Tuesday, 7 February 2012

My palette

Just before I go out and do battle with the Grim Reaper (that's the statue, hopefully not the real thing), I thought I'd answer a question I've been asked by posting something about my palette and the colours that I use.

I use Daler Rowney Georgian oil paints.  I buy them in 225ml tubes, and buy white in 5 litre tubs.   

Here's my palette, which is the top of an old school desk.

It's not set out in the order that a text book will probably tell you, but it works for me. 

I try to use 2 types of each colour, so 2 yellows, 2 blues etc, one being cold and one being hot, but over the years that's expanded slightly.  What you can see here in the massive lumps is (starting at bottom left and moving clockwise) 

two browns - raw umber, burnt sienna
two greens - viridian,  sap green 
three blues - prussian blue, coeruleum (the turquoise at the back), cobalt blue (in front of it) 
reds - rose madder (the pink to the right of it), crimson alizarin (to the right of the pink), cobalt violet (at the back), vermilion (the scarlet colour)

You can also see here a small ceramic pot which I put over the liquin to keep it from drying out overnight, and a dish of turps.

Then down the left hand side there is 

yellows - cadmium yellow deep, cadmium yellow, yellow ochre, naples yellow 
whites - mixing white (from the 5 litre tub), titanium white from a 225ml tube  (which has a nicer more creamy consistency)

You can also see in amongst that yellow/white section there's a pool of liquin.I mix the colours in the centre, and there's also various scapers for cleaning the board in there, and bradals for signing with.

There's no black - to get the darkest dark, I mix the prussian and raw umber together, and you can add the violet and/or sap green to it, depending on what kind of a dark you want.

Lots of heavy metals going on there, cadmium, titanium, lead - colour comes from the centre of the periodic table with all those metallic elements - so you definately don't want to eat the stuff!  However, it does get everywhere....

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