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Old 05-02-2012, 01:58 PM
sabana sabana is offline
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New Palette. How do I arrange the colours?

Hi all. My second post is a follow on from my first. As some of you may know I had a dilemma with which palette to choose. To cut a long story short I went for the Holbein 1000 as I wanted the extra mixing space and I preferred the well arrangement over the 500 version. Despite being a bit of a 'lefty' I felt I could alternate between my left and right hand when holding the palette.

Okay thats sorted. But now my second problem.

I have the following W&N colours to put into the wells.

Cadmium Yellow Pale
Cadmium Yellow
Ultramarine Violet
Burnt Umber
Cerulean Blue
Davys Grey
Burnt Sienna
Rose Dore
Perylene Violet
Raw Umber
Vandyke Brown
Brown Ochre
Venetian Red
Turners Yellow
Naples yellow
Quindradone Red
Cobalt Blue
Cadmium Orange
French Ultramarine
Alizirin crimson
Quindradone gold
Winsor Violet
Yellow Ochre
Sap Green
Indian Red
Chinese White
Ivory Black

"I know this is way to many but its what I've got and I have plenty of wells to fill .


I don't know whether to go with a warm to cool, or a colour spectrum approach. Or to isolate the earth colours on one side. Or to isolate the blues. Or to isolate the neutrals,grays,blacks etc on one side. Or to put opaque and transparent colours apart. Basically tha palette has 12 wells running along the top. 4 at the side. And 4 on the near flap running from the edge to the centre.

Maybe just start with 16. But what order?

I am coming form an oil background and I use a limited palette. I feel maybe the extra choices are hindering me. But I would like to layout the colours first and then decide. I believe Joseph Zbukvich uses the Holbein 1000 and isolates the blues on the left?

Have you a favourite approach? Thanks for any replies.
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:40 PM
LittleSkink LittleSkink is offline
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Re: New Palette. How do I arrange the colours?

have you tried playing with a large plate/platter to see what works best for you?

personally I only use 8 colours and mostly paint landscape, so for me I like the primaries and the earths apart (so I now which blue is which as much as anything) but have helpful pairs like Ultramarine Blue next to Burnt Umber for an easy neutral. On reflection I seem to have gone cool to warm also - though that wasnt deliberate it does seem helpful

with the wide selection you have I guess a few of those are rarely used so maybe leave a couple of empty spaces for when you really need them? And I guess even though the well is there you dont have to fill it?
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:43 PM
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Re: New Palette. How do I arrange the colours?

Wow! That's a lot of colours. I would arrange them in the order of a colour wheel, putting earth colours between the yellows and reds.

Doug
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:53 PM
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Re: New Palette. How do I arrange the colours?

Sabana, So you got it already? Great. What do you think of it regarding size etc.?
At any rate, I'll chime in on my 2 cents. You might want to think of "if I only had 16 who would be on most certainly get a seat on the boat" approach..... From there my preference is to put them in the palette like this" Start with your warm colors, yellows, then orange, then reds and then switch to the cools- your blues, purple and maybe the green (I have tried my best to like sap green and I'm about to take it off my palette and sub in an earth green or olive...I've always got to alter sap green anyway). I wouldn't put the red and green next to each other since they are compliments and could muddy each other if specks of one get into the other well.
After you've done that, then I would separate out your neutrals. If you are very comfortable mixing your complementary colors to get blacks that you like, I'd leave that off and save it for another color (up to you of course).

From what you have listed, to me, "musts" would be French UM Blue, Cobalt blue. You've got 5 reds listed. I'd knock that down to 3 or 4 with Quin Red being one of them (if you have PERMANENT Aliz.Crimson- then that is must, if not leave it off - fugitive=fades). The other 2- I'd pick one that is cool and one that is warm (do a brush stroke swipe of the others and pick from that. (also think about how often you'd use a possible choice. If it fits the warm cool thing but you rarely use it, forget it) You've got 6 yellows listed. I'd back that down to 3 if you can or 4 at most. I'd take 1 cad yellow, yellow ochre, quin gold and 1 more if you want to do 4. I'm a fan of naples but it is opaque if you care, I'm not familiar with Turner's. You've got 3 violet/purples - if you are pressed for space, cut it to one (think about what color you really just love all on it's own) If you have to have 2, go one warm (red side/majenta looking) and one cool side/bluish.
Regarding neutrals: Van D brown or B. Umber, pick one, B. Sienna (unless your Indian Red is super close and you like it better.... look at the differences between Venetian Red, B Sienna and Ind.Red you could pick just one of those to be in the neutral catagory perhaps). I'm not familiar with brown ochre but I'd like to be,,,sounds intriguing. You could do one red brown, 1 brown brown, 1 gray & that's it for that category.
I guess I'm saying, group your tube colors together as above then do process of elimination for each group to get it down to the number you like. If you are hesitant with a color but have decided on it, only put a small amount in the well, so it's easily removed if you later change your mind.

Well, that is my thought process on it. Let us know what you come up with.
Enjoy your new palette. Do you mind me asking where you ordered from and what price? If there is someplace cheaper than that artxpress.com, please tell me.

Nicole
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:04 PM
StephJBee StephJBee is offline
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Re: New Palette. How do I arrange the colours?

One thing I learned awhile back is to try to keep my yellows far, far away from very potent pigments, particularly greens and blues. Particularly if the yellow paint is fresh, just a small blob of Pthalo Green or Blue can taint the whole well. My yellows are surrounded by reds and earth colors now.

This led to me dividing my palette into two sections-- one half includes reds, yellows and earths, and the other includes greens, blues, a purple, and Payne's Grey. Seems to work okay. I use 16 paints, for the record, though it feels like far too many and I'm considering downsizing to 8 or so (at least for a little while, until I get to know my paints better).
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:11 PM
sabana sabana is offline
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Re: New Palette. How do I arrange the colours?

@ molly007 http://www.cornelissen.com/holbein-e...tes-13299.html

Got lucky I guess.

The advice of elimination is great cheers. Love the lifeboat analogy.

@ LittleSkink . Yes lol, plenty of space left. I will be trying hard NOT to fill them.

@StephJBee I will try to protect the yellows yes. The separation of the colours looks good to me

@Yorky. Thanks I will do as you suggest as go for the wheel method or W&N spectrum to start. And yes far too many colours. I will have to be very selective.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:04 PM
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Re: New Palette. How do I arrange the colours?

S, congratulations--you have enought paints to last a long time. My guess is that you will not use more than 6-8 for any given painting, but it's good to have 16-20 available since every painting will likely have a different overall temperature, major hue and value scheme.

Arranging a palette is a very personal thing. The advice above is all good.

My suggestion echoes Doug's: arrange your paints in color wheel order, beginning with yellow. So much of painting (and thinking about color) has color wheel references so that arranging one's paints in that sequence can be very helpful. It's what I do. Of course, not everyone agrees, and so whatever works best is the best approach!

If you do follow the color wheel, remember that earth colors are simply grayed or neutralized major hues. Neutrals such as Indigo, Neutral Tint, Sepia, and other grays and browns, however, may best be located by themselves at the end of your color sequence, since they will be used as warm or cool darkening and graying neutrals.

A final suggestion might be to save 1-2 empty wells for "guest" colors that come and go, depending on your color whims and fanceys. Here's a typical studio palette approach which starts with yellows at the lower left and works through a range of the color specturm, ending with 2 "guest wells", followed by Indigo as a darkening neutral, at the upper right:



Hope this helps.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:36 PM
sashntash sashntash is offline
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Re: New Palette. How do I arrange the colours?

I love colors.. all colors... I have 30

I use the color wheel approach.

I start with my coolest lemon yellow then go to warm yellows, orange, warm reds, cool reds, purple, warm blues, cool blues, bluish greens, yellowish greens... and then put any earth/neutral colors last (I only have a couple of those.)

As Virgil said, you won't use all of your colors in any one painting.. but it never hurts to have lots of colors to choose from.... however, most will disagree with me on that topic ...

In the end, we each have to do what works best for our personalities, our way of working, our subject matter and our techniques. There is no wrong way to set up your palette and there is no right way.

But I have found that a color wheel sequence works intuitively for me...
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:13 AM
LittleSkink LittleSkink is offline
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Re: New Palette. How do I arrange the colours?

as I am still figuring out my best layout, one thing I do is write the colour on the edge of my palette (well dinner plate actually) with an overhead projector pen like one of these:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Staedtler-Lu...28961& sr=1-1

some colours, particularly the blues I find hard to judge in the raw form so have been keeping them apart - from what I have read here I think I will go to a colour wheel palette and put my blues together to see if that works better for me
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:07 AM
sabana sabana is offline
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Re: New Palette. How do I arrange the colours?

More great advice above.

One silly question though. If I opt for the spectrum approach for laying out the palette. Is it risky to mix opaque with transparent colors?
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:24 AM
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virgil carter virgil carter is online now
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Re: New Palette. How do I arrange the colours?

S, watercolor paints tend to have categories: transparent, opaque, staining, to name three. Each category behaves predictably when mixed with paints of the same category. When one mixes paints from two or more categories, however, some wonderful, painterly effects can be created. These effects, however, may not always be predictable or controllable--which is a good thing for watercolor, IMO!

It's worth exploring on scraps to see what you like and don't by mixing paints from two or more categories. One can greatly extend one's painting effects by thoughtfully mixing paints from two or more categories.

For example, opaque paints tend to be heavy bodied pigments that often push the lighter, smaller transparent and staining pigments aside. Having done so, the heavier, fully saturated opaques may just sit still and and be colorful. Opaques are also great for flat, unmodeled shapes and masses of solid color. Opaques convey great strength and solidity.

Staining paints are the opposite: they run and flow everywhere with their small, penetrating pigments. They can be the ultimate in wild and crazy color effects, as they flow rapidly everywhere. They are wonderful for coverage in large washes and for highly saturated/intense passages. Since their pigments penetrate the paper's fibers, they are also very good for layering or painting with glazes, since their fully dried color is not easily lifted. While wet, however, staining paints can be almost completely lifted.

Risky to mix? No, I don't think so. Painterly and expressive? Absolutely.

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Old 05-03-2012, 11:26 AM
Mayberry Mayberry is offline
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Re: New Palette. How do I arrange the colours?

All I care about is not dripping or sloshing a dark color into a light color or a bright color into its complement. So it's nice to have the light colors the farthest from my painting hand, and the colors loosely grouped by hue.

Also, I like keeping the colors in the same place. So far I've never rearranged the colors in my palettes. My palettes become like my kitchen drawers. I can reach in and grab a salad fork or a potato peeler without hardly looking because my hand knows where to go, even though there's no particular reason why the potato peeler is next to the measuring spoons.
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