Cobalt Violet watercolour paint is a soft, delicate pink – mauve that you either love or loathe. Full of quirks! With my watercolour landscapes, I’ve found its assets far outweigh any liabilities.
Cobalt Violet paint information
- Cobalt Violet Pv49 is cobalt ammonium phosphate, sometimes I use the Daniel Smith watercolour, this time I’ve used Cobalt Violet Pv 14 from Art Spectrum.
- This Pv14, is cobalt phosphate: which is a very light, lovely transparent that settles and granulates to help the artist create more depth and dimension. Its a paint that ‘works’ for the artist.
- The quirks that many do not like are: it is very light, lifts very easy, it granulates (creates textural effects,) has very low tinting power and is a costly series 4. I’m not so thrilled at its price, but in blends, it lasts further.
- I pretty much only use it in watercolours to maximise its textural effects. It would be silly of me to use it in oils thickly, trying for texture. It won’t work. All Granulating paints need plenty of liquid flow.
- It needs lots of fluid, liquid vehicle to drop and disperse its heavy particles down into the pits of the fabric. Just like how gold drops into the deepest crevices!
- Some manufacturers, will due to the cost, add way too much binder. Making the paint gummy, gooey, sticky. I don’t like that. I’ve been relatively pleased with Cobalt Violet in Art Spectrum and Daniel Smith watercolours.
Cobalt Violet Pv14 Watercolour Uses
I use Cobalt Violet frequently for: skies, for fruit peel with dimples, for washes on the hillsides to help create the illusion of shrubbery & foliage, for tree bark like banksia and angophora and its also handy for beaches, sand and soil in the foreground.
It can also be employed quite effectively in abstract forms, as in the case above “Radiance.”
30 Minute exercises
I had about 30 minutes this afternoon to whack out 4-5 small demo pieces using Cobalt Violet v14, Burnt Umber PBr7 and the lovely Indanthrone blue Pb60.
I chose this palette grouping because Burnt Umber is an earth colour, granulates, mixes well with others & is a very dark tone but lightens up into pale washes.
The Indanthrone blue Pb60 was chosen for its staining quality, deep indigo with purple hints, it is a brilliant mixer with other colours. The 3 blend and harmonise wonderfully together.
Skies with Cobalt Violet
Dry Brush Foreground: Burnt Umber & cobalt Violet
Burnt Umber PBr7 is a fabulous cool and dark chocolate brown, nearly sepia in tone and colour.
I find it is very useful in the landscape for a wide variety of things, from soil, bark, foliage greens when mixed with prussian or indanthrone, and a host of other fun subjects.
If you look closer, you will see the large circular water mark on the upper right. An accident. The sky had been perfect!
Then, as I was splashing away…. a stray drop jumped over and landed onto my finished not quite dry sky. Made itself right at home.
I chose not to imagine that the work was ‘ruined now’ but that it had been helped along. I chose to go with the flow and consider that the placement of the circular form was in a good place and works well. I chose to not panic too soon.
Cobalt Violet graded wash for skies
The final image Glowing Watercolour Landscape, was a Graded wash blend of cobalt violet plus indanthrone blue for the sky. Followed by a nice rich dark burnt umber mixed with cobalt violet for the foreground.
Notice the base, the bottom of the hill shape is quite dark and the top is lighter. Also the sky is darker at top lighter at the horizon.
This helps the illusion of depth even in a fairly simple composition like this.
One last point, in regards to design aspects I wanted to mention was if you look at the perimeter trees they have no details. But the trees that are nearer to the centre, they do have some trunks and branch lines and details.
By leaving the perimeters of my painting subtle, neutral, flat and increasing the detail inwards, towards the focal point – I keep the viewers’ eyes inside my painting.
Cobalt Violet is a great tool to the landscape artist, excelling at creating atmosphere and textural effects with ease.