25 May 2013

updated color choices

Recently, in the "spirit of discardia", I have even reduced the number of watercolors I keep on-hand, cutting my studio colors down to 24. Some of these were stumbled on through other artists' experiments, some are from the original 12 I was introduced to in 2005, and one or two were even accidents that decided to stay. That quinacridone violet was sent to me by mistake and the company told me to just keep it. I found it makes a wonderful shadow-violet when mixed with burnt umber!

I have Da Vinci's cobalt turquoise, but wanted to test it against Winsor & Newton's cobalt turquoise light that Liz Steel likes before adding one of them to my chart. Unfortunately, I can't buy it in this area and ordered it on-line --- not here yet.

I don't use buff titanium or lunar blue much . . . but sometimes I find only they will do. (Lunar blue is wonderful for single-color sketches!) The sap green is purely for convenience, being a mixture of phthalo green and quinacridone gold, but this brand is one of the cleanest versions I've found.

Normally I stick with transparent colors rather than more opaque choices, but some colors like cerulean blue and potter's pink just can't be matched. I prefer single-pigment colors, leading to much less "mud" in mixes (Not that I don't still make a bit of mud now and then!). I sometimes miss cadmium red --- it makes a wonderfully textured marble gray when mixed with cerulean blue. But it just doesn't play well with other colors.

The codes underneath are for transparency, whether they stain or granulate, and the brand. DS = Daniel Smith, W & N = Winsor & Newton, AJ = American Journey, and Schm = Schmincke.

UPDATE: The cobalt turquoise light arrived and I am definitely switching to it! More transparent and makes lovely mixed greens.


  1. Lovely selection of colors.. thanks for sharing.. I so love color I don't think I could par down totally to just 24... I usually only carry 12, but have many more in reserve that I swap out depending on the season. Summer calls for yellows and blues... with a touch of red for contrast :-)

  2. Hello, Elaine! How are you?
    It is VERY hard to pare down all those luscious colors out there. Like you, I swap out whichever fits the season or my mood, carrying around 12 or less in smaller sets. I still have some of the colors I've removed from this group leftover in pans -- I'll use them up to reclaim the pans.


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