Take Three Colours....

Take Three Colours....

We are definitely getting lots of different weather at the moment, grey and mild one day and sunny and bright the next. Things are changing mornings are misty, webs are appearing everywhere. Autumn is here. The liquid amber in my garden is changing colour.


I had a very wet walk yesterday around Eggesford, but the trees were magnificent.

Today the sun is shining brightly and there isn't a cloud in the sky.

Although our little veg patch is still going strong.

My lovely husband has now installed a woodburner in my studio, to keep warm during the winter, I may never leave!!

So on cooler autumn days it is lit early so I can begin painting already nice and cosy.

It's a bit of a cost cutting exercise too. I was using electric heaters....but with everything going up this seems a good idea. 

I have been busy working on my Christmas cards, and updating my website, I haven't increased prices, except with postage so do have a look .

So now onto the reason for todays blog, just 3 colours....

Watercolour is a tricky medium, and so anyone who is struggling a bit, maybe it would help to limit your palette , just use these three colours, it cuts out some of the big decisions you have to make while juggling all the other decisions you are making.

 I do enjoy painting with a limited palette and my 3 favourite colours to use are yellow ochre, cadmium red and cobalt blue. I have produced a lot of paintings with just these 3 colours and to my mind they are perfect for this autumnal time of year.

The yellow ochre is a lovely warm tone that is lovely in the sky, and I also use the yellow in the wings to show the flight of the birds, Then the red and blue create so many different purples, from a distant blue for the background hills to a darker purple for the foreground.

I used these three colours again predominantly in this piece. I have added some blue and green but this piece is much more detaied. The yellow ochre produces such a warm feeling in the foreground field and the dark purple is a great contrast under the hedges.I have also splattered some water into the wet paint to produce the random patterns that watercolour is so good at.

In this woodland scene I paint the background trees straight into the yellow ochre of the sky, and use yellow ochre as the light on the trees. The more observant amongst you will see there is a bit of green in this piece too , but by just using a limited palette you can achieve a real atmosphere.

I have learnt that you need to paint what you see and not what you think you see, as I did with the shadows in the tree below

So these are my 3 favorite colours and I find it incredible how versatile they can be , experiment yourself with a limited palette and see what happens x

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I really enjoy your artwork and your blog! I’ll have to try those three colors on my next hike. I love hiking the Smoky Mountains and sometimes paint on the trails. Taking just a few colors will help on my hikes and other things. Thanks! Keep up the good work! 🙂🎨🖌️

Jim Clenney

You have inspired me to try using only these colors and try my hand at watercolors. I don’t want to get bogged down with choosing to many colors until I see if I have the talent to seriously paint. Thank you for the tip.

Maria Honkala

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