View Full Version : Colors used in Creating Confident Color video workshop

03-04-2009, 01:29 PM
Someone has requested a list of the colors I use in Creating Confident Color video. I use different brands and pigments in a variety of mediums, but most of the colors are widely available. The key to compatible harmony colors is that the colors match in transparency, intensity and tinting strength. You can substitute colors in your choice of brands.

Here is the list of watercolors I generally use for the harmony compatible colors.
delicate--rose madder genuine or permanent rose; aureolin; cobalt blue
standard--cadmium red; new gamboge; French ultramarine
intense--pyrrol red, permanent red, or alizarin crimson; transparent or Hansa yellow; phthalo blue (green shade)
opaque--Indian red; yellow ochre; cerulean blue
old masters--burnt sienna; yellow ochre; Payne's gray
bright earth--brown madder; raw sienna; indigo

You can make up your own combinations from the colors you have, using three colors to represent red, yellow and blue in high or low intensity. There are several additional combinations in my book, Confident Color, along with a chart of 70 pigments identified by their ASTM names.

For the split primary wheel I usually use:
cadmium lemon or any other lemon except for nickel titanate; new gamboge, cadmium yellow or Indian yellow; phthalo blue (green shade); French ultramarine; alizarin crimson, quinacridone magenta or permanent rose; pyrrol red, permanent red or cadmium red. Here is a link to the split-primary wheel on my Web site: http://www.nitaleland.com/articles/split.htm

For the expanded palettes I recommend starting with the six in your split-primary color wheel and adding colors you like, to complete the 12-pigment color wheel . Here is a list of some colors I use to fill out my expanded palette:

cadmium scarlet or cadmium red light
pyrrol orange or cadmium orange
permanent green light or phthalo green (yellow shade)
Hooker's green
turquoise blue or phthalo turquoise
blue violet or ultramarine violet
dioxazine violet

I hope this information helps you with the video workshop.


03-04-2009, 01:42 PM
Hello Nita,
I will be subscribing to the video workshop and have read your books- thank you for the helpful list here and i am really looking forward to the video!

03-04-2009, 01:54 PM
Hello Nita,
I will be subscribing to the video workshop and have read your books- thank you for the helpful list here and i am really looking forward to the video!
Donna--Write me here if you have any questions.

06-22-2009, 04:19 PM
how do you set up a transparent/non-staining palette?

06-22-2009, 05:04 PM
You need to test your colors for transparency on watercolor paper by painting a brush stroke over a 1/2-inch black line made with waterproof ink. The colors you can't see on top of the line are transparent. Those that cover the line are opaque. The rest are semi-transparent.

Make a swatch of each of your transparent and semi-transparent colors on watercolor paper. Let the swatches dry thoroughly. Use a natural sponge to remove the color without damaging the paper. Colors that can't be removed are staining. The rest would be your transparent non-staining palette.

I hope this helps.

02-02-2010, 03:17 PM
Does anyone have the acrylic equivalent colors for the Split primary wheel?

I want to get the Golden or Liquitex fluid acrylics and some of these watercolor colors listed either have no equivalent, like new new gamboge.

Liquitex acrylic color chart (http://www.dickblick.com/products/liquitex-soft-body-acrylics/)

The cadmium colors come in 3 different values: light, medium and deep. There is no cadmium lemon. Is cadmium light the equivalent? What is the regular "cadmium yellow" listed? Is that the medium? Also which cadmium red? Also they tend to come in HUES. "Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue." Are the hues okay to get? I read in another forum post that hues are mixes and tend to muddy other colors when mixed. :confused:

Alizarin Crimson is also a hue now, to be lightfast. Is alizarin crimson hue okay to get?

Thanks for any help. :)

02-02-2010, 08:59 PM
I can give you an approximation of the acrylic colors for the harmony triads. Even if paints are made with the same pigments, they vary widely from brand to brand and between mediums. The colors on the list below ought to work for the triad system, but if you don't like a color, you'll need to try another until you a combination you like. The acrylics colors aren't as extensive as watercolors. In the list below I've used only Golden colors. However, several are available only in Heavy Body and not Fluid Acrylics. You can add gloss or matte medium to them and make your own fluid paints. The pigment load is very intense and it won't dilute with the addition of medium. You might find the proportions for mixing on the Golden site, www.goldenpaint.com. I'm sorry, but I don't have time to look it up right now. Here are the triads I think might work:
Acrylic Triad Palettes
from Nita Leland

Pyrrole Red *
Hansa Yellow Light
Phthalo Blue Red Shade *

Quinacridone Red Light
Cadmium Yellow Primrose
Cobalt Blue

Cadmium Red Light *
Hansa Yellow Medium *
Ultramarine Blue *

Modern High Intensity
Quinacridone Magenta *
Hansa Yellow Light
Phthalo Blue Green Shade

Red Oxide
Yellow Ochre
Cerulean Blue Chromium

Old Masters
Burnt Sienna *
Yellow Oxide
Neutral Gray #N2

Bright Earth
Quinacridone Burnt Orange
Raw Sienna 3
Payne’s Gray3

Modern Low Intensity
Quinacridone Crimson
Nickel Azo Yellow
Anthraquinone Blue

Good luck! Let me know how they turn out.

If a cadmium color has no designation of light, medium, or dark, then it is medium. However, these colors differ greatly among brands, so choose them with care. New Gamboge is a medium, warm yellow and not available in acrylics, that I know of. If a color is labeled a "hue," then it hasn't been made with the traditional pigment; a substitute has been created in a lab. It may not be as powerful as the true pigment, but if you like the color and it works for you, don't be afraid to use it. Just be aware that most "hues" are found in student grade colors, which have a lower pigment load and may have fillers and additives in them. Quinacridone Crimson would be the substitute for Alizarin in Golden acrylics.

Mixtures get muddy when you don't understand the color principles of the split-primary color-mixing system. The list above has *after the 7 colors I use for the system described in my books and on my Web site http://www.nitaleland.com/articles/split.htm . (Burnt Sienna is used to make earth colors from the mixtures of the other colors.)

I hope this helps.