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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Texture and Watercolor

If texture is what you’re after (which I am) you're gonna love DANIEL SMITH PrimaTek paints! PrimaTek Watercolors mix beautifully with other paints on your palette and bring excitement to the surface of a painting. They are heavier in body and settle into the valleys of your paper leaving behind wonderful granulation and texture. The pigments were carefully selected to give you a wide range of colors and textures you'll find nowhere else. When mixed with other colors the possibilities are endless.

The PrimaTeks:
  • Rhodonite Genuine, 5ml
  • Jadeite Genuine, 5ml
  • Amethyst Genuine, 5ml
  • Mayan Blue Genuine, 5ml
  • Hematite Genuine, 5ml
  • Piemontite Genuine, 5ml

Pomegranate Demo, By Brenda Swenson
Demonstration includes colors in the Essentials Watercolor Set.

Step 1:
I start with a drawing done with a 2B pencil on Arches 140lb cold press paper. I draw very simply for placement and proportions.

Step 2:
Paint the big shape first. On my palette I make three puddles of paint, New Gamboge, Piemontite Genuine and Rhodonite Genuine. I paint both pomegranates at once with New Gamboge. While the paint is still very wet I add Piemontite Genuine to the shadowed (left) side of the right pomegranate and to the underside of the other. Before the passage has lost its shine I add Rhodonite Genuine to the top of the right pomegranate. Timing is important when working back into a wet area. Once the shine is gone...don't touch, let dry! I begin painting the seeds…

Step 3:
The seeds are painted wet into wet using Rhodonite Genuine as the base color and touches of Amethyst Genuine for the darker seeds. The membrane section is a light value of New Gamboge and Piemontite Genuine.

Step 4:
Cast shadows are often overlooked in paintings and lack excitement. When I paint cast shadows I like to see reflected light and colors in the shadows. I start by painting the overall shadow shape mid-value of French Ultramarine. Before this paint looses it shine I add a small amount of New Gamboge and Rhodonite Genuine to add life and interest.

Step 5:
Next I focus on the form shadows. The form shadows are on the left side and underneath. On my palette I make two puddles of paint, Piemontite Genuine and Rhodonite Genuine. The form shadow is a darker value of the original color. Careful attention needs to be given to the edges. I lay down the paint but before it has a chance to dry or loose its shine I use a damp brush to soften and fade out the paint. I then add the cast shadow on the top.

Step 6:
In the final stage I have fun playing with the background. The sedimentary nature of the PrimaTek paints makes exciting things happen! On my palette I make two big puddles: Mayan Blue Genuine and Jadeite Genuine. I start by painting with Mayan Blue Genuine and immediately add Jadeite Genuine. Before the paint has a chance to set up I drop in a little Rhodonite Genuine. The addition of this color relates to the pomegranates and adds a touch of warmth to a cool area. Now I use a spray bottle to push the paint around. Why do I do this? It's fun to move and mix pigment without overworking the surface with a paint brush. I tilt the paper so I can control the spray and flow of water. I keep a towel near to wipe up the excess water.
I hope this demo has inspired you to explore PrimaTek paints. The addition of new pigments can add texture and excitement to your paintings. 

If your interested in trying these paints by Daniel Smith here's a link... CLICK HERE

Happy Painting!


  1. I discovered them when I first started using watercolors because of Hematite Genuine. My favorites would be hard to choose from, but I use Lapis all the time for interesting skies, and Yavapei for so many effects -- from stone to skin! I am sure in every one of my watercolors I have a primatek!

  2. I love my DS watercolors- they are the best I've found and I've tried them all-

  3. Babybender534@gmail.comJune 11, 2015 at 9:38 PM

    I am sitting in the Internet room at Selva reading your blog for the first time having discovered your delightful trip books yesterday. Paula keeps them carefully grouped. Thanks for sharing. Love your style.

    1. Thanks for the delightful message.
      You are in heaven...Selva! Love my memories of time spent in the hills of Lucca. I was there last October for 25 days. It went so quick. What fun you must be having.

  4. Hi Brenda, Just got over here to see this demo. Must try! I do not have any of the primateks but I guess I should get and try some. I'm doing mostly landscapes so they would probably work well. I think of you daily as we have about 8 pomegranate bushes in our backyard and all are loaded with fruit. I need to learn how to harvest the juice. Thanks for sharing, take care. (I saw the previous post about Selva, I miss that place!)