-The Limit of Choice-
The daunting amount of choices is overwhelming in today's artistic and consumer markets. As painters, we have access to hundreds of pre-mixed and tubed pigments. This is a relatively new trend, since the metal tubes of the late 18th century let artists have access to dozens of new colors and pigments. Before all this, colors were ground by hand and pigments were limited and kept in animal bladders (cool and gross). But I'm going to open your eyes to the fact that artists should do more with less on their palettes.
The studio that I work in using a simple palette of Naples yellow, cadmium yellow medium, raw sienna, burnt sienna, cadmium red, and raw umber. What I've been learning is that this forces me to be more creative when given fewer options. My own palette that I paint with is relatively limited as well: Flake White, Naples Yellow, Chrome Yellow Dark, Vermilion, Chinese Vermilion, Burnt Sienna, Venetian Red, Genuine Rose Madder, Cobalt Blue, Asphlatum (Made by Gamblin), Van Dyke Brown, Viridian and Ivory Black. This is a 19th century palette which covers all the needs of any figurative or landscape painting. Try out a limited palette and see if it frees up your creativity.
Also note that color is secondary to value. And strong value is a product of strong drawing. Start with a limited palette as a model that you could build a strong palette from depending on what colors you need. Caravaggio nails it hard.
*The palette image is taken from Solomon J. Solomon's book The Practice of Oil Painting and Drawing, It's one of the top art instruction books that I've read.
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.