art, color, painting

“Living Water.” Abstract.

Okay. I’m so wiped out that I’m not sure what I’ve been doing since I woke up…anyhow, this is a non-adjusted image of what I was doing, last night. I’m kind of surprised the purple dropped back as much as it did, in this photo.

Abstract watercolor painting in blue, yellow, and violet.

As mentioned in my last post, I need to find ways of producing more intense deep greens. I started this painting out planning on a mostly subdued palette of Ultramarine and earth tones (Raw Umber, Yellow Ochre), but then Prussian Blue snuck in there, and Dioxazine Violet, and they helped so much that it just kind of spiraled. I even ended up highlighting with Hansa Yellow, at the end. I think that the yellow here is mostly Isoindolinone Deep (which has orange tones which dulled out the greens), but I’m not sure. I’m kind of too tired to verify it.

At various times while I was working on this, I found myself seeing a tornado, then the inside of a cave looking out towards the sunlight, then a scorpion’s tail throwing a ball of water.

No, I don’t know how much my current reading (Bad Water, by Robert Stolz; I wouldn’t recommend it at this time, it’s mostly about politics) is influencing this.

I know I should have 2.5 more hours of natural light, but I think I’m going back to sleep. :) It’s not like I have to go to work, tomorrow…

8 thoughts on ““Living Water.” Abstract.”

  1. Fun painting! One of my favorite combos for a green is Quin Gold and Cobalt Teal. Makes lovely spring greens. The Quin Gold works nicely with Cerulean and other blues. I always have Sap Green and Hookers Green on my palette.

    Also, in reading yesterday’s post about your sumi-e brushes, I would recommend Oriental Art Supply for Asian brushes. They have a lovely variety which vary in expense. They are in Huntington Beach, CA. Website is I have done both mail order and been to their shop. Excellent selection of many things, especially paper. I have gone through many brushes, some Japanese, some Chinese; too often Asian brushes sold in art stores are not what I would like to use.

    Another company I have used is Hiromi Paper ( which is primarily paper from Japan, but they do carry wonderful stuff. And it changes. If you are in Los Angeles area – Santa Monica – look them up. They do have brushes.

    If you are looking for the best ink sticks, buy from John Neal Bookseller. He supplies traditional ink sticks made in Japan. I have a number of them. Chinese ink stick are often gritty and not very refined, and if you have a nice suzuri, you will end up scratching it badly if there is a chunk that is especially hard. You can find them at They give good service.

    Direct from Japan, if you need a suzuri or suzuri bako, try They sell tea ceremony items, but if you search you will also find other things, such as suzuri.

    Now you have no excuse NOT to geek out on brushes, as well as get a chance to geek out on paper and paints and ink!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi -N-!

      Thank you for the suggestion of Quinacridone Gold — I’m thinking about finding a tube of this, now! I also have a Daniel Smith dot card set (with the little samples of paint) which I should try out first…I completely forgot I had it! I had heard the original Quin Gold pigment ran out years ago, and now there is a convenience mixture approximating it which mixes similarly?

      A reason I’d been hanging back on the greens is the fact that so many of them are pre-mixed (like the DS Hooker’s Green, which in photos at least, looks pretty beautiful — and I’d have a use for it), but I can see the reason for their existence if realistic and vivid greens are difficult to mix by hand. I have found that Green Gold (Winsor & Newton) really helps boost the temperature of greens, which is really surprising because it doesn’t look like much, on its own.

      I found a couple of links last night which give me some mixtures to try out, though of course that was way late at night on my phone, and I can’t really remember all the ranges of colors possible, now. I do remember something about tinting Crimson with a Phthalo blue or green to get burgundy…

      I’ve been reluctant to use the Phthalos because they’re so intense…maybe that’s a good thing(?). It’s kind of odd when the Phthalos just take a touch to tint a huge amount of yellow to get a balanced color…

      As regards the brushes — thank you very much for the link! I have seen some brushes for sale at Maido in SF Japantown, but the issue I have there is not being able to read the packaging, and being shy enough that I haven’t asked for help in that arena (although the staff would likely be the people to ask about the uses of any given brush). What they have on their website look mostly like brush pens, though they do have actual brushes (without ink reservoirs ^_-) at their store across from the second-floor Kinokuniya.

      I guess I should probably end this comment right now instead of lingering over it — I have another post in mind (I was up drawing last night in the middle of the night when I didn’t trust myself to think well), and I also need to do some classwork, which I think I can tie in to this project…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As far as greens go, I find I really like certain pre-mixed ones and then modify them with the addition of other colors. Very seldom do green mixtures make me as happy as premade. I have been using Hookers for about a billion years, and it never fails me as it is deep and rich. Sap green was a newcomer. I also like May Green by Schmincke – a bright spring green. Green Gold is also wonderful. I also use lamp black to neutralize colors – naughty me!

        My preferred Asian brushes are usually a mix of soft white on the outside with a firmer center core. Issue is often the point for fine line work.

        It sounds like you are in the Bay area . . .

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I had fun playing with the DS dot cards today! :D I don’t even know how long ago I got those things (less than a year [I hope]), but…well, for someone who likes to play with colors, painting certainly scratches that itch. XD

        I think the tricky thing was really seeing what would mesh well together, and what would go well with what I already have. I do have a penchant to paint plants and flowers…so I went ahead and got several greens which blended well and which I didn’t already have. (DS Green Gold, for example, is an entirely different hue than W&N Green Gold!)

        I did, however, forget the Quin Gold! I think I took it out of my basket because it used a Nickel Azo pigment, but when I went over everything right before I checked out, at least two of the tubes I got have Nickel Azo in them…but they’re green, so I suspect it’s less.

        I just know I’m allergic to nickel (I can’t, for example, wear stainless steel watches). We’ll see if I get any itchies from exposure. But DS has so many pretty greens! The dot card advertisement is brilliant!

        Thanks for the support! I think I know what I’ll be doing, soon… :D

        EDIT: Ah, right! Yes, I am in the SF Bay Area. Right now I’m trying to stay up late so that I won’t be wiped out over the weekend when it’s supposed to be over 100 F…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The idea of staying up late to miss the heat is not in my playbook! I am such a morning person..

        the DS dots have often attracted me, but I also know that I am a sucker for paints. I have oodles of gouache and watercolors, as well as pastels. I just ordered a set of Knicker poster paints after watching a video of Kazuo Oga painting with them – he is part of the Studio Ghiblli team. I liked what I saw. They arrive Tuesday.

        I am also allergic to nckel – more sensitive really. If I use nickel plated knitting needles, my fingers tingle, so I figure best not to go there. Never had any issues with the nickel azo colors I use as I don’t touch them (or snort them!).

        Today it is slated to be around 100F here in SoCal (I’m in Ventura County) where I am, so did the running around early. At least we have air conditioning. Heat and I do not get along for too long of a time – heat stroke is no fun!

        Stay cool and post some more soon!

        Liked by 1 person

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