About this blog

WELCOME! My name is Ann Mortimer and I'm a professional watercolour artist and tutor from Nottingham, UK.

This is a "learn how to" and "problem solving" blog covering WATERCOLOUR TECHNIQUES.

You can look for things that interest you in the blog archive on the side bar when various topics have built up over time!

I'll be covering thing such as colour mixing, negative painting, using masking fluid, laying washes, painting water and all sorts of other things.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Please have a quick look at my other blog to read some exciting news about two art courses I'm going to run next year in 2013. My daughter Sophie is coming along to add an extra dimension...

Sunday, 15 July 2012

TONE is the key to success!

I have, in a quiet sort of way, been racking my brains as to what to cover next in this blog to help people along on their watercolour journey.

And it gradually dawned on me that it was vital to talk about TONE.  Sometimes referred to as VALUE, it's basically about the light and dark in your painting, the contrast, the setting darks against lights that makes your painting come alive and jump out of the page.

You just have to look at the image that forms the background to the blog title at the top of this page to see what I'm talking about.  In that snippet of an image, you have the two extremes of tone.  You see the stark white of parts of the rose and in the same image you have the almost black of the dark crevices in between the leaves and flowers.  And then also there are the different tones in between in the pink buds, the leaves and stalks.

If you want that negative painting technique to work for you, then an understanding of TONE is essential.

The first hurdle we tend to come across is making the difference between TONE and COLOUR.

Each colour has a tone.  Bright red in a painting can stand out and therefore seem to be a dark tone, but looking at the same painting in a black and white print of it will prove that the red is often a medium tone.
Take the painting above of a terrace in Crete. The chairs seem to stand out with their bright red colour and you might think well they are definitely a dark tone.

But look at the chairs in a black and white print of the painting and suddenly the chairs seem to disappear into the background.  So the chairs depend on their colour to stand out.  Their tone is actually medium and about the same as the tree behind them.

Fascinating, isn't it?