Day 17 – My Favorite Colors

World Watercolor Group - Day 17 - My Favorite Colors - Glass Jar - Doodlewash

Though my wardrobe might tell you that my favorite colors are shades of green, when it comes to watercolor, you’ll find me going back to certain colors all of the time. Perhaps my most often used colors are the two used for this quick little doodlewash – Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue. Of course, I would be remiss not to give a shout out to Cobalt Teal as well, since it’s definitely at the top of my list. But in combination, the two colors I used tonight can produce a myriad of shades that I find fascinating. Perhaps most thrilling is the ability to get to a near black color, when very little water is used, for a bit of extra contrast when needed. Beyond these more earthy colors, however, I tend to grab for a lot of fruity colors that consist of cherry reds, bright oranges and yellows, and an impossibly spring green. This works well when painting food, which I love, and I just sort of run with it for other objects as well. I am more into ‘sketching stuff’ than making full scenes, so these sometimes odd color choices have a way of working themselves out in the end.

Playing with color is a really fun thing to do while painting, but I think what I love more is examining an object to find the hidden colors that appear there. Before I started painting I would look at the world much differently. It was like I was seeing less color. After I picked up a paint brush, my eyes began to change. I would suddenly begin to see all of the colors in each little shadow and reflection that I would see. Cooler still, I had names for many of these colors that I had overlooked before and this transition was so incredible. This, more than anything, was the transformative event that made me fall in love with watercolor. When combined with a new fascination of looking for areas of light and dark, the world quickly became a rather magical place indeed. One’s personal color choices and who they are used go a long way to determining a certain “style” for an artist. My sketches tend to be realistic while the colors make them a bit surreal. For me, the best thing about art is that there really is no right or wrong. You get to choose what you want the world to look like, and that’s the most rewarding thing of all.

And if you’re looking for rewards of another sort, you’ve come to right place once more. Tonight, I’m giving away 5 Hahnemühle Leonardo, 600gsm, 9.4″x12.5″, 10 sheet blocks! These will go to the first five artists who have never yet gotten anything from Hahnemühle and comment below with “Paint Life In Color!” while also telling me what style of paper you’d prefer: Cold Pressed, Hot Pressed, or Rough (US/Canada only). And a special thanks to all of you who have joined me in Doodlewash.Club. If you haven’t yet, please log in with your chosen social network and create your very own artist profile. And even more importantly, send me notes and let me know what you’d like to see happen here next. This little site is a place for all watercolor lovers, and we’re making it come to life together! I’m just your humble host cheering you on as you make amazing things to share with the world and I want this site to be an amazing platform where you can always feel free to share your beautiful images. And if you haven’t figured it out by now, I really just don’t like painting alone. It’s way more fun to do it with other awesome artists from around the world. And I’m constantly thrilled and inspired by the work you share here. In the end, it’s really your beautiful paintings that are truly destined to become my favorite colors. 

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham Watercolors: Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
 World Watercolor Group - Day 17 - My Favorite Colors - Glass Jar - Doodlewash
Recommended2 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

51 Comments
  1. Suz 1 year ago

    More lovely glass, Charlie! Looks great.

  2. Laura 1 year ago

    Paint life in color! Thank you for all you do for the WC community.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Aww thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕 And I’ll have some paper sent your way!

  3. Kaitlyn Thomas 1 year ago

    That glass looks lovely! 😀

    (Psst – the links for the giveaway are leading to two different products, I think. One is the Cezanne paper, not the Leonardo. If you meant to do that, just ignore me :P).

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, Kaitlyn!! 😃💕And awesome! Hehe… thanks for letting me know that. It wasn’t intentional! 😊

  4. jessica chaves 1 year ago

    paint life in color. Rough.

  5. Yvonne 1 year ago

    Paint life in colour Charlie and splash it everywhere!!

  6. June Hadaway 1 year ago

    I already have some paper but still want to say, Paint life in color, because it’s such a nice way to spend your days. Lovely colors on the jar. Thank you for sharing how you use your favorite colors.

  7. Laura (PA Pict) 1 year ago

    Paint life in colour!

    One of the things that impresses me about your watercolour journey is how adept you’ve become at mixing colours so that a few paints become a wide spectrum of shades and tones. This lovely wee painting is a fine example of that.

    • Laura (PA Pict) 1 year ago

      Oops. Forgot to comply with all the instructions. I’d love to give hot pressed paper a try.

      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

        Thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕 Yeah, mixing color has become my favorite part! It’s so fun to see what interesting things you can do with it. And yay to free paper! Send me a note via my contact form with your full name and address and I’ll have some sent: https://doodlewash.com/contact/

        • Laura (PA Pict) 1 year ago

          No way! I was actually quick enough this time to snag a giveaway? Thank you SO much. You just made me whoop.

  8. Mary McDonough 1 year ago

    Always love your post. I felt the same way when I started painting. It was like I saw so many colors that I had just taken for granted. I also started looking at line, too. Painting sure does bring things to life. Your glass full of color is great.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Yeah, doesn’t painting just make the world more incredible?? I love it!

  9. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 1 year ago

    Have you ever seen little kids with a new box of crayons? They are not done with their art until every crayon has made its mark on the paper. We adults are a bit more discretionary. The kids, however, are adorable.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Yep… I was like that when I started using watercolor!! I was grabbing for every color I could find. I hope I was equally adorable while doing it. 😊LOL

  10. Lisa Cihlar 1 year ago

    I have a palette marked DS–mostly purples. I love them. I should paint more with them instead of the greens I use all the time.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      You should, Lisa! 😉💕 hehe… it’s always fun to change it up and play with new colors!

  11. Vicki Rowley 1 year ago

    paint life in color !!! for real!!! I would like cold pressed. Special thanks to you Charlie as well as your sponsors.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Our pleasure!! And yay, Vicki! I’ll have some cold pressed sent your way! 😃💕

  12. Ratna 1 year ago

    Paint life with colours.I prefer cold pressed paper and I am still waiting for my gift of colours

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks, Ratna! Unfortunately, I’m out of free samples for today, but check back! 😃💕

  13. a.filmer 1 year ago

    Paint life in color.

    • a.filmer 1 year ago

      Rough press

      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

        Thanks, Ann! Unfortunately, I’m out of free samples for today, but check back! 😃💕

  14. Ratna 1 year ago

    And I think I am late for the paper 😕

  15. Jan Williams 1 year ago

    This one includes Canadians but I’m too late. Ah well. I agree, sometimes when I’m walking the back lane with my dog I notice a plant and find myself giving it a paint colour. The paint I find myself dipping into the most is Moon Glow I love it for shadows. “Paint Life In Color!” anyway. Hugs Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks, Jan!😃💕 And yay… lots of folks seem to love that color. I haven’t tried it yet, but really want to! And yep, you missed this one, but don’t worry… there are more chances coming for this prize!!

  16. Lisa McClure 1 year ago

    I see some cool stuff in your jar…. blue sky with clouds, against some southwest desert cliffs. Are you sure, though, that there isn’t just a smidge of red in this one? Also, hooray and thank you to Hahnemuhle!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 Cool… I love that you can see all that! And actually… my scanner made that little bit rather red, but I only dipped into the Burnt Sienna. hehe… could have been a smidge of red in it though… I’m rather sloppy with my colors! LOL

  17. Cathy 1 year ago

    Hi Charlie, I like painting “things” too! I would love hot press watercolor paper!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Yay to that, Cathy! Unfortunately, I’m out of free samples for today, but check back! 😃💕

  18. Jennifer McLean 1 year ago

    OMG, I spend my time when driving around arguing with myself what color that car, shirt, thing is, lol. My mom looks at me like i’m crazy when I’m trying to figure out if something is Phthalo or Indanthrone blue. Seriously, I just can’t get enough. I love knowing what I’m “Seeing”. Like understanding with your actual eyes that snow reflects all the colors around it. I love that.

  19. Kyra 1 year ago

    Paint Life In Color! COLD Press

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Yes to that, Kyra! Unfortunately, I’m out of free samples for today, but check back! 😃💕

  20. beverlydyer 1 year ago

    Paint Life in Color! Paper? Gosh, it depends on what medium I’m working with and rather I tend to do something rather botanical (hot) or something lose (cold) like a wildflower meadow!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Yeah, I just tend to stick with whatever paper came in my sketchbook, but excited to try different papers soon! hehe… And I’m out of samples for today, Beverly, but keep checking back, more on the way! 😃💕

  21. Angie Bumgarner 1 year ago

    Several people have talked about this paper but I have never tried it. I need to find samples somewhere. Live the article. One of my goals while I am still trying to learn watercolor is to use color unexpectedly. I groove to paintings that use color creatively.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Hehe… me as well, Angie! Love that idea of grooving to paintings. 😃💕 And yes, this paper is wonderful!! I’m giving it out weekly for 3 more times, so be sure to check back!!

  22. Ellie 1 year ago

    Ah….ultramarine and burnt sienna! Those two make such a gorgeous range of colors. (I learned all about that through Jane Blundell’s course – I discovered her when she was Doodlewashed! So many benefits of this site) And, of course, the sepia ink. So simple, but so much in that jar.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, Ellie! 😃💕 And yay! That’s exactly how Doodlewash is meant to work! Love knowing that! Jane’s a wonderful resource to find as well.

  23. Sandra Gilbert 1 year ago

    Seeing all the glass you paint with all those cool reflections makes me want practice doing glass too. You are a real inspiration with all your positive energy. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Aww thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 You already know what I’m going to say next though… DO it!! DO it!! Lol

  24. Elizabeth Metz 1 year ago

    Anything that makes the world more magical is a noble endeavor, IMHO. 🙂

    My wardrobe would suggest that my favorite color’s black…until you get up close and see all the almost-hidden paint stains on everything, at which point it would probably be clear that the black’s kind of utilitarian. (Also, the dog is black. Wearing black, then, is a way to camouflage the fact that I snuggle her more than is probably seemly.) Give me greens and blues and purples and anything with a little brown in it. (I’m a forest-dweller, and my palettes generally reflect that, I think.)

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