Inside David Poxon’s Unique Watercolor Palette

Watercolorist David Poxon brings an emotional realism to the industrial, and often rusty, still lifes to which he is drawn. Go inside the distinctive palette he has developed for this purpose:

An Industrial Palette
Poxon buys three or four large tubes of each color at a time, so as not to feel precious about paint. He uses mainly Winsor & Newton watercolors, but also likes Daler-Rowney’s permanent blue, which he ?nds mixes well with alizarin crimson to produce a range of dark tones. He never uses a single color on its own, always preferring to modify it with another.

“I think you get to the point where you reach instinctively for the same colors because you know what they deliver,” he says. Among his other favorites are cerulean blue and manganese blue. He considers those two colors to be close, except that manganese blue granulates, which can be a useful effect at times. Raw sienna and yellow ochre are also similar to one another, except that the ?rst granulates and the second is more opaque. Poxon especially likes to mix yellow ochre  with Hooker’s Green. Burnt sienna is another favorite, and occasionally he’ll turn to lemon yellow and burnt umber.

At one time the artist favored expensive brushes, but he decided they were making him too cautious. Now he uses a wide but cheaper selection of all types and shapes—“almost anything, really,” he says.

Reclaimed by Nature

To read more about Poxon’s unique approach to the medium and to find out how he transforms peeling paintwork and heaps of abandoned engineering parts into his emotionally charged realistic paintings, pick up your copy of the October 2010 issue of Watercolor Artist, now available as a handy digital download.



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