ATV 3 Project 2 materials and composition EX. 3.3 Watercolour studies

Project 2 Materials and composition

Ex. 3.3 Watercolour studies

Explore and gain an understanding of opacities of colour through the observation and recording of transparent and semi-transparent objects and to extract colour palettes and proportions of colour from a self-selected first hand visual source.

Project3 (Small)

I selected 6 glass objects for this exercise, 3 clear glass, one with a hint of purple and two green toned. I set up the still life with white paper behind and underneath to stop the interference of other colours. I could see from the beginning that the way I had the lights would influence the colours I would see, so, for the first still life I had an overhead lamp giving light from overhead and to the left and a daylight lamp giving light from the right. For the second I angled the overhead light away and just had the daylight lamp shining on it from the right. This meant there was less light shining directly on the glass which stopped the light reflection washing out the colour and intensified the colours of the glass. I tested colour in my sketchbook to get the colours right before using them on the watercolour paper. For the first still life I looked at the whole and did a colour proportionate sample and then I looked at the individual colours I could see in the whole, the greens, the blues etc. and did separate samples for those.  For the second still life I looked at each individual object and painted the colours in the proportions I saw them in that one piece.


Light and angle play a huge part in the colours you see in this exercise. Even changing the angle you look at it from straight on to sideways introduces new colours. I liked using the watercolours for this exercise as you can really experiment with opacities of a colour and get more accurate results than you would using gouache or acrylics. It was challenging to find the right colours in a clear object. It’s all about looking for the shadows and reflections and seeing their colours as your brain tells you that a clear object is clear and has no colour! It was surprising how many colours I could actually see when I looked hard enough. After I had finished painting the still life’s I decided to put the photos I took of them into Adobe color CC and see what colours I could pick out from there. It fascinates me how differently I see colour than the Adobe programme does. I saw the little square bottle in purples and lilacs but the programme picked them out as a sort of taupe/grey colour. It is very interesting to compare the two. I am still left wondering whether the difference is due to monitor colour settings or just that the programme actually can see a bigger range of colours.