A few days ago I refilled my palette and this was a chance for me to record my most used paints. So that is what this article is all about!
Here are my top five…
1. The clear winner (by a long way) is Schmincke (SCH) French Ultramarine and this is because I use it in so many different mixes – for blues, greens, greys, browns and purples. Find out more about how I use it here.
2. Next is my pre-mix of Steels Grey which I use for a lot of greys and shadow mixes. Find out more about this colour here.
3. Typically this third place position would be taken by Daniel Smith (DS) Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (see below) but as I’m sketching more trees than buildings on an everyday basis at the moment this spot goes to my Mixed Green (DS Hansa Yellow Medium and SCH French Ultramarine). I started using this instead of DS Sap Green a few years ago and I’m never going back! Each time I top up this pan it’s a slightly different mix – sometimes 50:50, other times 40:60 or 60:40. It doesn’t matter although a slightly darker mix than what is shown here works a little bit better for me.
4. Number 4 is DS Monte Amiata Natural Sienna which is the most beautiful glowing earth yellow. It’s been in my palette for years and years and I love it.
5. The last on the list is a mystery. I have no idea why or how I use so much of DS Van Dyck Brown as I don’t think there are that many dark washes in my work. But VDB is always a colour I need to top up a lot. I use it for browns, grey and black.
As for my favourite colour in my everyday palette…it’s most definitely Winsor and Newton Cobalt Turquoise Light. But I don’t use it much these days. Hmm, writing this article is a good reminder to me to use it more.
If you want to find out more about the reasons behind my colour choices please check out the Colours in My Palette series.
NOTE: These colour strips show each paint colour in a watery, juicy and pasty wash. Being able to consistently mix washes with the right amount of pigment and water is a big part of my Watercolour course which I will be going through with a cohort in the new year starting on 10 Jan 2024. Find out more about the Live Version of watercolour here.
Finally… what are the most used colours in your palette? Let me know in the comment section below.
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