preform well though and the tubes are lager making for a lot of material to play with without the fear of wasting paint. I question the light-fastness of some colors but for learning it will suit you well.
  • I also really like this “Pretty Excellent” 36 budget pan set for $20, again the names are dodgy but the paint is great if you want to play.

Need more help on your watercolor journey?

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Want in-depth watercolor lessons containing all of the information and tutorials you need to start your watercolor journey off right? Check out my Essential Tools and Techniques for Watercolor course! With 6 hours of step by step instruction I will take you from how to hold a brush to perfect washes and color mixing then guide you through four finished paintings. Click here to learn more or enroll today!

Oh! I almost forgot! We will have a live stream tomorrow at 1pm Eastern Time, Sarah will be in the studio too so if you have missed us please stop by and say hi! Till then happy crafting!

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15 Cheap or FREE Watercolor Hacks!

Hi friends! Today I am going to share 15 cheap supply tips you can use today in your watercolor painting projects! You have probably seen me use some of these before but if you are new it can be handy to have them all in one place! Please share this video with other new watercolorists out there, remember, sharing is caring!

 

15 Watercolor Supply Hacks!

1. Free spill proof water buckets: Use Tofu or mushroom packaging as water containers. They are free, won’t tip over and the ridges on the bottom and sides with gently clean pigment from your brush!

2. *Bonus tip: Use single or dual pet food bowls from the dollar store for a truly non spill water bucket for children!

3. Need a place to keep your paint? Recycle an old eyeshadow compact or pill-box for a portable palette!

4. Credit card scraper: Cut up an old credit card or plastic gift card and use it to scrape, scratch or squeegee your paint around when making rocks, trees and grasses.

5. Rubber band brush: Bundle a bunch of rubber bands together for a funky brush to paint foliage with!

6. Cut up kitchen sponge: A cut up kitchen sponge and be used to tap on trees or bushes or stamp on bricks and rocks. You can even keep a small piece of sponge in your paint palette to wipe you brush on.

7. Also while you are in the kitchen plastic wrap makes a cool texture when left to dry in watercolor and…

8. …salt in a watercolor wash looks cool too!

9. Toothbrush splatter tool: Why buy a pricey spatter tool when you can get better results from an old toothbrush, just load it up with paint and drag your finger or a craft stick across the bristles. Use wetter paint for bigger spatters and dryer one for tiny specks.

10. Rubbing alcohol makes cool bubble like effects in a wet wash

11.Less Sticky masking tape: Taping down your paper is a good practice to keep it from bucking as you paint. The low tack or artist tape is pricey so buy your tape at the dollar store and stick it to your clothing before your paper. The tip will pick up lint from your clothes so it will be less sticky and won’t rip your precious watercolor paper. Bonus side effect: lint free clothes!

12. DIY Watercolor block: Watercolor blocks are great because you don’t need to tape down your paper but that convenience comes at a price. You can make your own buy cutting your paper to size along with a sheet of cardboard and gluing the edges. I have a tutorial here.

13. Keep the whites with wax! Use a clear or white crayon, candle or hunk of canning wax to preserve white areas of your painting, just apply it to your dry watercolor paper in areas you want to be white before you begin painting. *Note, you do not need to remove the wax from the paper, it’s fine:)

14. Masking fluid dish soap trick: Make sure you don’t ruin your brushes when you use masking fluid, first coat your brush with dish soap or bar soap and then apply as usual. *It’s a good idea to mark that brush as a masking fluid only brush too.

15. Keeping your supplies identified: If you travel to class with your supplies you will want to make sure you don’t lose them or go home with someone else. Here are some ideas for marking them: 1. Stick on one of the free return address labels that you get in the mail, 2 use nail polish on the ends of your brushes 3 find a pretty washi tape and mark all of your tools with that but be sure you go over it with clear tape so it stays.

A lot of people on YouTube asked me where I got my martini tape despncer, I bought mine at the dollar tree over a year ago but you can also find it on Amazon.

Save 30% on any class in my online school with coupon code: 15HACKS

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OR try my new Watercolor Floral Workshop course for 50% off through 6/30/18  *Use coupon code FLOWERPOWER if discount doesn’t appear automatically.

If you found this list helpful please share it on Pinterest (or any other social media network) using the handy sharing buttons below. It really helps out my blog and YouTube channel and encourages me to make more frugal videos like this! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

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