Kat’s Story

I am my journey.

Kathleen Skinner, more commonly known as Kat Skinner, is an artist specialising in watercolor paint.

In 2012 I was first diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I have since learned a few things: the importance of taking your time to enjoy and appreciate every little thing possible in life.

During recovery I discovered a passion for “arts and crafts”. Fuelled by a passion to learn and chase challenges, I persistently worked on expressing myself through art. Sometimes this was my joy and happiness… and sometimes this was frustrating, fear and sadness.

Kat’s Paint Colors

I prefer to use the Daniel Smith brand in artist quality pigments. If you are a beginner – or even advanced painter – I would recommend only using artist quality paints. The extra cost is definitely worth the improved quality compared to student quality.

I use a limited paint palette, inspired by the extensive work and colour study by the Australian artist Jane Blundell. Jane Blundell has also written an amazing book; it has 66 detailed pages showing the various possible two and three color mixes using my primary colors. It is by far one of my most valuable tools when it comes to painting. Why reinvent the wheel?

Primary Paint Colors

If you have a limited budget, I highly suggest using Jane Blundell’s book in combination with the colors below. You can mix almost any color combination.

The primary colours that I use are:

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    Buff Titanium

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    Burnt Sienna

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    Cerulean, Chromium

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    Goethite

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    Hansa Yellow Medium

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    Indian Red

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    Phthalo Blue Green Shade

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    Phthalo Green Blue Shade

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    Quinacridone Gold

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    Quinacridone Rose

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    Raw Umber

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    Pyrrol Scarlet

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    Ultramarine Blue

Speciality and Other Colors

I also use a few specialty colours for certain situations – for example some paint pigments might provide special effects that would otherwise be hard or tedious to achieve. Other times, its just quicker and easier to use a pre-mixed color than mixing one constantly, such as some of the greens included in the list below.

Some of the speciality colours that I use are:

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    Carbazole Violet

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    Green Gold

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    Perylene Green

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    Quinacridone Deep Gold

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    Rose of Ultramarine

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    Sap Green

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    Shadow Violet

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    Undersea Green

Kat’s Paper

My preferred paper brands are Arches and Fabriano Artistico. These are both artist-quality papers. I dislike student-quality paper since it is much harder to control your paint and can have uneven sizing.

Depending upon the situation I will use both hot-pressed and cold-pressed paper. If I want the colors of my painting to “pop” and look extra vibrant, I will paint on hot-pressed paper. Otherwise, I will paint on cold-pressed paper when I want my finished painting to have an extra textured appearance.

I strongly prefer to work with heavier weight papers; using 300lbs or 140gsm, I can avoid buckling paper.

Kat’s Palette

I use two different paint palettes depending upon my needs: generally this will be when I am travelling or when I am at home.

My travel palette is a Frank Herring compact palette. This is a great little palette that includes several wells for mixing colors, and takes up relatively little space.

My home studio palette is a large ceramic palette sold by Ikea. Ceramic plates are great at showing how the paint will appear on the paper since it spreads the paint rather than allows the paint to form bubbles of color. In fact any if you prepare a ceramic or porcelain plate it will make a great palette.