Thursday, December 11, 2008

What colors are on your palette?

This seems as good a time as any to 'reveal' my color palette...Okay, so this is sort of challenge that Doug Hoover and I posed to each other (the idea came from a post from a different Doug on Aaron Lifferths blog). Just a list of the everyday colors on one's palette. I'll list the brands, too, because that can have a major impact on the color in a few instances (and for sheer overkill, a partial scan of my color charts).

Here's my basics:
  • Gamblin Cadmium Lemon (a cool yellow)

  • Gamblin Cadmium Medium (a warm yellow)

  • Gamblin Cadmium Red Light (a warm red)

  • Lukas Primary Magenta (a cool red)

  • Gamblin Cobalt Teal (a warm blue)

  • Gamblin Ultramarine (a cool blue)

  • Daniel Smith Moonglow ( a neutral purple mix that makes a nice cool gray)

  • Shiva Olive Green (an earthy, neutral green that mixes to a nice warm gray)

  • Permalba White (a good, all purpose white with a nice buttery texture)

Although I must have a couple hundred tubes of paint, many languish in the back of the tabouret drawer. Other favorite colors that make regular appearances in paintings include:
  • Daniel Smith (original) Quinacridone Gold (sadly, no longer in production-- they make a 'green shade' version but in my book it falls short of the original)

  • Daniel Smith Pyrrol Red (a stunning pure red with no orange undertones)

  • Permalba Quinacridone Violet (I actually prefer Maimeri's, but once again, it seems to be off the market)

  • Rowney Alizarin Green (a bit like sap green but purer, more brilliant)

  • Gamblin Cobalt Green (this brand is a bluer green than others)

  • Schminke Cinnabar Green (A marvelous color than leans way more to blue than green--also sadly, no longer available! --But a fairly equivalent mixture can be made with Cyan blue and Cadmium Yellow Light)

  • Daniel Smith Raw Umber Violet (a rich earth color infused with brown and purple tones)

So, with so many favorite colors 'out of print' (so to speak) what does that say about me? That I like weird colors or I've been painting too long?


  1. Thank you for sharing your palette colors with us! There are a couple of colors I want to try and experiment with. It will be like using the tools of the masters.

  2. I used to love the Daniel Green 'gold' in watercolors - didn't know they carried it in oil - now that I do I'm sorry they discontinued it! And do you notice a difference in the Permalba in the last year? Much thicker? I have 4 tubes that I simply couldn't work with they needed so much thinning - after using permalba white alone for about 3 years!

  3. Hi Kelley,

    Looks like Daniel Smith stills carries the Quinacridone Gold in watercolors in both a regular and deep version... for some reason in the oil paints the Quin Gold is now a 'green shade'. It's a nice color, too; I jhust liked the old one better. Maybe the original pigment was too expensive or rare.

    On the Permalba, I guess I've been lucky; I go through several tubes a year and they seem consistently 'buttery'. If you still have those old tubes, maybe you can return for new ones? Sometimes the suppliers are very reasonable about this.

    Last year I ordered about two dozen 'The Edge' canvases online, and the surface on them was awful-- slippery plasticky and very different from previous batches-- they kept sucking the paint up and in two cases paint started to PEEL (!!! and with a show deadline looming). I called customer service and they replaced every single one of them.


Thank you for your kind comments! They always make my day.