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You Mixed & Swatched Watercolors, Now What?

You mixed and swatched your favorite watercolors, now what? That’s what I asked myself and today I’ll share an ink and wash project inspired by my Zentangle watercolor swatches.

You Mixed & Swatched Your Favorite Watercolors, Now What?

All the details for this ink and wash watercolor viola are in this short cardmaking video. In addition to sketching the viola on film, I also walk you though how I’ve benefitted from mixing and swatching my Daniel Smith watercolors.

Watch here or in HD on YouTube. While you’re there I’d love it if you like, subscribe, and share it with friends. In the video, I ask for your feedback regarding future videos, so be sure to leave a comment and tell me your thoughts.

Mixing & Swatching Watercolors with Flare

The best way to get to know your watercolor palette is to mix and swatch the colors. I’ve been putting this off because I found the prospect of swatching little squares so incredibly boring.

Zentangle Watercolor Swatches

Then I came across a video by James Burke. He felt the same way, so instead of swatching squares, he swatched sketched dolls. Genius! That’s when I decided I would create Zentangle swatches. This makes the process a little more interesting and gives me a chance to practice Zentangle.

My Pocket Palette contains 28 Daniel Smith watercolors. So, what I do is pick one color and mix it with each of the other colors in the palette. The porcelain palette you see in the photo above is perfect for mixing 28 colors.

Zentangle Watercolor Swatches
Zentangle patterns: Purk, Crescent Moon, and Oysteroid

I start by tangling a few different Zentangle patterns and then section off areas with the Hollibaugh pattern. Next, I swatch the mixed colors in the negative spaces.

Zentangle Watercolor Swatches
Zentangle patterns: Crescent Moon, Oysteroid, and Gourdeous

In this example, I mixed Daniel Smith Raw Umber Violet with each of the other colors in my Pocket Palette. Raw Umber Violet is one of my favorite colors as it’s similar to the Copic E70 family. But, I was curious to see how well it mixed with other colors and what new colors it would create.

Given my love for vibrant colors, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed these muted colors. Now, what to do with all these gorgeous neutralized colors?

Sketch, Ink & Wash Viola Flower

As you can, see all these lovely colors were sitting in my palette begging to be used. So, I decided to try sketching a viola and doing a bit of ink and watercolor wash.

Easily Sketch A Viola Flower

If you’ve never tried sketching flowers before or have little experience like me, violas are the perfect starter flower. Violas have very simple elemental shapes with minimal detail: circles, ovals, and rounded triangles.

Of course you’ll have much greater success if you use a reference photo. You can find copyright free photos at sites like pixabay.com.

Watercolor Viola Flower with Zentangle Border

Pencil marks can get trapped under the watercolor, so sketch lightly or erase the lines a bit before painting. I kept mine at full strength so you’d be able to see them in the video.

Easy Ink & Wash Viola

Daniel Smith Watercolor Mixtures

All the Daniel Smith watercolor mixtures are detailed in the video, but I’ll also list them here. All the colors except the purple and green are mixed with Raw Umber Violet.

  • Raw Umber Violet
  • Hansa Yellow Light + Raw Umber Violet
  • Quinacridone Purple + French Ultramarine
  • Quinacridone Rose + Raw Umber Violet
  • New Gamboge + Raw Umber Violet
  • Pyrrol Crimson + Raw Umber Violet
  • Mayan Dark Blue + Raw Umber Violet
  • Indigo + Raw Umber Violet
  • Perylene Green
Easy Watercolor Viola

After the painting dried I tangled a border and drew details on the viola. When adding inked details to a flower, curved lines will add rounded dimension to the petals. Vary the thickness of the pen strokes for more interest.

I’d love to know what you think of this project and the mixing and swatching. If you’re interested in a mixing and swatching video, let me know what’s most important to you. Do you want to see the actual mixing, just the swatching, or both?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Easy Ink & Wash Coneflowers

Ready for another ink and wash floral? Cone flowers are another easy flower to sketch.

Check out this post/video to learn how to sketch and watercolor coneflowers.

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If you love it, pin it, and share it with your crafty friends! Visit me on Pinterest for more design inspiration, patterns, and color combinations.

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One Comment

  1. Thank you, Amber, for sharing all this great information! Not only do I see awesome inspiring creations here but I always learn from you. I appreciate it immensely!