COLOR!!! Isn't it so wonderful to look at?! I could sit around and do these color studies all day...which is slightly productive, but there's many more pressing things that I should be getting done, so I can't do them all day/every day. Unfortunately. But, this sort of thing is perfect for understanding how certain colors mix together, color theory, tones vs. hues, etc. So, let me explain the method to this madness, so you can do it yourself!
First, pick out the color or colors that you want to focus on. For this particular study, I wanted to study the color Lemon Yellow Deep by Winsor & Newton specifically. When I'm painting with watercolor, I only use Winsor & Newton, and LYD is my go to yellow. Love it. So, I'll start with a pencil map. You'll see a great range in colors and tones (dark vs. light) if you map out an area of 3 boxes by 5 boxes for each combination. Sometimes I do 3x6, but for your first, start out with 3x5. Here, I've done each box at .75"x.75" with a margin of .5" between each combination. So, at the very top I have a row of just LYD. Between each square, I add water to my brush to lighten each time (3 across). The top combination is LYD with Opera Rose (OR). Once you add your pure LYD boxes at the top, lightening between the first, second and third, you will count down to the fifth box and do the same thing with just OR. From there, you will add a couple dashes of LYD to the pure OR mixture on your palette, and move up to the fourth row. Apply three across, getting lighter between each box. Add a little more yellow and do the same thing for the third row. More yellow, and repeat for the second row. Now you have your first combination! Because I was focusing on LYD, each top row for every combination was LYD with the bottom rows being a different color from Winsor & Newton.
Use the .5" margins between the combinations to label which colors you used so you don't forget!
Try every combination! Even if you don't think certain colors would mix well together, you may be pleasantly surprised! I like to do about 20-25 combinations on a sheet of watercolor paper roughly 22"x30" in size, but feel free to go however small or large.
Once the color study is complete, I like to go in and label certain swatches/boxes with titles like: skin tone light, skin tone medium, or eucalyptus, sand color, etc...It helps you remember how to mix up certain tones for future paintings and projects! So, have fun! These studies are great educators and also a fun, colorful piece you can hang in your home!