View Full Version : Robert Gamblin Speaks of Palettes and Plein Air

04-24-2000, 07:49 PM
This is a side note from Robert Gamblin who is the founder of Gamblin Artist Colors,in answer to a couple of questions about palettes and plein air.

[email protected]

Here are a few things, first this is the simplified palette I mentioned
during the chat:

Simplified Palette 8 colors: first Color is Modern, second choice is

Cool Yellow : Hansa Light or Cad Yellow light
Warm Yellow: Hansa Medium or Cad Yellow Medium
Warm red: Napthol Scarlet or Cad Red Light
Cool Red: Quinacridone Red or Alizarin Permanent
Warm Blue: Ultramarine blue
Cool Blue: Manganese Blue Hue
White of your Choice
Black of your Choice
To this I would also add either a Phthalo Green, or Viridian

But here is my palette, it is a stop on the way, but is the product of a
30 year evolution: Each line is a location on the color wheel. I would
take this palette to Giverny. Going to Santa Fe I would add my earth Reds
and Cobalt Green.

Radiant Lemon
Cadmium Yellow Medium
Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Orange
Radiant Red, Cadmium Red Light
Radiant Magenta, Alizarin Permanent
Radiant Violet, Ultramarine Violet
Radiant Blue, Ultramarine Blue
Radiant Turquoise, Manganese Blue
Radiant Green, Viridian
Cadmium Green
Van Dyke Brown
Flake White Replacement, or Quick Dry White, or Titanium White

Having the heart of my palette at two different values, one a Radiant, one a
pure color is fabulous. It saves me scads of mixing time.

Painting on site out of doors is one of the hardest things one can do. I am
addicted to it as many are.

My recommendations:

Relax, don't judge your work while you are working.

Don't try to get it done while standing there, just deal with the day.

Work on the piece again while it is wet and fresh without the scene in front
of you, to simplify and clarify.

Be yourself. Look for the visual ideas that you are always interested in.

The more beautiful something is the harder it is to paint.

Don't paint Flowers, paint the masses.

Painting out of doors is difficult, painting a beautiful garden makes it
even harder.

I was in Belgium last Fall in a group centered around Wolf
Kahn (Randel from the chat was there too). One day we painted as guests in
an extraordinarily beautiful garden at a Castle-ette. I ended up going the
farthest point of the garden and painted what I could see looking out from
the garden rather than the garden itself. Had a great day and bagged the
best painting from the trip.

Mind the tack and thickness of the paint closely. Start out thin and a
little dry so that paint can be applied over the top without picking up the
bottom. Using Galkyd or Galkyd lite in thin underlayers greatly facilitates
this, then the top layer can be of a lower tack, lighter viscosity and you
can do two wet layers at once.

Hope this is helpful, I could go on and on. But as you know, with art we
are really teaching ourselves.


04-25-2000, 02:10 AM
Thanks so much for posting this.....It certainly has enhanced my learning process in oils.


[This message has been edited by RyderArt (edited April 25, 2000).]

Phyllis Franklin
02-12-2001, 01:02 PM
Bring this forward for reference.

Phy...llis Franklin
Create every day
Blackberry Ridge Studio & Art Gallery (http://prf.artistnation.com) <----my shameless plug.
Click here to sign up for 1 of the Community Projects! (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Projects/) Another shamless plug.

02-12-2001, 07:14 PM
Thank you very much for this. As someone who is just starting out in plein air painting I need all the help I can get. I am so turned on with painting on location, it is freedom I thought I would never have in the painting experience. It does seem a bit intimating at first, but in a short time you become so envolved that you are just lost in the whole experience. I only wish I would have started plein air years ago.

Phyllis Franklin
02-12-2001, 08:51 PM
I know exactly how you feel. Just last year I had my first experience painting outside. It really is fun and a great deal different. I like new challenges.

Phy...llis Franklin
Create every day
Blackberry Ridge Studio & Art Gallery (http://prf.artistnation.com) <----my shameless plug.
Click here to sign up for 1 of the Community Projects! (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Projects/) Another shamless plug.