Transparent Watercolor Wheel

All watercolor artists yearn for clean, luminous color in their work, but their hopes are often dashed when they experience the frustration of muddy color. Imagine nearing the end of a painting that’s been coming along beautifully and suddenly finding that the last wash you put down turned out murky, ruining everything. How could you have known that would happen? Jim Kosvanec provides the solution to this baffling obstacle – a logical system that takes the guesswork out of color mixing and leads to predictably clean color combinations every time. The Kosvanec Transparent Watercolor Wheel, included here as a special foldout that can be detached from the book and hung on a studio wall for reference, organizes watercolor pigments into groups based not just on color relationships, like a standard color wheel, but on their specific physical characteristics. There are five groups: transparent non-staining colors, semitransparent nonstaining colors, transparent staining colors, semiopaque and opaque colors, and whitened and blackened colors (colors that contain some white or black in their makeup). Accompanying the wheel are easy-to-follow guidelines (handily duplicated in chart form on the foldout) that explain how the various color groups interrelate, with specific mixing results. What happens, for example, if you combine a transparent staining color like phthalo blue, with an opaque color, like cadmium red? You get a very dull result. How about if you glaze five different transparent nonstaining colors over one another? You get a result that’s still luminous and transparent. Predicting outcomes like these is what the Kosvanec Transparent Watercolor Wheel and guidelines are all about.Kosvanec backs up his color mixing system with examples from each color grouping. To show how the system applies to real painting situations, he includes detailed step-by-step demonstrations of several of his own works, plus in-depth analyses of a dozen beautiful paintings by some of today’s best professional watercolorists, among them Jeanne Dobie and Irving Shapiro. In addition, there is plenty of practical advice on such matters as getting the proportion of water to paint right, as well as helpful, up-to-the minute information on paper selection and preparation, brushes, and lighting. All in all, Transparent Watercolor Wheel is designed to steer you toward that goal most watercolorists strive to reach: better, more luminous paintings.

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