A Palette of Palettes

You can nudge the hues in the basic color wheel to create alternative palettes. The traditional palette combines colors with a balance of tinting strengths and bases color mixing on red, yellow and blue. But if you’d like a more contemporary look, use modern pigments (such as quinacridone, anthraquinoid and idanthrone) for a palette that uses magenta, yellow and cyan as its primaries. For fresh, delicate paintings, you can develop a palette with weak tinting strength, and for a low-intensity painting, choose only earth-hue pigments. You have a variety of options as long as you adhere to the basic, logical color relationships of the color wheel.

Alternate Palette: transparent yellow, phthalo yellow-green, permanent sap green, phthalo blue-green, Winsor blue (green shade), Old Holland blue-violet, Winsor violet, thioindigo violet, quinacridone magenta, Winsor red, Winsor orange, new gamboge

Delicate Tint Palette: aureolin yellow, aureolin yellow and viridian, viridian, manganese blue hue, cobalt blue, cobalt blue and ultramarine violet, ultramarine violet, permanent magenta, rose madder genuine, scarlet lake (dilute), Winsor orange (dilute), Naples yellow deep

Earth Palette: Naples yellow, green gold, green gold with idanthrene blue, idanthrene blue with green gold, idanthrene blue, Payne’s gray, neutral tint, caput mortuum violet, perylene maroon, light red, gold ochre, quinacridone gold

Beth Derringer-Keith is an assistant editor for The Artist’s Magazine and Artist’s Sketchbook.

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