Over three days I painted three pages of secondaries going from full strength to almost nothing. Just as with the Primary Values, I started with gouache and then any single watercolors I had, but I don’t have many of those, preferring to mix my own. So I started showing values of mixed secondaries.
For the curious artist or random pedants, the oranges are Bright Orange gouache, then watercolors Cadmium Red Light (RY), Perm Rose (Rb) + Cadmium Yellow Light (Yr), Cadmium Red Deep (Ry) + Cadmium Yellow Deep (Yr), Alizarin Crimson (Rb) + Lemon Yellow Hue (Yb), Alizarin Crimson (Rb) + Yellow Ochre (Yrb), and Cadmium Red Deep (Ry) + Yellow Ochre (Yrb). So per this previous post, any time there is a “b” in the mixing code, you can expect a dull or greyed orange.
The greens are Permanent Green gouache, then watercolors Hookers Green Dark, Intense Blue (By) + Burnt Umber (gorgeous deep color), Intense Blue (By) + Lemon Yellow (Yb), Ultramarine (Br) + Cadmium Yellow Light (Yr), Ultramarine (Br) + Lemon Yellow (Yb), Indigo (Byr) + Lemon Yellow (Yb), and Paynes Grey (BYR) + Lemon Yellow (Yb). With four blues and five yellows/browns, I needed a little more room, so at the top I added Intense Blue (By) + Burnt Sienna (Ybr), Payne’s Grey (BYR) + Yellow Ochre (Ybr), and Ultramarine (Br) + Yellow Ochre (Ybr).
Indigo and Intense Blue make beautiful darks, but I find them difficult to work with. Indigo lifts too easily and Intense Blue has so much pigment it is difficult to get it to softly fade to white – as soon as I touch a dry edge with fresh water, it colors all the water and makes a new boundary. They are both fine if you’re not going to touch them again – that just doesn’t seem to be my style. Ultramarine seems to be in the sweet spot, mixes well, and even adds lovely granulation, but it doesn’t make particularly exciting darks.
The purples are Deep Violet gouache, then watercolors Ultramarine (Br) + Permanent Rose (Rb), Indigo (Bry) + Alizarin Crimson (Rb), Ultramarine (Br) + Alizarin Crimson (Rb), and Intense Blue (By) + Permament Rose (Rb). I was tired of doing whole value runs, so at the top I added single mixes which I’m not going to type out.