“The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.” — Alberto Giacometti
Are you ready to break out your creativity in the New Year?
In my first, Free Design Tutorial post, I introduced thirteen perfect colors (plus black and white) to build a rich artistic painting palette. As you practice painting with this palette you’ll also be training your brain to identify color intensities and how they work to build realistic depth.
The pigments in these colors perfectly mix when painting watercolors, oils, acrylics. The next several posts will include easy-to-follow formulas that detail mixing directions according to where they are going to be applied.
The palette consists of seven bright colors for building depth in the foreground and middleground when they are used correctly with the six dull colors. The dull colors are used in the background.
The Seven Bright Colors
Tip: Be sure and purchase higher quality paints. Sometimes the cheaper paints are not mixed in proper portions and they may lack luminosity.
I have included a six-digit combination of numbers, which is called a HEX code or reference, that represents the letters and numbers that define the mix of red, green, and blue (aka “RGB”).
This is the most accurate shorthand sequence so you won’t have to figure out the RGB values. There are plenty of free conversion tools online if you want to learn more about how the codes are created.
If you create digital art, the HEX codes can be entered into most painting programs to form your palette.
The seven bright colors are:
- Windsor Blue
- Burnt Sienna
- New Gamboge
- Windsor Red
- Windsor Emerald
- Cadmium Orange
The Six Dull Colors Plus Black
Most of the color names in this palette are universal. Alizarin Crimson is sometimes referred to as Rose Madder. Mauve may differ in hue between different manufacturers, so seek the richest color of Mauve or pick one that matches the RGB code for the color I have specified.
The six dull colors, plus black are:
- Alizarin Crimson (Rose Madder)
- Naples Yellow
- Yellow Ochre
- Raw Sienna
- Burnt Umber
- UltraMarine Blue
- Ivory Black
A Note About White: I haven’t listed white as one of the colors. But also pick up a tube of bright white or a specific white that is designed to work with your chosen brand and medium.
In the next Free Design Tutorial post you’ll receive a guide for setting up your palette. It makes mixing colors easy and includes a tonal range key for creating the sky and clouds.
Table of Contents for the Perfect Palette Series
- The Many Hues of Color
- Best Palette Colors to Build Depth
- The Double Primary Palette
- Painting Blue and Cloudy Skies
- Mixing Colors for Painting the Background
- Painting Mountains
- How the Middle Ground Creates Harmony
- Stepping Into the Foreground
- Laying Down Foreground Foundations: Rocks, Tree Mounds, etc.