Tuesday, November 18

Learning About Color Palettes

Today’s Image

Continuing last blog’s topic of color palettes, I’ll tell you how I progressed in my color education since renewing my interest in art and painting in the summer of 2007. The discussion is mainly about my interest and journey in acrylics and how I progressed in that medium although I also made color choices with pastels and oils, too. Today's Image represents mixing colors with a color palette.

In past Orbisplanis blogs I told how starting with graphite and pen & ink drawings, I then tried pastels before moving to acrylics (and some oil) painting. When I first worked with pastels, I learned about their unique properties and characteristics mainly through trial and error. If you’ve painted with pastels, then you know that, more often than not, you really need a pastel of a specific color rather than mixing or blending. Of course, artists do blend, mix, and scumble pastels all the time to achieve specific colors. However, you may have noticed that sets of pastels come in no less than boxes of 12 and more often they are offered in sets of 24, 48, 64, 128, etc. These boxes are your pastel color palette although you may only use a subset of them for a particular piece.

At the time, I acquired several boxes of pastels, one with 64 colors. While experimenting with pastels to achieve pleasing colors, what I really needed was something that would help me with mixing colors. One day while at Barnes & Noble I quite unexpectedly found this: The Acrylic Paint Colorwheel book. At the time, I did not realize this was but one in a series of ‘colorwheel’ books that were available not only for acrylics but also for pastels, oil, and watercolor. Had I known there was also a pastel ‘colorwheel’ book I would have looked for it. But I was glad to find a book that provided a simple formula for mixing colors, albeit acrylics, and I bought it with the idea that I could use the same principles for pastels, which I did.

But I digress. Long story short, after a couple of months of pastel painting using the colorwheel book, I was also reading it and all about acrylics. I decided to give acrylics a try. The cover of the book is actually a colorwheel, which is a recommended palette. Without using acrylic paint brand names, only the generic and traditional names of colors, the palette is: cobalt blue, ultramarine, paynes’ gray, viridian, burnt sienna, yellow ochre, cadmium lemon, cadmium yellow, orange, cadmium red, permanent rose, and violet.

Using this book, I also learned the difference between hue, tone, and color, and a whole lot more. Next blog I will review The Acrylic Paint Colorwheel book in In the Art Library.


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