Painting from life, outside, is the best feeling ever. I set up my new palette, did a small painting of some hyacinths and I'm very proud of it. I'll be doing a ton more paintings as the weather gets nicer!
Setting up a basic academic color palette
I am going back to some basics in my colors and I've removed all the colors that I didn't deem necessary for me. The palette of colors below is based on many different sources and is a combination of traditional (academic) colors along with a few "modern" pigments; by "modern" I mean colors that came onto palettes in the ages of Impressionism in the late 19th and early 20th century (cadmiums + cobalt and cobalt violet). It's not as limited as some palettes, but I think this is a very well rounded palette for figurative work as well as landscape, still life and genre paintings. I'll be using it and always experimenting and evolving.
-Silver White (mixture of flake + zinc)
-Chrome/Cadmium Yellow Light
-Emerald Green (Veronese Green)
I always prefer to work on a toned canvas instead of white and I wanted to share what I think is the easiest method for toning canvas. The way I do it now is that I take a small amount of ivory black on a cotton rag and add a touch of Gamsol and then I simple rub it gently with circular motions into the canvas. It's very simple and the best part is that it dries very quickly. I also like the texture that the rag makes on the surface to give it a little character so it's not a perfectly flat tone.
You can tone your canvas any color that you like, I prefer to use ivory black to make a cool gray, but you could also use burnt umber, raw umber and burnt sienna as some other options. I recommend using an earth tone because they're neutral, they dry fairly quickly and they're very stable pigments.
Next time you paint, test out some canvas tones!
This painting is going extremely well and I'm so happy that I restarted and am using my own style. I also set up my palette of colors based on the colors I like using. I don't like having a very complicated palette with too many colors because it makes painting feel like a chore. Painting should be fun (most of the time). Now I need to let this painting dry so I can oil out and paint again.
Here's my current color palette:
-Cadmium Yellow Light
-Chrome Yellow Deep
-Emerald Green (Veronese)
-Van Dyke Brown