0 In watercolour

Watercolour paint swatches – how I made mine

I decided to make paint swatches for each of my watercolour paints. I was interested to see their potential intensity as I like bright, strong colours. The swatches would be a helpful reference for me. This is how I made them:

  1. I cut out the swatches from my 300gsm (140lb) watercolour paper. They measure approximately 10.5cm x 7.5cm (3.5″ x 2.5″).
  2. I then went to the manufacturers’ websites and copy and pasted their technical and product descriptions into a Word document.
  3. I made sure to include the manufacturer’s abbreviated name in the technical description ie. DS for Daniel Smith, Sch for Schminke and AS for Art Spectrum.
  4. I printed out these descriptions and then cut them out and pasted them onto the swatch cards. The technical description is on the front and the product description on the back.
  5. Underneath the technical description I started painting with a juicy wash to show the mass tone (undiluted pigment of the colour) and then added more water as I went along to see more medium tints. I didn’t bother to fade out to very pale washes.
  6. I have plenty of room on the right hand corner of the swatch to punch a hole. The swatches can then all be held together with a large ring.
  7. I still have room on the swatch card to paint other smaller test samples of that colour; say for instance with a salt effect or showing the transparency over a black line etc.

Yes, initially this is a time consuming process but I think well worth the exercise. I got to know the colours better in their pure form and how they behaved over a larger area. And it will be a simple matter to add new swatches if I get extra colours.

I now have another useful reference that compliments the colour mixing chart I made previously.

watercolour paint swatches

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