19 maart 2016





Dear readers,


Today I post on a weekend day, which I don’t do usually.

I have been working on my colour course, and here I post what I did.

This time I worked on ‘saturation’ (verzadiging). That is how bright a colour is. If it comes straight out of the tube, it usually is completely saturated.

I did four projects.


Project 1.

Desaturating the colour with grey.

I chose magenta. I first mixed black and white to  a grey with the same value. This is the result:

Project 2.

Desaturating with a neutral.

I chose cadmium orange, and made a neutral from Burnt Siena, White and a little bit black.

Here is the result:

Project 3.

Desaturating the colour with the opposite colour.

I chose orange again, and mixed it with manganese blue. Completely desaturated it was very dark. Really interesting! Never had done something like that before.

The next thing that I did was mixing the orange, the manganese blue and white to a whole bunch of neutrals.

This was the big surprise of this lesson. It was absolutely stunning, all those neutrals! I kept on mixing. What a never-ending combiniation of beautiful neutrals. Wonderful!

It reminded me on being on the beach, with all those beautiful pebbles in all those greys, blueish greys, beiges, almost white, almost black, brownish.

It inspires me to start working more in neutrals again. Lately I have been working a lot ‘straight out of the tube’ (see here, for instance). I like it very much, those deep saturated colours that jump in the eye.

But now, when I see these neutrals, I recognize that there is also this other, wonderful world with all those subtle, earthy shades.

I made so many swatches that I just photographed some of them, lying on the ground.

Project 4.

The fourth project was making a small painting or collage. The background should be neutral, then using muted colours to create structure and the saturated colours for the things that should get the most attention. And then maybe the complementary colour to catch the eye.


I made two very quick studies:



Thanks for visiting,



  1. Simone Nijboer

    Yes indeed, a weekend post. The course by Jane Davies is very interesting, though quite time-consuming. And I miss the free painting too much if I do it on my ‘painting days’.

    But this time I was really inspired by the beautiful neutrals that came out. More and more these things about value and saturation are coming together.

  2. Dorothy Seiter

    Simone, a weekend post! Sometimes I check your website on the weekend, even though you don’t post then, but this weekend I did not, so I didn’t discover this surprise until just now.

    Thank you for sharing the exercises you’re doing for your color class. Very informative and inviting. I am grateful for the reminders about saturation, mixed colors, and neutrals.

    I like your quick studies. And all your neutrals!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related posts:

Daily painting: Making Marks

Daily painting: Making Marks

Dear reader,   As you probably know, I am often inspired by the American painter Nancy Hillis. She gives an...

Build your own artist website!

Check out the free video series about collage making!

Click here for my list of favorite art supplies!

Click here for my free workbook: Make Art Now!

Take a look at my wearable art!

Pin It on Pinterest