Autumn is just around the corner :: L’automne est presque arrivé

Autumn is just around the corner. The air is crisp and still, the birds are quiet and the days are saying goodbye much earlier… For this painting I chose Prussian Blue, which is an amazing blue, if you are painting a very bright summery day. For this landscape, I should have chosen another blue like Winsor Blue instead… it would have given nicer greens. As Winsor Blue has some yellow in it, by using a yellow that has some blue in it, like Aureolin Yellow, my greens would have been octanic, the term that Jeanne Dobie uses in her colour theory.  By using New Gambodge (red undertone) mixed with Prussian Blue (yellow undertone) my two colours clashed and the undertones were muddy. However, all of this theory is really indicating to me “how to” setup my watercolour palette the next time that I decide to clean it. I will be putting my colours along the line of Dobie logic. If you would like to know more about this here is one of my previous posts on the subject — Jeanne Dobie Make Colors Sing –.

L’automne est presque arrivé et l’air est frais et clair, les oiseaux sont silencieux et les jours nous disent au revoir bien de bonne heure. Pour cette peinture j’ai utilisé du Blue de Prusse qui est une excellent couleur si l’on peint une scène chaude d’été… mais pour l’automne, moins. Si j’avais suivi les consignes de Jeanne Dobie sur les couleurs “octaniques” j’aurais utilisé le Bleu de Winsor qui a une teinte de jaune avec le jaune Auréolin, qui a des teintes de bleu dedans et mes verts auraient été beaucoup plus resplendissants et non ternes. Une chose que je sais: la prochaine fois que je refais ma palette de couleurs, je vais avoir en tête la logique de Jeanne.

Paper: Moleskine Watercolor
Pen: Pigma Micron Pen 01
Colours: New Gambodge, Alizarin Crimson, Prussian Blue and Yellow Ochre.


Octanic Colours

I often have problems when mixing my colours and I think that Jeanne Dobie’s book “Making Color Sing” is actually helping me out. She has a colour theory for mixing colours, which is quite simple to understand once you get through the logic. I hope that I do not mix you up -)

I first created a colour wheel with some of the colours that she recommends…
• On the cool side goes: Rose Madder Genuine, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine and Winsor Blue;
• On the warm side: Aureolin Yellow, Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Red.


Then looking at each colour

• Rose Madder Genuine & Alizarin Crimson have some blue in it;
• French Ultramarine has some red in it;
• Winsor Blue has some yellow in it;
• Aureolin Yellow has some blue in it;
• Cadmium Yellow has some red in it;
• Cadmium Red has some yellow in it.

The idea is to choose, for example’s sake: a blue pigment with some red in it like French Ultramarine and a red pigment that has some blue in it, like Alizarin Crimson. As both pigments have the other pigments undertone, these will create vibrant or octanic colours.



























The same goes for creating a vibrant orange. Camium Red + Cadmium Yellow
















The same goes for green: Aureolin Yellow + Winsor Blue will give a vibrant green. However, if you mix a Cobalt Yellow (that has red in it) with a French Ultramarine (that has red in it) then the colours muddy… see below.