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Old 10-02-2020, 07:09 AM   #1  
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Palette icon Watercolor swatching for cardmakers

Good morning, everyone!


I'm curious - do you swatch your watercolors (if you use them), and if so, how? Would you be willing to share a picture with us?


I want to swatch my small watercolor collection, but have been racking my brain (and the internet) for tips and nothing seems practical to meet the needs of a cardmaker. All the examples I've seen are for aspiring watercolorists where they're pretty concerned about color fade, washes, all these things that don't really matter to me (because I'm not a professional! ).


I look forward to your responses!


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Old 10-02-2020, 07:47 AM   #2  
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I swatch the colors out on a small piece of watercolor paper.  Sometimes the small palettes come with a piece that is already sectioned.  I just do a very basic swatching, since there are so many ways to - as you said - fade and wash out the colors.  I just want to have an idea of what the colors will look like. I also have a scrap piece of watercolor paper next to me while I'm working to test the colors before I use them.  I try not to spend so much time on organizing and prep work that I have no time to enjoy my hobbies.
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Old 10-02-2020, 09:54 AM   #3  
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Thank you, Jeanette!  Do you store what swatches you have done with the palette itself or in one spot all together? 

I agree - I try not to go overboard on organizing (I'd never get anything made if I did! ) but rather selectively organize certain things in such a way that will save me lots of time in the long run and/or get them in a form that will make them more useable for me.  I've noticed recently I've wanted to play with my watercolors but passed them up in favor of mediums that I am clearly aware of what color they turn out as, so I want to fix this and get them clearly out there so I'm more apt to grab for them when in the mood.

Thanks again for your tips!

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I swatch the colors out on a small piece of watercolor paper.  Sometimes the small palettes come with a piece that is already sectioned.  I just do a very basic swatching, since there are so many ways to - as you said - fade and wash out the colors.  I just want to have an idea of what the colors will look like. I also have a scrap piece of watercolor paper next to me while I'm working to test the colors before I use them.  I try not to spend so much time on organizing and prep work that I have no time to enjoy my hobbies.
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Old 10-02-2020, 06:28 PM   #4  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by DancesWithHoovesView Post
Thank you, Jeanette!  Do you store what swatches you have done with the palette itself or in one spot all together? 

I agree - I try not to go overboard on organizing (I'd never get anything made if I did! ) but rather selectively organize certain things in such a way that will save me lots of time in the long run and/or get them in a form that will make them more useable for me.  I've noticed recently I've wanted to play with my watercolors but passed them up in favor of mediums that I am clearly aware of what color they turn out as, so I want to fix this and get them clearly out there so I'm more apt to grab for them when in the mood.

Thanks again for your tips!




For the watercolors, I keep the swatches with the palettes.  For other media, I have a binder with the color charts/swatches.
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Old 10-04-2020, 04:55 PM   #5  
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I am the Mad Swatcher. LoL I swatch everything as friends will tell you bc I will send them ones of new product I get. Those are 2 x 2 that I have in plastic pages with pockets and on rings that hang on the back of my door. 

But with WC...I just took a big sheet WC paper, ruled off boxes and swatched them there. I cant take a pic now bc the lighting is terrible but I can try tomorrow. It really is nothing special. In fact has called to my attention I need to swatch some more since I have more paints now. They will not fit with the paint container though. 

The thing is...different WC papers could look/act a bit different. I am with you, I am not a pro so for me that does not matter much. 

Hopefully people who are much more advanced will answer you like Dina or Lydia. 
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Old 10-05-2020, 06:51 AM   #6  
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Ok, I got a pic. 

This is on Strathmore WC paper. 
Attached Thumbnails
Watercolor swatching for cardmakers-wc-gansai-tabai-chart.jpg  
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Old 10-05-2020, 10:14 PM   #7  
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I swatch everything, especially paints...as I want to see in a quick glance when colors will look like when mixed : )  

Hope this helps- Shelly

This is one of my samples- this is a QOR watercolor swatch chart


I tried to paste a picture and I cannot.....

I swatch everything- ink pads, Distress Inks, etc.....  

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Old 10-06-2020, 07:25 AM   #8  
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If you haven't already seen Kristina Werner's video tutorial on how she swatches her watercolor sets, I'd recommend it, hands down.  It took a bit of time to complete, but now at a glance, I can see what color options there are with the pure single color, that color saturated then watered down, and two color blends with one slightly stronger than the other.  I'm not big into watercolor (yet) so the swatch sheet sits in a folder with my watercolor paper and paints all together on a shelf in the paper tray on my desk. Hth.
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Old 10-06-2020, 08:53 AM   #9  
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There is a stamp set by Waffle Flower that is designed for swatching watercolors, inks, etc. It is here:


Sally Lynn MacDonald had a post on her FB where she showed a few of her watercolor swatches, and there may be more elsewhere on her page:

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Old 10-06-2020, 02:16 PM   #10  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by wavejumperView Post
Ok, I got a pic. 

This is on Strathmore WC paper. 
 

Oh my!  That's gorgeous!  Are you sure you're not a pro?   

Thank you so much for sharing!!!
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Old 10-06-2020, 02:21 PM   #11  
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Shelly - thank you for sharing!  That looks like a great idea!

Jeanie - THANK YOU for recommending Kristina's video!  I will give that a watch, perhaps tomorrow.  It sounds like a wonderful resource!

Dina - Awesome, thank you!  The stamp set caught my eye previously but I'm quite thrifty (aka cheap ).  I could use it for inspiration for making my own thing though, and may just do that.  I'll also look into the FB resource you mentioned - I glanced briefly and will need to go back when I have more time.

THANK YOU to everyone for your helpful comments and suggestions!  
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Old 10-06-2020, 05:29 PM   #12  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by DancesWithHoovesView Post
Jeanie - THANK YOU for recommending Kristina's video!  I will give that a watch, perhaps tomorrow.  It sounds like a wonderful resource!
Her 2/3/2020 YouTube (Endless colors with a  set of 12) is great.  She's wonderful in general, but that one is especially good.  Have fun with your  quest.     

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Old 10-06-2020, 07:59 PM   #13  
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Thanks but no.   That is just doing straight color samples. 

WC swatching is different though....I did not do it. But usually people do it by combining the colors to see how they will look. So in that way it is different from other kinds of swatching. These other charts we are seeing are doing that. I probably should one day. 
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Old 10-07-2020, 04:04 AM   #14  
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Hi Crissy, I don’t use my w.c.s as much as I want.  I have a nice set of Cotman watercolors.  Student grade but real watercolors. If you have a set of real watercolors, I recommend you take the time to do a whole watercolor mixing chart.  There are many examples online.  The idea is that you learn your set of colors and learn what they can do with each other.  It took me a number of days to do mine, and it hurt a bit to wash my mixing plate off between groups of colors, but i created a valuable tool that I can keep.  

i took a large sheet of the kind of paper I usually use.  I used a ruler and black waterproof marker, and i made a grid that had a column and row for each color in my paint pallet, and a label coumn and label row for the top and left side (Excel has nothing on me!)  Once you get going, those labels will help you keep from making mistakes, placing your mixes.  I labeled my sheet in RoyGBiv or colorwheel order on both axes, with reds meeting in the top left corner.  Take a look at samples online, for photos.

As I filled in my chart, I focused on one color at a time.  I made a 1/2” puddle of my focus color on my mixing plate for each color I would be mixing into the focus color.  For example, i have 12 paints.  I put 11 dots around my plate.   
then I painted the focus color in it’s box on my chart, before I started mixing.  
You will repeat this process over and over:
Spritz all your paints.
Wash brush.  Wash it again.  Rinse.  
Pick up a bit of your first color to mix.  Lay it next to a dot of your focus color, and then pull a bit of each together until you get an informative balance.  
Find the focus color on the left of your chart.  Find the mixing color on top.  The box where they meet is where you place your color creation.
Go back and wash your brush.

A few tips:
Be methodical so you don’t have to redo parts of your chart.
Clean your brushes well: change your water after each focus color. 
Keep a dry margin around all your boxes, so colors don’t run into each other.  I learned by failing.
Take your time and enjoy what you are learning as you work through this.  It is time-consuming but also beautiful and pleasing.  
If throwing paints away bugs you, you could clean each color group off your mixing plate with a sponge and use it with a stencil, so you have some beautiful things to work with, when you’re done.
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Old 10-07-2020, 05:43 AM   #15  
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Here's my home made pallette for my Mission Gold WC's:
https://www.splitcoaststampers.com/gallery/photo/2951129?&cat=500&ppuser=168869

I DO LOVE the Waffle Flower Swatches that you can get & I use them too for paints, that Dina suggested! Whether you are a pro or not, it is NICE to have those colors on hand!  <3
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Old 10-07-2020, 06:27 AM   #16  
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You can also make a color wheel by combining colors and seeing the results.  They are fun to do, but not necessary for me.  I do my testing in the moment.  That's how I roll with a lot of things, LOL!
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Old 10-07-2020, 07:10 AM   #17  
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You can also make a color wheel by combining colors and seeing the results.  They are fun to do, but not necessary for me.  I do my testing in the moment.  That's how I roll with a lot of things, LOL!

Waffle Flower ALSO HAS a Color Wheel Stamp & Die Set........ <3
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Old 10-07-2020, 09:54 AM   #18  
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The only real problem with color mixing charts for watercolor is that you can rarely get the same proportions of color from one time to the next. For instance, you can mix a red and an orange to get a different hue, but the next time you mix those same colors, you might get a slightly different hue, depending on the exact amount of red or orange you add--a hard thing to replicate. I hope that makes sense. The only "real" swatching I do is with the Waffle Flower set on watercolor paper that I die cut into tags, which I keep on a ring. That helps me see transparency, granulation (if any), and how it waters out into a wash. I did also make a color chart of sorts to keep with my palette. I just made a grid to match the pan arrangement in my palette box (I have 40 half pans in a tin) & painted a bit of each color in its corresponding box. I also labeled each box in the grid with the color name. That has 2 advantages: I see what the base color is, and it also serves as an "index" of sorts to my palette, so I don't have to remember exactly which color is in which pan. Though I do have the pans labeled on the sides, the way they are in the tin I can't really see the writing. I adhered a piece of a page protector cut to the size of my tin into the lid, and just slip the color chart in there to keep it clean. Hope this helps!
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Old 10-07-2020, 12:49 PM   #19  
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So, my swatch above for QOR watercolors uses all of the colors I have of that brand.

 I took a watercolor class at the local art league, and the instructor had us swatch what we had- you get the general idea of your colors- may not be an exact replica but.....  They encourages us to think about having a palate- generally about 12- 18 colors.  If you have the primary colors, you should be able to mix those and create any other color- no need to buy 50 tubes of watercolor paints (which are not cheap by the way).

 You have to know what you enjoy coloring- and you will have different colors in your personal palate if you paint flowers vs animals......  Add slowly and enjoy the process.  

 I do have a few more colors, but do have swap charts for all of them, so I can create with what I have at home.  

 I like the idea of making your own color chart, it will teach you which colors you have that are warm vs cool and that will help you when you want to mix paints to create other colors........ We were encouraged to do that as well.  I bet if you google that you will find charts there.  I am very visual, I like to see the colors on a chart, or look at samples of ideas before I create. 

Best of luck!

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Old 10-07-2020, 01:39 PM   #20  
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Oh my goodness - these are fabulous suggestions!

Kendel, I deeply appreciate the detailed explanation!  I think I'll put that on my future wishes list, making a resource like that, as I agree... it sounds immensely helpful!
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Old 10-07-2020, 04:20 PM   #21  
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The only real problem with color mixing charts for watercolor is that you can rarely get the same proportions of color from one time to the next. For instance, you can mix a red and an orange to get a different hue, but the next time you mix those same colors, you might get a slightly different hue, depending on the exact amount of red or orange you add--a hard thing to replicate. I hope that makes sense. The only "real" swatching I do is with the Waffle Flower set on watercolor paper that I die cut into tags, which I keep on a ring. That helps me see transparency, granulation (if any), and how it waters out into a wash. I did also make a color chart of sorts to keep with my palette. I just made a grid to match the pan arrangement in my palette box (I have 40 half pans in a tin) & painted a bit of each color in its corresponding box. I also labeled each box in the grid with the color name. That has 2 advantages: I see what the base color is, and it also serves as an "index" of sorts to my palette, so I don't have to remember exactly which color is in which pan. Though I do have the pans labeled on the sides, the way they are in the tin I can't really see the writing. I adhered a piece of a page protector cut to the size of my tin into the lid, and just slip the color chart in there to keep it clean. Hope this helps!
It's true you'll never get the exact same color when you go to recreate a blend, but I've found the chart really helpful, never would have guessed a combination would result in the new color, and I can get reasonably close when I want to.  Ymmv.
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Old 10-09-2020, 07:48 AM   #22  
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I swatch my watercolors, brush markers, and alcohol markers out on watercolor paper or mixed media paper that has been cut down to size to fit in the large storage pockets. The color charts are stored in the tin or containers along with the colors. As for my collection of distress oxides I created a chart on 8.5x11 cardstock which l store in page protection sheets. They are also stored in the container with the distress oxides. 
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Old 10-10-2020, 07:36 PM   #23  
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That is a very good point about shades and blending in the future! But I guess it might at least give you an idea of what you could expect. 
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