Last year when I did my ‘Colours in my palette‘ series I shared that I had a small box with a few extra colours in it (4 x half pans and 1 x full pans). The idea behind this box was to contain a few colours that I occasionally want to use (or want to test) and to act as an emergency palette if I happen to leave the house without my normal palette in my bag.
Recently I made a few changes to this palette and was intending to create a second version of it in my Art Toolkit Demi palette. But… going into lockdown meant that my Extras Palette was sitting on my desk and as a result, I started considering other options.
The six colours that I currently had in it made two triads but neither of them really had a blue.
Question 1: Should I change some of the colours to create more usable triads?
I sent the selection to my great friend Jane Blundell for her comments as I love nothing more than discussing colours with her. (BTW She is currently working on a book called Watercolour Triads and I’ve seen some of the original colour charts. I know that she will be including very interesting selections in her book.)
Her advice included using Quin Lilac rather than Quin Magenta (a better mixer) and to consider some blue such as Blue Apatite, Phthalo Blue or Sodalite.
And well, that just got me thinking even more …
Question 2: Why do I need to limit myself to only 6 colours?
An Extras Palette at home could be housed in a bigger box and the Demi palette can fit up to 12 small square pans.
So… what did I end up doing?
I filled up a TSWBI Eco box with 20 half pans!
It’s now called my ‘Extras/Testing Palette’ and I’ve collected a lot of paints that have been in my palette at some stage over the past 14 years!
I’ve had some experience with all of these paints (except for the Sennelier Burnt Sienna which was given to me by my friend Laurie in SF) and I’m really excited to start using them again. It’s amazing how just seeing a specific paint in a palette brings back memories of the times when I used it regularly.
BTW I’ve used a very low-tech solution to create a usable mixing lid – it’s simply some white paper taped to the outside of the box!
I’m particularly happy about two aspects:
- having Schmincke Transparent Orange (used to be called Translucent Orange) in a palette. I adore this colour but could never justify it in my everyday palette
- rediscovering Daniel Smith Quin Burnt Scarlet. Wow! this is a beautiful earth red.
Please don’t think that any of these colours are locked in. It’s likely that I will make changes to them really soon but I just wanted to document the starting point here on my blog. I’ve added a few extra ‘old colours’ on the side of the page, that I’m considering testing as well.
It feels really exciting to be using some different colours (but ones that I already have some working knowledge of) and I’m already enjoying seeing new colour combos in my sketchbook pages. At this point, I have no idea how I will eventually fill up my Demi palette! But with another 4 weeks to the Sydney lockdown, I won’t be needing my Demi for a while!
Do you have any of these colours in your palette? Are there any colours that you think I should test?
Please let me know in the comment section below (rather than via email) so that it will be easy for me to find your suggestions in the future. (If you are reading this via email, please click on the link below and add a comment on my blog – thanks!)