Brighten Up

Q. Why are my colors so pale? What can I do to make them look brighter?

A. Your problem is easy to identify–and easy to fix. You’re probably not using enough paint. I recommend that you squeeze at least half of a 15ml tube of paint into each well of your palette.

If you want to learn to paint, you must focus on the painting, not on how much a tube of paint costs or anything else. It’s part of the process we all go through as artists. You have to clear your mind of many monsters in order to paint. Worrying about money is one of them.

You cannot make a rich, luminous watercolor painting if your colors are still in the tubes. They must be out on your palette. All of them!

Show no fear! Squeeze out those paints. The time has come. Be bold. Make that painting!

Catherine Anderson is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society, Watercolor West and the Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Society. Visit her Web site at

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