I recently picked up a copy of Mimi Robinson's book, Local Color - Seeing Place Through Watercolor at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MOMA). I had seen the book before at the de Young Museum and was intrigued.
In this book, Mimi Robinson creates watercolor palettes of locations both local to the San Francisco Bay Area where she lives (specifically, near Point Reyes, an area I love) and at other locations she's visited around the world. The palettes, themselves, are beautiful.
On my recent camping trip to Steeo Ravine, I made similar palettes for the scenes I was about to paint. But, I did these as preparatory steps, rather than as a means in itself.
After reading Local Color, though, I decided I should concentrate on making palettes as a way to focus on really seeing and mixing colors accurately. Also, the book has some great practices to keep inspiring me.
Here are some palettes I made recently. I am planning on making a palette and (possibly doing a painting if I have time) of the view from my balcony for the next five days at about the same time - shortly after sunrise.
I decided to make a palette for the wedding flowers we delivered in Napa the other day.
Inspired by the book, I made a palette for a rock from my backyard. It's amazing how many colors are in a rock when you really look.
Then, I tried unsuccessfully to paint the afternoon sky and couldn't get the clouds right. So, I focused on making a palette for the sky instead.
Have you ever tried making watercolor palettes of local color?