View Full Version : Color mix question

11-08-2004, 09:55 AM
Hi, I just started some watercolor paintings, and this is my first post to WetCanvas. Can someone tell me how to produce the color "tan" for painting beach scenes? I keep coming up with something too yellow. Thanks


Rosa Weitzel
11-08-2004, 09:58 AM
I use Violet and yellow, makes a great tan for beaches. Good luck.

11-08-2004, 10:54 AM
how to produce the color "tan" for painting beach scenes? I keep coming up with something too yellow.
Hi, Tim, welcome to watercoloring! Isn't it infuriating? :evil:

Without a clue what you have in your palette, it's difficult to make actual suggestions. One thing to bear in mind is that watercolor painters get to choose pigment for texture as well as hue (lucky devils that we are). :D Bear in mind, please, I'm only familiar with W/N brand paints... Anyway, you might want to mix starting with something like gold ochre or yellow ochre for their sedimentary or grainy appearance. If it's wet sand, the color is much browner and texture is less variable lighter; on the other hand, dry sand might even show some specific shading from footprints. (I spent a few hours on, or looking at, a beach just last week. :) )

You can neutralize the yellowish colors I suggested above with a blue, maybe a touch of French Ultramarine (also grainy) for wet sand especially. I might try mixing in burnt sienna (which in W/N is a dull orange in light tints) or another lighter yellow for dry sand. Now, let's see how this compares with what Zoltan Szabo recommends (I happen to have _Landscape Painting in Watercolor_ from the library):
"colors which separate easily"... "yellow ochre, burnt sienna, burnt umber, sepia" (I don't use this one because it contains black and will pollute mixing water)... "ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, cerulean blue... manganese blue." So much for theory; in his illustration, he actually used "sepia, yellow ochre, and ultramarine blue over the sandy drop." Later he added details and shadows on sand with "sepia and ultramarine blue."

Looks like you can follow my recommendations, since ZS is a great watercolor painter and mine match his! :D