What’s a curated palette? It might sound like something an art dealer would come up with, right? Nope. It’s YOUR palette. YOUR group of colors. It’s what helps define YOUR voice as an artist.
And you know what? That can change from time to time. Mine just did, and I want to share the excitement and the terror with you!
Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!
Meet the 8 new colors
I’d like to introduce you to the new colors that have entered the scene – and say a fond and loving farewell to those who served me well but needed a period of retirement. I reserve the right to bring some back if I miss them!
Aureolin sadly got the boot to make room for a yellow that bursts; if you’ve been watching me for a while, you know I love me some Nickel Azo and the way it breaks into its own song and dance when it meets wet pigment! But I have never liked the actual color of it by itself.
I found a good substitute though, after testing out all the yellows I could find and seeing who played nice like NA. And it’s Indian Yellow! It’s got not only the playfulness but a nicer base color, and the ability to have a gentle value range too.
I’ve wrestled with reds for a while, even avoiding red subjects sometimes because of my dissatisfaction with how Anthraquinoid Scarlet sometimes dries. It’s not reliable for a strong red. So byebye to that as well as Permanent Alizarin Crimson, which I just don’t seem to use much at all.
Hellooooooo to new friends Pyrrol Crimson and Permanent Red Deep! Both are more staining, but are also more intense when painted, so I’m excited to try some of those red roses I’d avoided for a long time.
Massive overhaul here! Going away are Cobalt Blue and Phthalo Blue Turquoise; yes I had a limited blue selection but that’s now changing!
Welcomed to the palette: French Ultramarine, which I’ve wanted to swap in for some time now, since SO many artists swear by it for mixing neutrals. I want to see what the fuss is all about because I’ve been doing that successfully with Cobalt for years. French Ultramarine does have a bigger value range too, so I’ll be playing with that.
And some fun: Verditer Blue was a class requirement some years back and while it was nice I just never paid attention to that tube. Which has now changed, because OH how perfect is this blue?
I mentioned Phthalo Blue Turquoise making an exit….it’s described as perfect for oceans but I never found it to have quite a greenish turquoise feel to it. Pretty and intense, but too staining and too blue.
Meet Ultramarine Turquoise! This color has a wide value range, which can get overwhelming if overdone, but oh I love it for a soft wash.
Two exits: Green Gold is easily mixed with a yellow, and while I liked having it handy, I decided to vacate it to make room for the bonus Verditer blue. And I’ve noticed I haven’t used Green Apatite in quite some time so it was voted off the island.
Incoming in greens is Chromium Green Oxide, which I promise to regularly misname Chromium Oxide Green or other combinations of the three, ha! But I’m interested in what I’ll do with an opaque green, and playing with how it mixes with other colors too. I love the non-screamy and natural tone it brings to a painting.
Last but never least, my heroes
In the last section of my palette are my most and least used colors but all must stay until something else begs its way in. Payne’s Blue Gray is likely my most-used color! I use it to deepen colors; even if darkening with complements, a dash of PBG is often just what I need. A friend who was helping me with my paint color choices in my house even noticed it; she looked at my collection of framed paintings and asked “What’s that color? It’s your signature hue!” And it was a PBG sky.
Lunar Blue and Moonglow are simply some of the most wonderful granulators. If I need some granulation within another color, I can drop a little of one of these in and get that texture. Plus both have a HUGE value range and can create a lovely painting all by themselves!
So what’s in your palette?
How many colors are in your curated palette? Or have you yet to try curating one? Let me know in a comment, as well as what questions you have about setting one up….I’d love to help!
Colors with * are new for me this year:
- Hansa Yellow Light
- *Indian Yellow
- New Gamboge
- Yellow Ochre
- *Pyrrol Crimson
- *Permanent Red Deep