Have Fun With Color Swatches in Watercolor!

Creating color swatches in watercolor can be a lot of fun and help you practice mixing colors. There is inspiration all around. I will show you some of my favorite ways to discover new colors and use them to create beautiful art.

How To Have Fun With Color Swatches In Watercolor

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Relaxing project

I love to take pictures of flowers and gardens to give me inspiration for my splattered paint flower art and other art projects. Sometimes when I have a creative block I turn to my flower photos and choose one and use it to make watercolor swatches. It is a soothing and relaxing project. It can be done on a piece of scrap paper or a 5×7 piece of watercolor paper that can be used later to add doodles.

This photo of wild lupine was inspiration for nine watercolor swatches I painted on a piece of 5×7 watercolor paper. I loved how the soft colors turned out. I added some botanical line drawings to them inspired by the book by Peggy Dean.

Inspiration photo for my watercolor and botanical line drawing flower art
Inspiration photo
Botanical Line Doodles on watercolor swatches
Botanical line drawings on watercolor swatches

Watercolor swatches for splattered paint flower art

For this project I wanted to paint some watercolor swatches to use to create watercolor flowers painted on splattered acrylic paint. I looked through my flower photos and found one that caught my eye. I loved the bright colors.

After I painted the swatches on some scrap paper I used the photo and swatches for a small 4×6 watercolor on a piece of watercolor paper that I had previously splattered with green acrylic paint. I was very happy with the finished art.

Garden flowers that inspired my watercolor swatches and flower art
Inspiration photo for watercolor swatches
Splattered paint with watercolor flowers inspired by colorful swatches.
4×6 watercolor and swatches I used for the color inspiration

Watercolor swatch inspired by book

This next swatch was inspired by the book Color In and Out of The Garden by Lorene Edwards Forkner. Several years ago Lorene stared making daily watercolor studies inspired by the flowers in her garden. I also love to follow her instagram account.

The swatches I painted were inspired by a hydrangea I bought at Trader Joes. It is a nice connection with nature to study a flower and try to paint the variety of colors it offers. I hope to do some more watercolor swatches like this.

Splattered paint with watercolor flowers inspired by colorful swatches.
Color In and Out of The Garden by Lorene Edwards Forkner

More inspiration for playing with your watercolors

There are so many sources for color inspiration for painting swatches with your watercolors. I also like the book Local Color and the Color Meditation Deck for color exercises. The important thing is to just take the time to play with your paints and practice mixing a variety of colors. It will help you expand the colors you use in your art.

You can learn more about the paints I use and my favorite colors in this post.

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