12 June 2018

thoughts on my 30 x 30 palette

A third of the way through this 30 x 30 Direct Watercolor challenge, and I’ve been using a modified palette based on Marc’s minimum selection (with substitutions wherever I already owned similar colors) . . .

After trying the different colors, I changed a few of the choices in my mini-pan set that usually lives in my purse. This set contains many convenience colors for when I just want to paint without taking time to mix. (And as you can see in the top row of the color map, I made an additional change after painting the map: I had Indian red but it’s a color I just haven’t learned to like, so I replaced it with burnt umber.)

I prefer transparent red oxide to quinacridone gold deep as my earth-orange. It seems more versatile and lively. I already love the effects you get from buff titanium and goethite. I do not like using Naples yellow — too opaque and dull! And even though orange is decidedly Not my favorite color, it is a good one to have available. In fact, I switched out my normal pyrrol scarlet for the reddish transparent pyrrol orange.

I replaced phthalo green, which I only use in mixes, with a variety of useful greens that can be used directly. Keeps painting simple! I love the usefulness of grey of grey much more than expected. But I prefer my mixed gray (ultramarine stirred together in the pan with either burnt sienna or burnt umber) over neutral tint.

Though I already had perylene maroon in my set, I definitely miss quinacridone rose for reds and pinks! The red you get from mixing the maroon with pyrrol orange is subtle but not as bright as is sometimes wanted.

For this 30 day challenge, I will probably continue to use the watercolors based on Marc’s minimum palette. Using color I’m not used to is a good stretching exercise!

I also wrote up this guideline ‘cheat sheet’ from Marc’s book, “Direct Watercolor”, and his blog — just to keep in mind as I paint this month!

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