Thursday, June 2, 2011

Practical stuff

I'm teaching a friend how to oil paint. I don't really think of myself as knowing a lot or being an expert in painting- it's just something I do. However, in trying to teach my friend I realized that I not only know more than I realize, but also that I have so much information that has become such a part of me that trying to organize it in a teachable way is a good challenge.

There are so many things I don't even think about until I have to explain them to someone else. Laying out my palette is one of them. So, for anyone who's interested, here's how I lay out my paints so that I can find them without breaking my concentration.

Ok, so I separate the paints by warmer colors on the top row and cooler colors on the bottom row. The neutrals go along the sides.
On the top row I have (in order) crimson, red, orange, yellow, yellow ochre, and burnt umber. Though burnt umber and raw umber could probably be considered neutrals, I separate them so that I don't get confused- they can look so much alike on the palette! Burnt umber has a definite reddish tinge to it, though, so it goes up top. I love transparent colors, so I have a special place for them on my palette that many people may not have. My transparent reds and oranges go under their more conventional colors. So below my top row of warm colors I have brown pink, transparent earth red, transparent earth orange, and Indian yellow.
On the bottom row I have my cool colors. In order, they are Paynes grey, dioxazine purple, ultramarine blue, phthalo blue, manganese, phthalo turquoise, and raw umber. As I said, my neutrals go along the side. On the left I have Caucasian flesh tone and zinc white. On the right I have titanium white. I rarely use black, but if I did have it out it would go on one side or the other.

Of course your palette will probably look different because we use different colors or simply because you have found that another way works better for you. I just know that this works for me. People have asked, so I'm happy to share.
Have a great day everyone!

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