Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Painting up a storm... or two!

Cream watercolor paper sitting on top
of bright white watercolor paper.
One thing led to another.  First, Lee Pierce of WATERCOLORS or Else... sent me a little sample of a cream watercolor paper.  I decided, knowing that this is a 'warmer' tone paper, that I would paint a sunset with a fence post because those things would work well with warmer tones.

Then the Blogging Business Artisans had a challenge for March:  Your challenge is to create any item with turquoise and red as the primary colors.  You can incorporate other colors, too, but turquoise and red must be key components.

I hadn't done anything for the challenge because I wasn't sure what I wanted to paint.  Voila!  A sunset... and, um..... Oh!  A sunset with a LOT of red and a fence post with a turquoise bandanna tied to it! 

Then I got to wondering how much difference the paper would make if I used the cream watercolor paper instead of white watercolor paper.  That gave me the idea to do two paintings using the same colors - one on the cream watercolor paper and one on a bright white watercolor paper.  ***TaDaaaaa!***

Next thing I knew, I was painting up a storm... or two!

Did the paper make a difference?  Yes, I think it did.  Take a look at the ground in both of these paintings.  The painting with the cream paper has an overall warmer tone while the white paper has a brighter cooler tone.
cream watercolor paper

bright white watercolor paper
You can also see the difference in the sunset areas.  The red has a deeper, richer color on the cream watercolor paper, while the red has a brighter and lighter tone on the white watercolor paper.  The cream paper gives an additional warmth to the sunset colors while the white paper has a bit brighter and more 'sparkly' look. 

cream watercolor paper
bright white watercolor paper

Oh - you want to see more than a little corner of the paintings?  Here you are!

Red Sunset and Turquoise Bandannas
This may not be the most scientific test for the difference between cream watercolor paper and white watercolor paper because I did a lot more 'wet in wet' painting on the white paper.  I did, however, use the same colors on both these little watercolor sketches.  It was fun to play with the bright colors!

So, would I use the cream watercolor paper again?  Absolutely!  It does take some planning and thought about the right subject, though, and that is something to keep in mind.

And how about the colors?  I like the strong contrast of the turquoise and the red - but next time I will mix my own turquoise, I think.  This seems to be a little more 'blue' than what I think of as turquoise - even though that was what the label said.

Well, that made for a fun painting day!  Have you been having some creative fun lately, too?  I hope so!

Happy creating!


  1. Gorgeous! And I think the one on the cream paper is beautiful- very vibrant, it does have a deeper richness to it. When I used to draw more, several years ago, I loved using colored paper- especially grey and this light blue I had.

  2. I like them both, but I think the cream paper adds a certain "dusty" depth - more like our storms here, and what helps create our spectacular sunsets. That probably doesn't make sense, but that's my two cents' worth!

  3. Nancy - Thank you! It was fun to see how the colors came out on this paper. Drawings on colored paper can be very striking!

    Thanks, Karin! I agree - it does have a dusty feel to it - good way to describe it to those of us who have consumed large amounts of AZ dust! LOL

  4. They are both lovely, each in their own way. I like the warm rich tones of the cream paper. I also like the brightness of the white paper. I can tell you enjoyed the experiment!

  5. Fun "test" :)
    It's always fun to add new supplies to our stock!

  6. Kathy - I love the one on cream paper! :D Oh, I love them both and it's great to see the difference between them. I remember Strathmore used to have some pastel watercolor paper...wonder what happened to that?

  7. I enjoyed seeing the comparison with the papers. The color contrast is nice!

  8. What an interesting experiment! I love your interpretation for the red and turquoise challenge.

  9. Thanks, Splendid! It was fun to experiment!

    Thanks, Pam!

    memories - Thanks! It is fun to have something new to 'play with'!

    Lee - Thanks! It was really fun - I appreciate you sharing your paper with me. I had forgotten about that Strathmore paper. Wonder if it is still around...

    Thank you, Rose! It was fun to do the comparison and watch the differences appear.

    Thanks, Judy! I admit that the challenge had me stumped for a while. This was a fun way to tackle the challenge.

  10. i really like them both! i love that you painted the same image on each sheet to really show the difference - very helpful.

  11. Thanks, Kaili ~ It was fun to paint both at the same time and see how the different papers worked.

  12. They are both wonderful, but I think I like the warmth of the cream paper the best! Interesting how the paper makes such a difference. Fabulous challenge project! Will we see these in your shop soon?
    (I'm so late in looking at the challenge projects -- I need some of your chocolate and broken cookies thrown in my direction to keep me going!!)

  13. Thanks, Sarah! The paper really makes a much bigger difference than you would think. They need a few finishing touches and then they will probably go on my website as I am putting my original paintings up there. *tosses double mocha fudge and chocolate chocolate chip cookies (broken, of course!)*


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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