Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Winsor & Newton Cotman Pocket Box 12 Colour Chart

I've seen lots of colour charts on the internet and I thought I'd make one of my own for my Winsor & Newton Cotman Pocket Box watercolours, which contains 12 half pan colours as shown below:

I made a 12 X 12 grid and labelled the rows and columns with the name of each colour.  I first laid down the 12 colours from the paint box as they are (you can see these diagonally, starting with 'Lemon Yellow' and finishing with 'Chinese White'.  Then I started mixing them, trying to use equal amounts of each colour. This was a good exercise to familiarize myself with the name of the colours and learn how they interact with each other.  There were a few surprises along the way! Here's my completed colour chart:

My favourite combinations are probably Viridian and Lemon Yellow, making a very bright light green; and Intense Blue mixed with Alizarin Crimson, which produces a pretty purple. I also like how mixing any of the colours with Chinese White returns a light pastel shade, and adding Burnt Sienna or Burnt Umber results in intense deep shades.  This was an eye opener for me, as I thought mixing brown with anything will just make mud, but just look at Viridian mixed with Burnt Sienna or Intense Blue mixed with Burnt Umber. Wow!

I have to mention here though that the colours displayed on the monitor are quite a bit more vivid than they are in real life, and depending on your monitor settings may display differently.

Making a similar colour chart with your own paints will help you understand how different colours mix with each other. This is only the tip of the iceberg!  Imagine the shades you can achieve by varying the ratio of each colour you mix - or mixing three/four colours in varying amounts.  The possible combinations are truly infinite.

One of these days, I'll try the same exercise with my 45-pan Winsor and Newton Studio Set. I just need to find a big enough sheet of paper first!

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