'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Dark and Light.

I am working in watercolours at the moment.  I have a friend who works in oils.
We were having a conversation the other evening and it was clear we were seeing things quite differently.
This was why.
When painting in oils, one usually applies the darks first, and then moves into increasingly lighter colours.  Dark to light.

However when painting with watercolours, the shapes are begun with pale washes.  The darks are applied progressively afterwards.  Light to dark.


  1. Wonderful! They were so interesting. I love both styles though I lean more towards water colour now. When I was younger I loved oils more. As a person who can only draw stick people I really admire this talent.

  2. A delight and a privilege to witness the patience and craftsmanship of these two artists. Fascinating.

  3. I've mostly dabbled in water colour but am aware of the difference in light-dark technique. I've never seen anyone paint in oil quite like in that first video though... Fascinating.

  4. Mum painted in water colours and the gentleman next door (who'd been hung in the RA - not personally but his pictures, you understand) painted in oils. So when I was still a wee totey thing I'd had the techniques explained to me. What your post has just brought home to me is that I had completely forgotten it all.

  5. Utterly fascinating! Again it is brought home to me how little I really know in the overall scheme of things. I have very little (translation: no) talent in this area whatsoever, but mightily appreciate those who, like you, do.

  6. I'm glad that I could share this with you all and that you enjoyed it so much. Time-lapse videos of painting are generally much more interesting than the time-true process. Unless you're the artist. To misquote Pratchett: "Painting is the most fun one can have alone."