“Home Means Nevada” 24th & 25th Paintings for June’s Challenge

“Home Means Nevada” – Cool Primary Colors

I am teaching a college watercolor class for the summer term with Western Nevada College. We are now in our third week of the 9-week semester, so 1/3 of the way through!

So far, we have covered basic brush strokes, flat, graded and variegated washes, and “The Value of Color.”

This week, we moved on to studying color temperature, which is my favorite lesson. It seems this property of color, no matter the painting medium, is the least understood by artists. Yet, the temperature of paints is extremely important for mixing colors.

I make my students do “color genetics” exercises, and we drill over and over on the color wheel. What are the primary colors? What are the secondary colors? What is a cool red/blue/yellow? What is a warm red/blue/yellow? What are the complementary pairs? And so on. They paint charts, and surprisingly, even seem to enjoy the process. Mostly because I allocate class time for the building of charts, which means LESS homework. Ha!

The coup de gras of the temperature assignment is to paint two paintings of the same scene. One using cool primary colors (first image), the other using warm primary colors (second image).

“Home Means Nevada Too” – Warm Primary Colors

Since the scene has to be painted twice, I suggest they plan out the scene on tracing paper and create a template for the composition. That way, the scene can easily be traced up to two pieces of watercolor paper, without the stress of drawing it twice. See video of the planning process (video link here or below).

For my example paintings, I chose to paint this scene of Mountain Bluebirds, using a photo reference taken on a winter snow day. My husband and I caught these adorable little birds lined up on a fence in nearly the shape of Nevada. Since the Mountain Bluebird is the state bird of Nevada, I titled the painting after the state song, “Home Means Nevada”. Awh! How adorable, right?

Which version do you prefer? Cool or Warm?

At least one of these paintings will be part of my featured artist show at the Artsy Fartsy Art Gallery in Carson City. The show will be up around July 10th. The opening reception is on July 18th from 4-7pm. Why don’t you come on out and say hello? Jeffery Pace, the Gallery Owner/Operator, consistently throws a nice reception with delectable nibblies and drinks.

I appreciate all comments, questions, and suggestions. Thank you for stopping by.



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