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Old 04-07-2004, 09:27 AM   #1
Richard Budig Richard Budig is offline
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Very limited palette




After puttering with practically every palette I could find, I have to say that I believe I can paint 95% of most skin tones with nothing more than cad red light, yellow ocher, black (ivory) and white.

And I say this with all due respect to every palette in the world, both from living and dead artists.

I don't mean to imply that using only two colors and black and white is, or should be, the only way. It isn't, of course. It's nice to have enough color on your palette that you can dip into whatever you need and use it with little modification.

For me, it was more a confidence thing. The more variations I could mix with this very restricted palette, the better I felt and the more I learned.
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Old 04-07-2004, 09:54 AM   #2
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
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Hi Richard.

You have a good point there. It is like knowing your instrument as the tool it is.
This was Anders Zorn
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Old 04-07-2004, 10:04 AM   #3
Michele Rushworth Michele Rushworth is offline
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Rubens is said to have used only the same four colors for all his skintones, with the exception of Venetian Red instead of Cad Red Light.
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Old 11-17-2004, 10:29 AM   #4
Margaret Port Margaret Port is offline
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question Another limited palette!!

I have recently begun using only magenta, phalo blue, yellow light, white and a cad red. I am amazed at the range of colours I can mix with just these few tubes. Especially when depicting figures in bright sunlight.
I am now wondering what to do with my dozens of expensive tubes of paint.

Has anyone else tried this palette??
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Old 11-17-2004, 10:36 AM   #5
Linda Brandon Linda Brandon is offline
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Hi Margaret, you haven't posted for a long time, welcome back!

I'm just wondering if you get all the various shades of outdoor greens that your heart desires with this palette.
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Old 11-17-2004, 11:11 AM   #6
Michele Rushworth Michele Rushworth is offline
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John Burton, well known plein aire painter from Arizona, works with a very limited palette, too. (one red, one yellow, one blue, plus white.) Every six months or so he switches to a different set of red/yellow/blue colors to see how he likes those. You could stick with the palette you have for a while, then when you run out, try a different trio.
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Old 11-17-2004, 03:58 PM   #7
Richard Budig Richard Budig is offline
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Another limited palette

Here is a limited palette espoused by Jose Parramon in his book, Theh Big Book Of Oil Color. It works fine. He gives many descriptions of making every color there is, including earth colors, with these few colors:

Alizarin Crimson
Cad Yellow Medium
Prussian Blue
White

Prussian Blue is a very powerful color, and so you can get some industrial strength greens from it with CYM.

CYM and AC will give you reds going from "true" red out to the orange reds.

All three mixed in various combination will give cold, neutral and warm blacks.

Right now, I'm using vermilion, a mix of yellow ocher and cad yellow medium. burnt sienna, cobalt blue and raw umber. For very dark darks (warm or cool) I use aliz crimson, ultramarine blue, and burnt sienna. You can get very warm or very cool darks with this.
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Old 11-17-2004, 06:12 PM   #8
Tom Edgerton Tom Edgerton is offline
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I took a workshop with Shane Neal last spring, and one exercise was to paint from life with five colors: white, ultramarine blue, cad yellow medium (I think), cad red light, and alizarin crimson. Not just the skin tones, but the whole painting. My model had near black hair, and after some brief struggle, I even got a deep black with the same colors. I didn't find it any more daunting than painting with my usual palette.

As you might guess, my result was much fresher, less labored and really satisfying to have done, more so than a subsequent painting of the same model and lighting with the fuller palette. It really opened my eyes.

I'm beginning to think that the curse of living in our society and our time is the curse of too much choice.

(But I still wouldn't want to grind them.)

Best--TE
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Old 11-17-2004, 07:57 PM   #9
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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I get great results with raspberry jam and peanut butter, washed down with grape juice; on white bread, of course.
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Old 11-17-2004, 08:59 PM   #10
Tom Edgerton Tom Edgerton is offline
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Marvin--

Always thought your work looked good enough to eat... Haw!

Best as always--TE

(Though come to think of it, the luscious array of colors on the Mattleson/Paxton palette obscures the fact that it's mixed from only four basic colors plus white and black. Not counting the bread.)
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