I’m really enjoying the challenge of using only 6 colours in my Foundations palette. I’ve become so used to my usual full palette, that it’s been really useful to spend a little more time getting to know some of my paints.
As I’ve said before a lot of the choices in my full palette were made because of pigment characteristics, not just hue. So as I try to achieve similar mixes from my 6 colour palette, I’m realising anew why certain paints are important to me. BTW more about the reasons why I have certain colours in my palette can be found here.
Yesterday I created two more mixing pages comparing some of my standard mixes from my full palette with the best that I can achieve at the moment with my 6 colour palette. I know that over time my mixing skills become more attuned – I’ll be able to create the mixes I want more quickly, using the right amount of each paint colour with the right amount of water.
As for doing colour charts… they are really important as a way of understanding your paints. But they must be supplemented with real-world location mixing so that you learn how best to achieve the result you want. Being able to refer to a colour chart is great, but really what you want to be able to do is know instinctively how to achieve the colour (and amount of watercolour magic) you want.
I thought that you might be interested to see how mixing greens from this limited palette became much easier by doing three sketches over the course of a few days. In the first sketch I wasn’t sure how best to achieve the grey-ish grey I wanted and found the small mixing wells of the Micro palette a little challenging. Immediately afterwards I moved to a bigger palette.
Next was a Lane Cove sketch (I was talking on the phone at the time) so wasn’t totally concentrating on the sketch (or the mixes) but this was really useful for me to explore my reflex mixing of greens.
Okay… time to share my mixing pages in full now!
I have uploaded large versions of each so I trust you will be able to read my notes by clicking on the image.
Anyway… this is a big topic and one that I could discuss for ages!
In summary, the colours I’m missing the most are:
- Indanthrone Blues – for quickly creating darks
- Cobalt Turquoise Light – my favourite colour – just makes me happy
- Cobalt Blue – due to its transparency (favourite for skies)
- Schmincke French Ultramarine – although Ultramarine Blue is a great colour and versatile for a limited palette like this one, I’m missing the amazing pigment parties that Schmincke French Ultramarine creates (it’s essential for my bush scenes).
As I mentioned at the start, it’s been really good for me to reduce my normal palette from 16 to 6 colours.
How many colours do you have in your watercolour palette. If you have 12 or more, have you ever considered reducing it down to 6 for something different? I highly recommend this as a challenge! 🙂