DIY Color Previewer For Artists

color previewer DIY
I recently came across a product that helps predetermine a color for glazing or whether another layer will help or hurt a painting. I was too impatient to wait for a delivery from Australia-and I wanted to try colors that I have in my own palette so I made my own.
color previewer diy ncwren
I made a list of all the colors I would like to have available and googled the html code for each of them. For those that I could not find a specific code for I looked for the closest match.

I used PicMonkey's collage feature and picked square deal which gives 25 blocks per 8.5x11 page.

Next choose edit to go to the editing area. Pick effects (the sparkly wand) and find ombre to get a graduated effect. Have white as one color and the second color use your html code for each color you have.

Save the project to either print your own out with a laser printer or take to your local printer. I used a transparency made for laser printers and the price was under $10 for a box of 50 sheets.
color previewer diy ncwren
I cut mine out and organized by color. I also punched holes and added grommets so they would slide easier around a key chain.
color previewer diy ncwren
After making these and using them a few times I would have only made 6 swatches-3 primary and 3 secondary. I also would have left them intact on one sheet. The color scratches off fairly easily and attracts a lot of dust through static electricity.

Still a nifty idea and fun to use.

Quick Product Review~Shell and Potter's Pink

wip watercolor portrait ncwren
In search of a color that would retain a glow to watercolor portraits in shadow areas (especially children) I came across a pigment referred to as Potter's Pink (PR233). When I went to purchase this color I also happened on another color called Shell Pink (PO73 and PW6). On impulse I went ahead and purchased both.
quick product review potter's pink shell pink ncwrent
The Potter's Pink I purchased is a Daniel Smith product. It is a very light tint with a lot of granulation due to it being a genuine mineral pigment. Unfortunately it's formulation is very gummy-meaning that it doesn't really dissolve and there is no mingling on the paper-just a sludgy appearance overall. I suspect it has to do more with quality control than the actual pigment itself. It lifts very easily from the paper, making it extremely difficult to layer with. I have had another paint from this company do this and found it to be not worth my time to get it to work. I may call or write them and see if it is actually the pigment itself.
As for the Shell Pink from Holbein-I am having a love affair with this paint at the moment. It is a combination of Pyrrole Orange (PO73) and Titanium White (PW6). A wonderful transparency exists up to about a 50/50 mix of paint and water when it starts to give over to the white's opacity qualities. I am definitely in the market for some Pyrrole Orange and Titanium White. I have not mixed opaque watercolor with transparent, and given the quality of this paint I want to explore these two pigments separately.
quick product review potter's pink shell pink ncwren
As you can see from the above picture the squares with sludge like strokes are the ones made using the Potter's Pink from Daniel Smith. The top left square starts with a 50/50 mix of the Holbein Shell Pink and is washed out to a light pink transparency-smooth and beautiful. I am loving this subdued yet vibrant pink.
I purchased the Potter's Pink from Amazon for $11.71 usd and the Holbein Shell Pink for $11.72. Both tubes are .5oz/15ml

If you like this review you may also like:
Quick product review-M. Graham cobalt set

Quick Product Review~M.Graham Cobalt Watercolor Set

M. Graham Cobalt set ncwren quick product review
A really beautiful grouping of colors that have been on my wishlist for over a year. This set has 5 .5oz/15ml tubes of various cobalt pigments.
  1. Cerulean Blue Deep PB 36
  2. Cobalt Violet PV14
  3. Cobalt Blue PB 28 (Oxides of Cobalt and Aluminum)
  4. Cobalt Teal PB28 (Cobalt Aluminate)
  5. Cobalt Green PG50

M. Graham Cobalt set ncwren quick product review

My first impressions were how transparent and vibrant they appeared in my flower palette. They are described in general as being semi opaque-great lightfast ratings with the cobalt family of pigments. They play well together and I happen to love the granulation that some of the pigments provide.
M. Graham Cobalt set ncwren quick product review
The previous image is from my sketchbook and part of a daily drawing challenge group I belong to on Facebook. I want to say that this group is my favorite, but I have really loved and enjoyed using every color I have from M. Graham thus far.
M. Graham Cobalt set ncwren quick product review
I have 3 other sets from M. Graham and I highly recommend them all. I know that some artist don't care for them or Sennelier because they stay sticky and are hard to travel with. This is due to the honey added in to keep them moist. I myself have not had any issues or difficulty traveling with them. Having the softer paint in palette has saved considerable wear and tear of my brushes. I find that with Winsor Newton and Daniel Smith (2 of my other favorites) that I find myself scrubbing at the pans to get the pigment out. It is generally not a problem when I remember to spritz my palette with water.
I purchased all of my sets from Amazon.
If you enjoyed this article you may also enjoy my other quick product reviews:
Holbein artist gouache
Sennelier Watercolor