Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tools of the Trade: Palette - Paint Selection

My friend, Veronica, recently had a post where she listed the paints colours that made up her current palette. The thought of this intrigued me. When I started painting in school, everyone was expected to have the same brand paints, same colours.

My current palette is as follows, the majority is Stevenson Acrylics (a brand I've been using since the early 1990's.
  • Phthalo Blue (I like it better than Cadmium or Ultramarine now)
  • Cadmium Red Deep (old faithful, nice vibrant colour, nice orange, pink and purple mixes)
  • Cadmium Yellow Deep (this is the warmest I've used)
  • Dioxazine Violet (the first to creep in my palette, I love it in greens and "blacks")
  • Yellow Ochre (the underbelly of most of my paintings, nice to mix with browns)
  • Burnt Umber (One of the chocolately darks, makes a fantastic "black")
  • Burnt Sienna (Nice and warm, a good light brown)
  • Hansa Orange (Yes, I cheat now and sometimes use this instead of mixing)
  • Cadmium Green (I cannot mix good greens, this is a lovely all round starter for mixing)
  • Titanium White (I use scandalous amounts of this - I even use it straight!)
  • Alizarin Crimson (very rarely, only for pinky pinks)
  • Iron Oxide Black (only for outlining illustrations, never for mixing)

I take it for granted that even my palette has evolved over the years. When I first started, it was only cadmium blue, red, yellow, yellow ochre, burnt umber and white. Gasps of horror would follow the thought of colours that didn't require some mixing. Black would have caused me to faint.

I've mellowed out over the years as you can see by my list above. I don't generally use a colour straight though - a lot of pleasure in painting is with blending colours. I find a deep satisfaction from this.

I'd be interested in hearing what other artists have on their palettes!

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