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Watercolour Blacks

Black Lives Matter

Given the current unrest in the USA, sparked by yet another unjust and apparently racially motivated murder of a black man by a white police officer, there is a political and social element to my choice for today’s 30x30DirectWatercolor painting.

I chose to respond by experimenting with two different approaches to creating ‘black’. One is ‘pigment black’. With these Royal Langnickel paints, I don’t know what pigments are actually involved but this is unmodified black from a tube. I squeezed it out, loosened it up with some water and applied it down the left hand side.

The rest of the ‘black’ is what is known as a chromatic black – here a mixture of the violet and deep green colours I was using yesterday. Watercolour artists tend to prefer this approach, which allows for much more nuance and can harmonise with other parts of a painting. The combination I used here would have been perfect for adding darks to yesterday’s foxglove painting while in other circumstances I might choose a different pair (ultramarine blue and some kind of orange is one of my favourites).

You can see the variety available here – quite green towards the plain black line, more neutral on the opposite side and with a slight violet tint at the top of the diluted section at the bottom.

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