Anna Day

Calligrapher & Designer



Colour Experiments

I don’t have the bad habits dealt with in the early videos. I don’t use dirty water, dirty brushes, or overpaint wet paint. My faults are probably the opposite: I am usually aiming for bright, saturated colours, so I am fanatical about changing water and cleaning brushes, and this can interrupt the flow of my work.

I haven’t done many acrylic paintings, and don’t have a reject that I want to redo for this class. Therefore, I am going to try ideas and techniques suggested by the videos Color & Charcoal, Good Mud, and Explore Color. I would like to paint more loosely, which is why I am doing this class, and hopefully these exercises will help me.


I used Arches 185 gsm Hot Pressed watercolour paper for this exercise. I painted the yellow first and let it dry. I scribbled compressed charcoal in each of the three sections. Because of the smooth paper, the charcoal texture is somewhat subdued.

When I painted over the charcoal in the first section, the green paint smeared the charcoal a lot as expected, but the blue paint did not smear noticeably.

The same smearing happened in the second second section. I let the green and blue paint dry, then brushed on a stronger blue. Some charcoal shows through, but the smearing is much less obvious.

In the third section I sprayed the charcoal with workable fixative and let it dry before brushing on the blue and green paint. The charcoal stayed in place.


Primary and Secondary Colours

I used Mont Marte 180 gsm Medium Tooth watercolour paper and the following paints:

Atelier Interactive Artists’ Acrylic Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Orange, Brilliant Violet, and Permanent Sap Green

Winsor & Newton Artists’ Acrylic Cadmium Red Medium and Ultramarine Blue

In the first row I used yellow, then orange, then red as the first colour, then painted the others on top while the first colour was still wet, or at least mostly wet. In the second row I used violet, then blue, then green as the first colour, then painted the others on top.

I didn’t clean my brush much within each section, but rinsed it fairly thoroughly between sections.


Selected Colours

I used Mont Marte 180 gsm Medium Tooth watercolour paper and Chromacryl paints in the following colours: White, Yellow Oxide, Gold Oxide, Cool Yellow, Warm Yellow, Orange, Warm Red, Cool Blue, Cobalt Blue Hue, Forest Green, Green Light.

I mixed the colours freely as I painted, and tried to paint mostly over wet paint, but sometimes previous layers dried before I got back to an area.



I used Arches 300 gsm Cold Pressed watercolour paper and leftover paint from my Primary and Secondary Colours exercise. This paper has a coarser texture than the Mont Marte. I thinned the paint a bit more to get it to go into the depressions of the paper, and it dried quickly. Thus some brush strokes were on top of dry paint, but I didn’t stop to purposely let it dry.

Most of the paints are opaque, so the white paper isn’t showing through except in the tiny spots where the paint didn’t cover. These spots are infuriating. Some didn’t show until the paint dried. How can I avoid them?

I took a photograph of the muddy paint.


The next day I used oil pastels, soft pastels, and acrylic paint to make marks on the muddy background. This photograph was taken under different lighting conditions, so the background looks different even though I haven't changed it.


The broken texture of the oil pastels and soft pastels on the Arches Cold Pressed paper doesn't appeal to me, but others may like it.


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