DaVinci Watercolor Paints – Jacki Kellum Favorite Colors + Color Wheel

Jacki Kellum Color Wheel – Essential Colors:

10 Cadmium Yellow Lemon
1 Cadmium Yellow Medium
2 Cadmium Orange
3 Cadmium Red Medium
4 Alizarin Crimson
5 Quinacridone Violet
6. Ultramarine Violet
7 French Ultramarine Blue
8 Viridian Green
9  Leaf Green
10  Back to Cadmium Lemon Again

+ Prussian Blue and
+Cobalt Blue
+Cerulean Blue
+Cadmium Red Light

Colors connected by each black line on the wheel are complementary colors. Unless I want a brown or gray color, I don’t allow two complementary colors to mix. In other words, I don’t allow yellows and purples to mix, and I don’t allow reds and greens to mix, and I don’t allow blues and oranges to mix.

Most people were taught that in order to mix green, they should mix yellow + blue, but if a painter wants a clear, clean green, he should only use the cooler yellows, like cadmium lemon or hansa yellow to create the greens, and he should not allow  those cooler yellows to dip too far toward violet. Remember: Yellow & Violet creates Brown or Gray. If a painter wants a forest or sap-like green or an olive green, he should dismiss these restrictions.

I suggest that painters only mix adjacent colors and that they shade gradually, but in order to mix clear greens, a painter should stop at the greener blues–like phthalo blue. In this scenario, yellow should not be mixed with ultramarine blue. Ultramarine blue is a warm blue, and it contains violet.  Violet and yellow create browns and grays. Green contains yellow.

To darken ultramarine blue, continue moving toward ultramarine violet, but do not allow any greenish color to mix with the Quinacrodone Violet, which is a red violet. Again, greens should not mix with the red in red violet.Also, do not allow the yellows in the orangish reds to mix with the blues. Blues can be mixed with alizarin crimson and the magenta colors, however.

Boy with Curls – Jacki Kellum Watercolor

Even in watercolor, rules are meant to be broken. In most cases, flesh color is a type of brown, and I mix cerulean blue with cadmium red light and cadmium yellow to create a pale flesh color. In Boy with Curls, I deliberately created darker browns by pulling cobalt blue and/or ultramarine blue into the mix. I broke my own rule, but I did that knowingly.

The more colors you are trying t juggle, the greater the chamce to make mud.

Janis Joplin – Jacki Kellum Watercolor

When I prepare to paint anything complex [i.e. my Janis Joplin], I do extensive value studies in pencil, When you look at my best watercolors, it appears that I did absolutely no preparation and that I just slapped the color on, at will. That is actually an illustion. Notice that Janis’s face is yellow and violet — 2 complementry  colors that I needed to keep separated. I worked very hard to get the values correct–before I painted, and I painted cautiously. And yet, I still threw away about 50 near-misses.

I paint with DaVinci Watercolor Paints. I do\ not use all of the following colors in any one painting, but I will usually select from the following:

Cadmium Yellow Lemon – This color has a touch of green in it, and she almost always uses it when painting foliage.

Cadmium Yellow Light

Cadmium Yellow Medium – This color has a touch of orange in it. She only uses it for greens that are more olive than bright.

Cadmium Yellow Deep – This color has a touch of orange in it. She only uses it for greens that are more olive than bright.

Cadmium Orange

Cadmium Scarlet

Cadmium Red Light

Cadmium Red Medium

Quinacridone Red

Alizarin Crimson

Carmine [Quinacridone]

Permanent Rose Quinacridone


Quinacridone Violet

Ultramarine Violet

French Ultramarine Blue

Cerulean Blue Genuine

Cobalt Blue

Prussian Blue

Phthalo Blue

Phthalo Green

Viridian Green

Leaf Green