Color & Tone

Finding Your Palette

Scott discusses the range of colors he considers, their general characteristics and uses several photos to choose a specific palette for each painting.

15min 25sec

After experimenting with a limited palette, you might find then that you know what other colors you need to add and why you need to add them.

My foundational gouache palette includes thed following colors:

  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Venetian Red
  • Winsor Red
  • Cadmium Yellow Pale
  • Naples Yellow Deep
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Phthalo Blue
  • Permanent Green Light
  • Viridian
  • Neutral Grey #3
  • Permanent White

Some of the additional colors I've experimented with and might add to my palette include (all from Winsor & Newton):

  • Cadmium Yellow Pale
  • Cadmium Yellow Deep
  • Naples Yellow (used as both a color and as a neutral gray)
  • Raw Sienna
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Olive
  • SAP Green

To understand the character of the color, making a color card that has the color at its full strength and up to five tints (made with white) can be useful.

For each painting subject, a limited palette can be selected with intention. My limited palette will:

  • Always include a yellow, red and blue plus white.
  • Normally includes one or more neutral grays.
  • May include additional colors chosen based on the need for specific values and temperatures.

Using a limited palette will make the introduction of additional colors more significant.

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