Unified Palette: indigo and raw umber

Unified Palette: indigo and raw umber

A very simple watercolor landscape.

No bells or whistles. Just two paints.

Indigo for a cool, dark. Raw Umber for the warmer, lighter color.


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Unification thru Limiting the Palette




Impressionist Watercolor Landscape



My processes


Color Selection.

I decided to paint using a very reduced palette to help with unifying the image.

I needed to select a warm and a cool.  Making sure one would be super dark, and the other a lighter tone.

Having that criteria in my head,  then made the selection much easier.

Raw Umber fit the bill for the warmer and Indigo for the cool dark. Done!



Subject Theme.

“Easy.”  I wanted fast and easy.

So,  Trees.




Getting Started.

  • Mixed up and tested colors.
  • About 5 minutes or so.
  • Applied a pale sloppy wash of Raw Umber for the background area.
  • Flicked the brush, so it wasn’t as wet.
  • Loaded a much thicker, stronger, denser application of Raw Umber onto brush
  • Then charged that, into the still very damp background area.
  • voila !
  • trees  are beginning to emerge
  • Next, was the Indigo
  • this was a Dry Brush application across Foreground area
  • Last step, the “tree trunks”
  • Using a wooden skewer  point,  to unify
  • joined the Indigo into the Raw Umber



When using the skewer,  just make sure  that the trunks weren’t all “rigid, straight”

but had some movement going on in them.





You could try this, it is fun!


Most any color duet would do…..  one to be warm and lighter; the other is cooler and darker.

Burnt Sienna and Phalo?

Light Red and Prussian?

Prussian blue pb27  and Raw Sienna?


Its great for a fast and easy,  Simple, little play with colors.








10 thoughts on “Unified Palette: indigo and raw umber

  1. Dear Debi

    Recently you mentioned a paper… Fabriano soft press

    I am a Fabriano follower for want of a better term and I used to use a wonderful paper called Fabriano uno…sadly no longer available Could this be it?Renamed?

    What is the soft press like?

    Thanks for emails /blog



    Liked by 1 person

    1. hi Phil, – sorry for the delay in my reply! I loved the Uno as well. its not the same… but the Soft Press is ‘close to it’ but has more give to it. More absorbency. Its versatile enough for me to use handprinting & drawing, pastels, etc. ps you ever tried the Esportzione ? very pricy but super rough and quite fun for the granulating paints. cheers, Deb 🙂


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