Thursday, 8 September 2016

What colour next?

I am setting myself a challenge. I made a palette that will have serious limitations, so that painting exactly what colour is there is not an option.

...like this range. There is not a bright yellow to make greens, or a true red, or pink to make purples. It will force some interpretation. It is also full of granulating and largely non-transparent colours.

I mixed Quin Gold with Goethite to create a brighter mixing granulating earth yellow. I mixed Burnt Sienna with Transparent Red Oxide to create a brighter Burnt Sienna. I chose Sodalite Genuine rather than Jane's Gery as a dark to add even more granulation, though it is also better for colour harmony since I don't have ultramarine in the palette (!)

It is based around a primary triad of Indian red, Cerulean chromium and the earthy yellow so it's a very earthy palette. Without Ultramarine, my basic blue, it'll be really interesting to paint with, especially wet into wet with a large brush.
But my little palette has room for one more colour. I considered adding Green Apatite Genuine or Serpentine for a granulating green, but chose one from below that I think will fit in best to keep harmony with the set. What would you add?

23 comments:

  1. Definitely Cobalt Blue or Ultramarine! There are never enough blue colors in a palette.

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    1. I usually like to have a few blues and quite a range of yellows, but I am with you on this one.

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  2. This is hands down my favorite palette you've ever created. Living in the far north of the United States, I would add Cobalt. Alone, cobalt is wonderful for under or overglazing to change the temperature of an area. With Buff, it creates soft opaque grays and blues that are valuable for the rocks and ocean in the New England area. With the TRO/BS mix, it creates a soft, silvery gray that I use often in sky/water washes. I've never used Indian red, but I'm guessing mixed with Cobalt it creates a lively shadow color with some desaturated purpley notes. I love laying a wash of Cobalt and streaking Cerulean Chromium into it for water, and that mix also makes a nice top of the sky color. I'm guessing again on Sodalite, but the ability to do a variety of cool gray/blues is a big deal in New England.
    Again, I love this palette -- thanks for a fun exercise!

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    1. That's my feeling too. I wanted to add ultramarine but it's too strong, which is what I like about it. Cobalt had a gentler manner that fits perfectly with these colours. I may switch to Jane's Grey when I run out of sodalite as it is so easy to work with, but earth colours usually take up about half my palette - this time it's what the palette is all about.
      I love Indian Red. It is another powerhouse in itself, but can be washed down to the perfect pink for skin tones and the touch or red in eyes and lips, as well as being wonderful for landscapes and rocks. It's about the most opaque watercolour there is so I also use it with gouache.

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    2. Okay I'm breaking out the cobalt. I've always skipped it in favor of warmer Ultramarine, but after your comment, I need to give it another try!

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  3. mmmm, I would say Ultramarine,.... I may have to reconsider cobalt blue now.....

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    1. I don't think I have ever set up one of my own palettes without ultramarine. It's such a useful all-purpose blue and I know it so well. But cobalt is very beautiful and I want to give it a workout in this palette.

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  4. Me too...interesting comments about the Cobalt and the other colors...will have to try them!!! With the limited palette...why are you using both the Janes Grey AND the Sodalite. Just curious as I love JG and use it a lot.

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    1. My most used colours in any of my palettes are Jane's Grey, buff titanium, goethite, quin gold and ultramarine, probably followed by cerulean and raw umber. I thought about setting up a palette with just those, but there needed to be something of a red. And I wanted a more neutral earthy look - which is why I mixed the goethite and quin gold together. I wanted to force myself to work differently.

      One of the advantage of Jane's Grey is that it is made from colours normally in the palette. It is so useful - convenient, liftable, versatile, etc, and if I were adding ultramarine, I'd certainly also use Jane's Grey instead of Sodalite. But for this palette I want to make it a bit more challenging so I am more free to experiment. Sodalite gives even more granulation and a bit more unpredictability, as does adding transparent red oxide to the burnt sienna and goethite to the quinacridone gold. So the idea is not to have both sodalite and Jane's grey - just one of them. I only have a small amount of sodalite so once I use it up I may well go back to my Jane's Grey ;-)

      I chose to add cobalt blue as the 7th colours rather than ultramarine - it is a softer, gentler mid blue that will harmonise very well with the other colours. It will also mix beautifully with the burnt sienna mix, and I'll muddle them on the paper to make a version of Jane's Grey when I want to. Should be fun.

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  5. That would depend on what subject you are painting. I think you added either cobalt blue or raw umber.

    I would probably add the Green Apatite because I like to do landscapes.

    By the way, I love Sodalite and both of those Primatek greens. I want to experiment with a limited palette of just Primateks, using wet in wet and very thin glazes (which I need to practice) to build up to something. While they are limiting and tricky I'm drawn to experimenting with pigments as they may have been before we had the advantages of our modern chemistry. I add Monte Amiata and Verona Gold Ochre to the Primatek palette to provide some yellows.

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    1. Yes you could certainly set up a wonderful primatek palette, but you need a few others to get the full range. Hematite burnt scarlet can act as a burnt sienna, Garnet genuine as an earth red, blue apatite genuine as an earth blue with Jadeite, green apatite genuine and serpentine genuine as gorgeous greens. Very interesting to paint with wet into wet :-)

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  6. I have played around quite a bit with cerulean blue chrom and am still not a fan of it. For a smoky blue, I'd skip both the cerulean and the Sodalite and add Indanthrone. It's not granulating but would look lovely here, I think. For a sixth color, add a warm green like one you mentioned. May try this palette out myself! Thanks for putting it together.

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    1. Indanthrone blue is a gorgeous colour that I usually have in my palette, along with perylene green and raw umber - all great darks. But it doesn't fit with my rules for this palette - earthy and granulating. Do try it yourself though :-)

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  7. I'd go for Perylene Green to complete this palette.. .

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    1. I love that colour and have it in my palette generally, but it isn't earthy and granulating so doesn't fit with my rules for this one :-)
      Green apatite genuine is probably the best earthy green to add to fit in with this earthy granulating palette.

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  8. Hi Jane,

    I picked up a 5ml tube of Quin Gold from DBs not too long ago, and apparently its no longer a single pigment color. I was expecting to see PO 49, but my tube lists PO 48 & PY 150. I was wondering if you were aware of that, or had any information about it. Just wondering if its sort of like the New Gamboge situation where a pigment was discontinued???

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    1. I took a look on the DS web site, and they still list Quinacridone Gold as PO 49. But I see that Quinacridone Deep Gold is a mix of PO 48 & PY 150. But my tube says Quinacridone Gold on it plain as day, not Quinacridone Deep Gold, and lists 284 610 089, which is Quinacridone Gold, not 284 610 152, which is Quinacridone Deep Gold. Yikes :(

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    2. Hi Bob
      Yes I know the 5ml tube is a hue. It is a close hue to the original PO 49 colour but made from PO48 and PY150. PO 48 is the colour Quinacridone Deep Gold in the DS range. PY150 is Nickel Azo Yellow in the DS range.

      The pigment PO49, like all the quinacridones, was created for the car industry, which requires completely uniform particles for a smooth finish in car paint. Once they stopped using it, it ceased manufacture, and Daniel Smith bought up the last remaining stock in the world.

      They used to make their oils and acrylics using PO49, but now ONLY use it in the 15ml tubes of watercolour. Not the 5ml tubes. The 5ml tube is a touch brighter than the PO49 I think.

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  9. Very interesting... I love Quinacridone Gold... I better buy another 15ml tube while PO49 is still available.

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    1. There is enough for many years now that it is only being used for the 15ml tubes of watercolour, but keep a spare just in case :-)

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  10. Hi Jane,
    This is a really interesting palette, and I would choose cobalt blue also, as it has that indefinable 'something', that no other blue possesses, and is never overpowering. A lovely triad is cobalt blue, raw sienna and alizarin crimson, which makes lovely evening skies, add burnt sienna and raw umber and it's a really good all rounder.
    Thanks Jane,
    David.

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