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View Poll Results: number of colors on my most frequently used palettes
1 color: I do only monochromes 0 0%
2 colors: only two colors in my palette please 0 0%
3 colors: I'm a primary guy/gal 4 1.24%
4 colors: one color for every quadrant, or not 6 1.86%
5-6 colors 24 7.43%
7-9 colors 39 12.07%
10-14 colors 91 28.17%
15-20 colors 71 21.98%
21-26 colors 54 16.72%
27-32 colors 18 5.57%
33-38 colors 10 3.10%
39-52 colors 9 2.79%
>52 oh, thank you for not making votes public! 19 5.88%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 323. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-27-2019, 06:08 PM
Pesto126 Pesto126 is offline
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Re: How many colors on your palette?

I started with the typical 3 warm/3 cool YRB .... learned to mix combos that were useful for my urban sketches... once I figured out my style, I bought some other colors to mix in for deeper shades... a few convenience colors as well. In the end, my palette contains about 24 colors... though I can see moving up to 36 sometime soon!
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Old 05-02-2019, 11:06 AM
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virgil carter virgil carter is offline
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Re: How many colors on your palette?

I wonder how many folks keep track of the actual number of paints used in a painting? Does anyone actually use 20-30 paints or more in a painting?

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Old 05-02-2019, 08:06 PM
oldey oldey is offline
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Re: How many colors on your palette?

I keep track. Oh absolutely not would I use 20! No way do I even use 20 -30 even considering the convenience colors I use. I have at least 30 on my studio palette, divided into the basic sections being, basic 12, opaques, and granulating. I am thinking maybe 12 at most would I use in a single painting, often less.
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:44 AM
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Colorful Easel Colorful Easel is offline
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Re: How many colors on your palette?

Quote:
Originally Posted by virgil carter
I wonder how many folks keep track of the actual number of paints used in a painting? Does anyone actually use 20-30 paints or more in a painting?

Sling paint,
Virgil

Holy cats. It seems to be a rookie mistake, which I am totally guilty of. I had 40 plus in all mediums, which would take days to figure out which ones would work well in the current painting (which ever that may be). It was out of a total delight for color and laziness for mixing. Kinda like what happened as a kid with the 72 to 120 box of Crayola Crayons. At 42 I still have trouble choosing color, and tried today, actually, to seriously get my palette ‘right’ for me. Seems to be a struggle, but what fun it is, really, I’ll probably die happily mixing colors, making color notes, and it wouldn't be in vain. It’s therapeutic, and a journey. Thus far, there are seven main tubes and three alternate–too lazy to mix colors. I rid myself of all other colors so I can focus on creating an actual picture!
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Old 05-04-2019, 09:47 AM
oldey oldey is offline
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Re: How many colors on your palette?

Colorful Easel - There is nothing wrong with using a large number of paints. If it's your personal process and it works for you go for it!
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Old 05-04-2019, 11:15 AM
briantmeyer briantmeyer is online now
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Re: How many colors on your palette?

Quote:
Originally Posted by virgil carter
I wonder how many folks keep track of the actual number of paints used in a painting? Does anyone actually use 20-30 paints or more in a painting?

Sling paint,
Virgil
I will

But it is based on logic, and i figured out modes of working, and in each mode i have 6 base colors. So i will start with staining, using 6 colors. These give me strong values. Then i go to granulating, this is for adding texture on top of the prior. Finally its opaques, as these give me scumbles, but also cloudiness and such. Each has 6, but in three modes that is 18, so the oddball colors really easily send it over 20, maybe even 30.

So i might start with a flesh tone using pyrrole orange — with benzi yellow, benzi brown and pyrrole red all mixed up. Pthalo blue tones that orange.

Then its WN burnt sienna, modified by yellow ochre, ultramarine, trans red oxode.

Finally its venetian red/naples yellow deep hue, with burnt umber, caput mortum to modify.

Thats 12 colors, just for one portion of a picture, but the mixing is similar from mode to mode, i am switching modes to use properties which differ.
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Old 05-04-2019, 11:27 AM
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virgil carter virgil carter is offline
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Re: How many colors on your palette?

Brian, what subject(s) do you paint in the technique you describe?

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Old 05-20-2019, 02:29 PM
briantmeyer briantmeyer is online now
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Re: How many colors on your palette?

Primarily Jazz subjects weekly ( figure drawing moving figures ) at a concert every wednesday night.
I do plein air every month, probably 1-2 times in addition more like urban sketching, ocean scapes, parks and other touristy spots. I really approach the previous jazz just like plein air, same setup.
Occasional figure drawing sessions from live models ( not moving ).
Works from imagination ( political art, social justice art ) using some photograhpic references, this is in my studio. I am more often working from life/plein air.

I am working really fast, in an evening of jazz from 6-11, I will have completed over 12 paintings. The stuff in the studio is slower, and its here that I will use all three, in the field i am just picking and choosing which set of tools as I go.

Here are examples ( from the jazz ) of specific portions of the palette.
Granulating

This is entirely granulating - I just got da vinci paints versions of ultramarine blue, yellow ochre, and burnt sienna. Frankly I tend to avoid granulation because its my comfort zone, this is one specific night where I know I just used this range. This is a really old piece at this point, but it shows the relationships between my palettes.

staining

This is almost entirely staining, mostly pyrrole for the skin, but the forearm is using the opaques. ( probably a bit of opaques but not enough to be material ).

opaques

This is largely using opaques for my colors, using my phthalo black hue ( PB15,PR179,PG7) which effectively is usable much like ink in japanese sumi. ( I am studying traditional japanese ink painting under a master of that ) Note how dull and opaque the skin tones are. I actually have found pyrrole red, though its staining, I use it almost like a cadmium since it really is opaque in mass tone. See how the venetian red/naples yellow deep interacts with the black, its really heavy. I also used that opacity to put the hand on top of the trumpet. I am probably going to paint this again in the studio, using photo references.

All of them have a similar appearance since I matched the colors. But I have different properties. This lets me use different sets of colors - entirely different palettes, but they are designed to match and work the same as my original granulating palette, so it does not create a conflict, most probably would think I am just using one palette. I can use any of the various 3 palettes alone and basically get a similar general appearance.

Some of the differences - such as the opacity of skin, the satin finish or dull finish, the subtle texture, these are hard to see in scans.

Last edited by briantmeyer : 05-20-2019 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:26 PM
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Triduana Triduana is offline
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Re: How many colors on your palette?

I keep track of the paints I use in all my paintings - I keep a spreadsheet with colours, size, time taken, photo source etc. Usually I use five or six paints in a picture, occasionally up to ten.
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:32 AM
jyaan jyaan is online now
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Re: How many colors on your palette?

I keep track too, and write it on the back in pencil. Generally about half a dozen.
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Old 06-03-2019, 04:23 AM
frozenn_a frozenn_a is offline
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Re: How many colors on your palette?

I usually plan what colors i will use for a painting and allow myself the leeway to add a couple more as i go along if i need it. so usually it is 5-7 colours with this going to 8/9 on very rare occasions. This allows me to understand each colour better.
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:03 AM
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cliftonprince cliftonprince is offline
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Re: How many colors on your palette?

How many in a given painting? Usually five, four, three, somewhere in that range. I very much value to unity and cohesion that a more limited palette TENDS to lend to a finished work. (I say "tends" because, generally speaking, I can't personally rely on the appearance of that unity or cohesion most of the time.) Sometimes that number is, after the last moment, augmented by as many as two or three un-mixed pure dots of color for highlights, sort of like how the Zbukvic school inserts some cadmium-red-orange in at the signature juncture regardless of the purples and greens elsewhere in the painting. I like using the shocking cads for that purpose; but I have also found that GRAPHITE (new Daniel Smith paint, PBk 10, shiny like real graphite from pencils because it IS real grapite) and a few of the mineral-laced Daniel Smith paints also add nice electric-like highlights. So the total for the MAIN composition remains at five, four, three, but the total for the WHOLE sheet of paper can get up to seven, six.
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