I don’t use a lot of green. I don’t often paint landscapes. I don’t have a lot of green in the house (though now I look, I do see a photo archive box that is a lovely dark green, and my light rain jacket hanging on a peg is a very light grey-green).
Lately I’ve been playing with greens. Here’s some green I used in a face, just because I didn’t want to use blue.
This is a Pentel brush pen (squeeze kind with pigmented ink) and Schmincke watercolors on Fluid Easy-block 140 lb. Cold Press watercolor paper. The blue in the background was made with a 15-mm wide nibbed Montana Acrylic marker.
I wrote about the hot press version of this paper recently, and have written about the hot press and cold press version months ago as well. I find that the cold press version of this paper doesn't show the odd patterning texture the way the hot press version does. I will continue to use this paper for studies and quick sketches. I usually have a block of it in my life drawing co-op bag.
Remember, color is part of our visual vocabulary. It’s important to push the colors we use, now and then, to break out of old habits and to find combinations we want to go forward with. Besides, it’s fun.
This Project Friday, spend some time looking at something familiar, but use a different color approach.
Maybe you always work monochromatically with Sepia. Change it up by working monochromatically with a cool color, like a dark blue. PB60 is great for that. Go in the opposite direction and work only with a Magenta. Just start with a color that has a relatively dark value so you have some dilution capabilities. (High key colors like yellows won't be too useful.)
Perhaps you favor a complementary pair. My favorite is Burnt Sienna and Indanthrone Blue (PB 60!). I'll make a conscious effort on some drawing expeditions to leave these colors alone and test out a different complementary pair. Try it yourself—leave your favorite complementary pair alone while you learn to handle another pair.
Do you always work with a particular triad? If so change it up. Find new color combinations to explore.
Since you are changing your pigments, pick subject matter with which you're familiar so that you bring some comfort level to the exercise. For instance, when I was drawing my dog Dottie every day, I would experiment with different ways to make black. It was comfortable to sketch her. I knew her shape and the values on her fur in the different lights. The only thing that was new and different was the need to find a way to get those values down accurately with new color choices.
Dive in now and have some fun. If you can, extend your testing throughout the weekend to really stretch.