Finally…I’ve finally got a palette layout I’m good with.

Apologies for not having posted sooner; I have a feeling that I’ve been fighting off some sort of infectious microbe.  😉  I’ve been playing around with color chips for the past couple of days, and had to stay home today for a phone appointment, so it was a fairly good study time where it came to colors.

My last post got into the beginning of this.  In the meantime, I’ve been toying with layouts and reworking swatches (my original set were not all that great, as I wasn’t using enough color).  I still haven’t worked gradient swatches, but that wasn’t the point, this time.  Using up the dried paint in my preexisting palettes may have actually been the point, but who can say?  😉

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Trial One
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Trial Two
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Trial Three (1)

I have a feeling these may be basically self-explanatory.  The previous photo, “Trial Three (1),” is missing the two swatches of black pigments which I didn’t notice were missing until very late in the game.  These are Ivory Black (Cotman) and Lamp Black (Holbein), which have slightly different overtones.  (Ivory Black is less blue than Lamp Black.)  I have a photo with a Levels adjustment, here:

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Trial Three (2)

I’ve tried to render these as well as I can, but to be honest, reflected color changes depending on light quality…and the light quality isn’t so good right now!  But in particular, I tried to match up the white of the palette to the white I recall.

I’ve included some paints in here that I normally would not have — for example, Winsor Orange (Professional grade), which is slightly duller than Cadmium Orange Hue (student grade, Cotman) and seems not to mix as well.  But maybe there will be times when I’ll need one or the other of the mixing properties, and they won’t be interchangeable.

(While I don’t know that I’d actually need something to mix in a dull manner [it’s possible to do this just by adding a complementary color to neutralize aspects], I opted to include it.  I don’t have that much experience with it, because I utilized Cadmium Orange Hue instead, in Watercolor class…but I still have a nearly full tube of Winsor Orange.  I discovered this on going into my art supplies to look at all the Cotman tubes from vintage 2009.)

This is the same reason I’ve included Viridian, above.  My parents were nice enough to snag a W&N Phthalo Green (Blue Shade) for me, which is like Viridian Hue in Cotmans (they use the same pigment), but I’m hoping it handles better.  (I got some weird unintended effects — I think they’re called “backruns”? — with the Viridian Hue, but not with the professional-level Phthalo Green.)

Now, I normally can’t stand Viridian — I can’t get any concentration out of it — but there is a chance that I’m going to need a green like it, and Phthalo Green (Blue Shade) may not mix the way I need it to.  It may be that Viridian works better in mixes than on its own, that is…but it’s basically a Chromium Oxide green…which I don’t even like unaltered in acrylics (it’s dull — the color of a pool table — and I don’t know why we were told to get it:  Emerald Green is much more favorable to my taste), but Chrome Oxide Green can make interesting mixes when combined with unexpected colors.  I’m hoping that maybe Viridian will turn out the same way.

What I did unapologetically cut out was the Aureolin.  I really don’t like that pigment (it’s a green-leaning, pale, dullish, expensive, toxic yellow with low tinting strength which has been maligned online for low lightfastness), and with a light Hansa Yellow, I don’t believe I’ll need it.  (The Hansa is far right, middle row on the previous image).

And while I was talking about not needing the full spectrum because things can be mixed, it’s really apparent that I was drawn to the warm spectrum, here.  I am not entirely certain how such small differences in color can add up to such large differences in the quality of a mixed paint, but I know that differences in yellows are fairly consequential.  I included what I had, regardless of student or artist quality.  I’m not planning on my work lasting through the next two empires, that is, and I’ll likely need to refill the palette and mess up my color scheme anyway, so…

What I am amazed at (slightly) is how many different colors of red, there are.  I tried to concentrate them to one side of the palette, though the overall numbers (breaking into three relatively cohesive sections) helped.

The two colors which I have thought of to add if I ever come to care that much (seeing how many colors of red and yellow I have, and that I have three blues), are Indanthrone Blue and Prussian Blue.  I intentionally haven’t added the latter because of stability concerns…which I won’t go into, but Indanthrone Blue is one of those that just kind of makes me go, “ooh.”  Prussian Blue tends to be muted and greenish, Indanthrone looks dark violet-blue.

Ah, well.  If I keep painting in watercolors, it’s something to consider.  The QoR brand of Indanthrone looks particularly appealing, though possibly mimicked with French Ultramarine plus Dioxazine Violet (though the swatch at Blick’s website is horrible).  And looking at this, it’s possible Indigo (a convenience mixture from W&N, which I started to play with in combination with one or another Phthalo, yesterday) will sate the Prussian Blue bug.  (Indigo leans greenish, and is also muted.  It isn’t actual Indigo, though, possibly because Indigo dye is relatively fugitive…or so I’ve heard.)

I also added the new tube of Rose Madder (Mijello Mission Gold brand) which I got as a bonus with this new palette:  it is similar to W&N Alizarin Crimson, but redder, if that makes sense.  By that, I mean it looks closer to a straight red.  It’s not really obvious in the photos, but it is on the lower left in the image “Trial Three (1)”.

I don’t know if this can be called a productive day, but it’s been a fun one, at least!

And yeah, I wouldn’t feel bad about filling this palette as it is, and not worrying about having “the right place” for Prussian or Indanthrone Blue.  They can just go in the lower right corner.  🙂  I’ll know what they are.  🙂

Saa, but yeah…I’ve got to go to work, tomorrow.  Yay for earning money!  😉  After next week, I shouldn’t have to worry about any more appointments.  Maybe then I can take on some extra hours…I just don’t want to come anywhere close to burnout this Summer…