Bright Beautiful Colors

Sometimes people ask me how I get the bright colors in my watercolor paintings. Most watercolorists use color out oif a tube. Sometimes it can be transparent or opaque (I'll write a blog about the difference). Most watercolor in a tube doesn't seem as bright to me as I would like for my paintings. That is why I like to use Dr. PH Martin Liquid Watercolors. They are available from Blick's online (,) for a lesser price than at Dr. PH Martin's Website. These are premixed colors that come in glass bottles with a water dropper that is also the screw on top of the bottle. These are fun to use because you can paint with the dropper in specific areas and blend easily on the page. There are a lot of colors in the same family that mix easily. They come in three circular containers each holding twelve botttles of liquid watercolor. They are called, "Dr. PH. Martin's Hydrus Fiine Art Liquid Watercolor Sets. Each set comes with at least two to three colors in each family of red, yellow and blue. They also have a grey and a white--that is more opaque, but mixes with other colors well. I usually order all three sets and then place the yellows and oranges in one box, the reds and violets in the second box, and the blue, greens, and white in the third box. Thus, I re-organize them by color so I'm not searching for the right shade of yellow in all three boxes. They also have individual refill bottles that are around $6.75 each and are useful for colors you use a lot such as yellow and some shades of green. 

Dr. PH. Martin has sets of otehr water colors that are called Dr. Ph. Martin's Radiant Concentrated Watercolor sets that can be ordered in individual boxes or in a set of four boxes. they each contain less watercolor (only 1/2 oz) than the Hydrus watercolor, yet a little goes a long way. I always use these first and put other water colors on top. I will talk later about using different processes to create layering effects.