Who would have thought that I would be in love with swatches?
Definitely not me, but in the last few months I’ve been indulging a long-held niggle. A little voice in my head that has told me that I would like to paint. Over the years, I’ve ignored it and not listened but in 2022, my word for the year is change. So I’ve decided to listen.
I’ve done things I’ve never done before. I’ve started an altered book art journal. I’ve started keeping a sketchbook. In fact, I’ve almost fill two of them, doodled my way into three pocket sized ones and started a posh one just for painting flowers.
And I’ve committed to doing a bit of art every day, even if its just a rough sketchbook entry, or a doodle, or just swatching and mixing some colours.
Colour mixing and swatching is a lot of fun
If you watch my YouTube channel you will know that I’ve been collaborating with Skillshare for a couple of years now. I think the art courses available on their platform are wonderful and I have spoken about quite a few of them. It might have been these regular explorations into classes that finally made my niggle voice so loud I couldn’t ignore it any longer.
In the last couple of months, I’ve been doing two related courses on watercolours, which really focus on colour mixing. And its opened my eyes to all sorts of new possibilities. I’ve watched YouTube videos from other creators who show live swatching of new products – and its not as boring as watching paint dry, I have to tell you.
There is something uniquely relaxing about it and I am seriously hooked on this kind of content now.
As well as being relaxing to watch, I’ve also been inspired to have a go and mix my own colours, swatch my own supplies and generally spend hours playing with colour. And absolutely loving it!
Tools for making colour swatches
I started off using watercolour paper, or cartridge paper, or a sketchbook and just making freehand squares for my swatches. But I am not good at keeping them tidy, so then moved on to making a grid with pencil and ruler. But that was tedious and took time, so I had the idea of using some of the stamps I had to create some swatching spaces and was really pleased at the way they looked.
Cutting a long story short, I soon realised that if I created some templates with either stamping or using my graphics software, I could create pdf files, all ready to print in different designs. So fast, so easy and just perfect for what I was doing.
And then I thought, “If I am finding these useful, others might too…” so I did a bit more work on them and they are now in my Etsy shop as Soothing Swatches Printables. You get more than 30 full page designs to do your swatches for less than £5.
I hope you find using them as useful and as much fun as I have.
xx Kathryn xx