Friday, October 1, 2010

My Palette

The word palette can mean several things: 1.) the physical holder of paint  2.) the choice of colors and
3.) The placement of those paints on the surface..

My choice for a physical palette is the John Pike model.  The surface is large enough to mix warm colors on one side and cool on the other. 

My choice of colors is pretty basic:  a warm and cool version of each primary, some earth tones, and a couple of exotic hues. 

The placement of my paints is based on warm and cool colors.  The warm colors and earth tones are on the left side of the palette.  I put them in a prism order, i.e. yellow, orange, red, violet, blue, green.

It's particularly useful to have the warms on one side and the cools on the other because I like to gray my hues.  As I hammer home to my students, "Put down a warm; reach for a cool. Put down a cool;  reach for a warm."  Instead of giving a list of specific colors to mix, I think the mantra of warm versus cool works better.  When the instructor is not present, the student can sometimes get confused about color choice.  Choosing a warm and knowing its complement is much more helpful than dictating two magic combinations.

Color choice is a personal matter, but knowing how and when to choose certain colors is essential.  And having them in a logical sequence is important in a medium that requires some speed.  (Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

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