Making a Lively Black

Q. How do you make a good black? Or can you recommend one out of the tube?

A. When you use black directly out of the tube, it tends to deaden a watercolor painting, so I have learned how to create a beautiful, lively black—by mixing alizarin crimson and Winsor green. If you want an even darker black, add other dark colors like ultramarine blue or sepia. If you’re after a warm black, then add a little more alizarin. To get a cooler black, add more green.

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

You may also like these articles: