Granulating Color Facts
Granulating earth based colors like ochers are ancient and were used in cave paintings.
Many granulating colors now can be produced synthetically, but they are still chemically similar to the original colors and still have granulating properties.
They doesn’t dissolve in water and can be pushed around like tiny pebbles.They tend to be very dense. Granulating pigments are also known as sedimentary colors, because they settle on whatever surface they are applied to. They show off textured paper by settling in any dips in the paper.
Blobs of dried granulating paint tend to look matte and may crumble and even fall off the palette.
More likely to wash out of clothes
Names of Granulating colors are often named after where they were mined. Sienna is a town in Italy. Ultramarine which is mined in Afghanistan means beyond the sea. An exception is cobalt, which is named after the heavy metal.
Granulating colors are generally more neutral and natural looking, and many are blue or brownish.
Most colors were created in labs in the 20th century. And are used as colorants in general manufacturing, printing and lab work.
They behave like a dye, dissolve in water and covers surfaces evenly. They provide smooth even coverage over the whole surface.
Blobs of staining paint are more likely to remain shiny and sticky forever and get on everything
Colors are brilliant, very intense and are commonly found in nature. They also will stain clothes, hands and plastic palettes.
Staining colors are often named after their chemical structure, and can be difficult to pronounce.. Dioxazine. Phthalocyanine. Quinacridone (note that quinacridone gold is intense brownish yellow, but is still a staining color)
Here is a review of different stitch lengths. In our hat we did double crochet, but it’s good to memorize the main stitches. Note that the instruction for all of these is for crocheting a rectangle as opposed to a circle, and so set up instructions will differ.
Here’s a review of Single Crochet. This is a dense, fairly stiff fabric which I use for potholders and washcloths.
Here’s a review of Half Double Crochet. This creates a slightly more flexible, very versatile fabric.
Here’s a review of Double Crochet. This is the longest, drapiest stitch that is commonly used, and is called for in our hat pattern.
Here’s a review of Crochet Slip Stitch. This is different than a knitted slip stitch.
Here are some cool tips for changing colors and weaving in ends as you crochet to reduce the amount of ends you will have to weave in later. I like crochet over my end, skip a spot and do a hair-pin turn, pushing the yarn back into the work to help lock it in place. This is especially important with granny squares and small motifs.
At last you can follow my watercolor class at home at your own pace! Below is every exercise I include in my four session watercolor class that I’ve taught all over the San Francisco Bay Area and on Zoom, plus a talk about the best materials to use. You read and see photo illustrations covering this material and more here.
In class we practiced mixing the primary colors, red, yellow and blue to make a full range of the secondary colors, green, orange and purple. You will use the same red, yellow and blue for all three mixtures. Your finished project will look something like the photo below, starting at one color and gradually shifting to the other. I recommend you start with yellow when mixing green and orange, adding just a tiny bit of blue or red at a time, since yellow is the palest and weakest color. Please read all instructions before starting this exercise. If you still have trouble, I recommend you register for the class in January and do this exercise with me in person.
The red, yellow and blue you choose will dramatically affect the secondary colors you will create. Many primaries contain a small amount of one of the other primaries, so if it is mixed with the third primary, the result will be brownish and less intense.
I recommend you choose a cool red, such as alizarin crimson, carmine or magenta to create a good purple. Above I used carmine which created excellent purples. It will be easy to get a good orange regardless of the red you choose. “True” reds or reds that are orangish contain yellow and will make a brown when mixed with blue, as seen in the color wheel below. Most painters will purchase a quinacridone magenta and/or dioxazine purple if their palette can’t make a good purple, or if these are colors that they frequently use and they prefer not to mix them over and over.
You can use any blue that doesn’t contain white. Most sets have a phthalo blue which leans toward aqua, although it may be called “intense blue” or “bright blue” (seen below) and better quality sets contain ultramarine which leans towards purple (seen above) Both blues will make purple, although purples made with ultramarine are a little more vibrant. The red found in ultramarine causes greens that you mix to be dull (seen above) and phthalo blue makes brilliant greens (seen below.)
Most bright yellows found in sets will mix both green and orange just fine.
Once you have completed a chart that looks like the first photo, you can cut up the color blocks in the three primaries, and three of each secondary color, arrange them into a color wheel, and glue them in place as seen below.
I recommend you try this exercise with different combinations of primary colors, and also mix all three primary colors, red, yellow and blue together in different proportions and intensities, with careful notes on which colors you used. You will get subtle shades of brown, olive, dull blue and possibly even black. The goal is to build your mixing skills and to discover all the possible colors in your palette.
When mixing colors, I recommend you use two brushes, one for each of the two primary colors you plan to mix. Add water to and place a 1/2 teaspoon each of the two colors and add the tiniest bit of the darker color to the lighter color, as seen below. Paint a swatch each time you add a little more of the darker color.
For more support on how to mix colors, watch this video.
Once you are comfortable mixing colors, you can paint an entire picture with just the three primaries. I painted the picture below with phthalo blue, quinacridone red and Joe’s yellow (American Journey’s pure yellow)
The second exercise was to paint a flat wash in background. You can see a beautiful example by California watercolorist Mark Adams here.
Draw a simple round object, like an orange or an onion, on a smallish piece of paper. Mix at least two tablespoons of paint for the background and about a teaspoon for the object, swatching both colors to ensure that they look good together. It is very important that you mix enough paint for the area you wish to cover. You cannot stop and mix more paint if you run out, or else the paint on your paper will dry and you will have a hard edge. Paint the background first, avoiding the round object, using a large brush. Here is a demonstration by Steve from Mind of Watercolor for this technique. It is difficult to tell, but his paper is slightly tilted to encourage downward flow of paint.Let the paper dry for a few minutes, and then dry it completely with a hair dryer.
At this point, paint the round object in your second color, applying water and lifting paint to create a highlight. Then let it dry and add a shadow. I had difficulty finding a good video for this technique, but I hope you find this video by Mind of Watercolor helpful.
The exercise sheet below is made with cold press 140lb. Arches watercolor paper and Winsor and Newton paint in phthalo (phthalocyanine) blue and Winsor red.
Top row left to right: layered colors (the first fully dry before the second color is applied),red and blue wet into wet, dry brush, brush playBottom row left to right: red and water wet into wet, wet paper and add drops of red apply red add drops of water, salt technique.
The ones below include a few that we didn’t practice in class, but you can watch but you see a demonstration here.The exercise sheet below is made with cold press 140lb. Arches watercolor paper and Winsor and Newton paint in phthalo (phthalocyanine) blue, Winsor red, and the last two examples are ultramarine blue.
Top left to right: red and water wet into wet is fully dry and wet paint is blown with a straw, wet blue and red paint are blended with a brush, red background is fully dry and paint is splattered with a brush, masking fluid and blue paint,
Bottom row left to right: wet red, water and blue paint, scratching paper before and after applying paint with a pin, scrubbing dry paint with a wet brush, rubbing alcohol.
I recommend trying some of these exercises with new colors of paint or paper to see how they behave. Below is a comparison of Sennelier bright red on the (left), Cotman cadmium red deep (center) and Academy cadmium red deep (right). You can see how the professional paint on the left makes the best gradations.
Better quality student grade and all professional grade paints provide information regarding the pigments contained in a paint, type of binder, lightfastness, toxicity, opacity, and sometimes whether a color is more granulating or staining. Common binders include honey (Sennelier), gum arabic (Winsor and Newton), and a synthetic binder called aquazol (Qor). More traditional companies also use ox gall to improve paint flow. The paint company’s website should provide all of this information. Below is a printed information sheet by Sennelier.
The same color may be made with different pigments depending on the company. All of these examples are of cerulean blue. Van Gogh’s on the left contains PB15 (phthalo blue) and PW6 (titanium white), Cotman’s contains only PB15 (phthalo blue) and Winsor and Newton’s contains PB35 (oxidized cobalt and tin.) The two colors on the left contain cheaper pigments than the one on the right, and they look and behave differently. You can look up pigment codes printed on your tube of paint on this website to learn more about them.
Below is an example of what can be done with wet into wet paint if you use good quality materials. The sky was painted very quickly in one layer. Happy painting!
The first instruction I give students on the first day of class is to test out each color in their palette. Every color behaves a little differently depending on the brand of paint and the pigment used in the paint. Qor brand flows more freely due to it’s synthetic binder, and cheap paints hardly move at all. Paint from the tube of paint dries differently on the palette; honey based paints like Sennelier stay a little sticky, and very granulating colors like ultramarine blue or white gouache may become rock hard and fall out of the palette. Students will develop a relationship with each color, but this is the initial introduction.
You can watch a demonstration of this process here. Note that I recommend students use 100% cotton paper and either Van Gogh, Cotman or White Knights or any brand of professional quality paint. Prima brand is not recommended in spite of claims of being professional quality.
You can watch a better demonstration of how to use two containers of water to clean your brushes here. Be sure to remove your brushes from the water when you are done cleaning them. Long term immersion will cause the wood in the handle will expand, the metal ferrule will loosen and the lacquer on the handle will pop off.
In this exercise you will apply paint and clear water side by side for a gradation effect. You can add more water with a brush, or clean and dry the brush on a paper towel to gently suck up excess paint like a sponge. You can see a variety of ways to remove paint in this video by Steve of Mind of Watercolor.
Below is my tester sheet for my White Knights 24 Watercolor Set
Click on the links below to review the basic steps for crochet
Make a chain for 25 stitches, or as many called for in the pattern. Be sure to hold your work so it doesn’t wiggle around, hold the yarn draped over your left index finger, and chain loosely enough that you can insert your hook into the loops later.
Start with single crochet across the stitches. If you feel confused, say each step out loud to yourself as you work. “Insert hook, wrap, pull out a loop. Now there are two loops. Wrap again and pull through both loops.” Keep holding your work steady, keep that yarn over your index finger, and continue to work loosely enough that you can insert your hook in later. Also carefully identify where you did the last stitch (the hole will be stretched out and full of loops) and the next stitch, which will be a tight V right next to this spot.
Every following single crochet row is slightly different than the first. When you reach the end of the row, chain one, and swing your project to the left so you can go back into your stitches again. In this and every following row you will stick your hook under both sides of the V stitch.
To finish your crochet project, slip the ball of yarn through the last stitch (you can pull on the stitch to make it big!) then tug on the yarn to make the stitch so tight it becomes a knot. Cut a 6″ end, weave in both ends and you are done!
This is a seriously nostalgic recipe that makes use of any greens from your garden. My mother used chard, which volunteered in our garden when I was a child. It is similar to a crustless quiche, but it relies on cottage cheese instead of cream. This recipe can be halved or doubled, but I recommend you use two eggs for every cup of steamed greens.
- 3 cups of steamed leafy greens. Any combination of Spinach, cabbage, beet greens, kale, parsley, turnip greens or chard will work.
- 16 oz. of low fat cottage cheese
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup of grated cheddar
- 1/2 cup of sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup of onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon of chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Squeeze excess liquid from the steamed greens, pick out any tough stems and give them a quick chop.
- In a large bowl, combine greens, cottage cheese, eggs, onion, chili powder and black pepper and stir gently until combined.
- Spoon the mixture into a casserole or baking dish and sprinkle grated cheese and sesame seeds liberally over the top.
- Place in the oven for at least one hour, or until the center of the pudding becomes firm and the top becomes slightly brown.
This hand cream is very rich and spectacular for reviving hands that have been washed too many times. Emulsifying Wax NF is a safe, commercially manufactured product that can be purchased online.
The process of making hand cream or lotion involves heating and combining oil and water with an emulsifier, and then cooling the mixture while continuing to blend. You make this recipe richer by adding a little shea butter or lighter by choosing grape seed oil for your base. You can apply the final cream to your face or body and scent it however you wish, taking care to avoid essential oils that can be irritating such as tea tree, citrus and cinnamon essential oils. Rose, geranium, lavender, chamomile and rosemary essential oils are safe for most people, but there are always exceptions. You can also choose not to add any scent at all.
I discourage readers from adding herbal teas, aloe vera juice or any other minimally processed plant material to your lotion, since these ingredients will encourage bacteria and mold to grow. If you are really determined, make a very small batch that can be used up in less than a week and keep it in the refrigerator.
This recipe calls for a double boiler. You can substitute with saucepan, a heat safe bowl that will fit in the pan and canning rings to prevent to bowl from touching the bottom of the sauce pan. The photos below show this method.
1 cup of purified or distilled water
½ cup of oil. Good options include olive, avocado, jojoba, almond or grape seed oil.
1 tablespoon of coconut oil, shea, mango or cocoa butter (optional)
¼ teaspoon of vitamin E oil (protects from rancidity)
12 drops of grapefruit seed extract (antimicrobial)
6-10 drops of essential oil of your choice. Good options include lavender, geranium or rose.
3 tablespoons of emulsifying wax NF (E wax)
All of the following should be very clean, and should be thoroughly washed with soap before they are used with food.
1-cup Pyrex measuring cup
1 metal spoon
Zip lock plastic bag that can hold at least 2 cups
Small, clean containers with lids for cream.
Large bowl of ice water
- In the top of the saucepan, combine the oil, optional fat and the emulsifying wax. Fill the bottom half of the double boiler with 2-3″ of water and place the double boiler on medium heat. Stir occasionally with metal spoon until all of the wax and fat have melted.
- Heat water in a kettle and measure one cup. Remove the top half of the double boiler from the stove and blend with an electric mixer. Slowly pour the hot water into the oil while continuing to mix. Continue to mix for two minutes.
- Turn off the mixer and prepare a large bowl of ice water. Carefully place the top of the double boiler into the bowl of ice water, taking care that the water doesn’t get into the boiler. Mix the contents of double boiler again for 2-3 minutes. Let the mixture continue to cool for a few more minutes, adding more ice as it melts.
- The mixture should become opaque and thick like frosting as it reaches room temperature. At this point add 12 drops of grapefruit seed extract, Vitamin E oil and optional essential oil. These ingredients will help protect your cream from bacteria and rancidity.
- Once your hand cream is completely cool, use a silicone spatula to scoop it into a zip lock bag. Push as much air out of the bag as you can and seal it closed. Open your hand cream containers and cut a tiny corner off the filled bag. Place the clipped corner over a container, and gently squeeze the bag to fill it. You may need to stir the containers with a toothpick to release any trapped air pockets. You can also cap the container and tap the bottom on the counter to help the lotion settle to the bottom. Continue filling your containers until the are full and place the lids on top. You can print out sticker labels for your cream or write directly on the bottle with a sharpie marker.
- Enjoy your cream and share your with friends and family!