Palette 2011

From 2011 onwards I am using a different palette, exploring the "colour gamut" approach to paint mixing (as different to the "split primary" approach). This means I will be moving away from a particular theoretical palette and settling down on creating my own from experience. For example, I seem to prefer transparent paints over opaque ones, and I will start 2011 with a transparent palette. Opaque paints can be achieved by adding titanium white to a transparent paint, if needed.

Below is a list of paints which I will be using in 2011. Most of the paints have been selected attending to several important criteria:

  • location in the colour gamut space (I am aiming for the lesser amount of paints possible, which comes down to some seven basic paints to cover the traditional three primary and three secondary colours, plus the extension of the tonal range with black and white)
  • their transparency (I have a preference for transparent colours over opaque ones)
  • single pigmentation in the paint composition
  • their availability in the Winsor & Newton's acrylic paint range (I am trying not to mix acrylic paints from different manufacturers, in case they are chemically incompatible with each other)
  • previous experience on hues which I use the most (which form an extended, rather convenient, palette)
Basic "transparent gamut" palette Brand Lightfastness Transparency Notes
PB29 - Ultramarine blue Winsor & Newton Excellent (I) T Possibly, the most luminous violet blue.
PB15:3 - Phtalo blue green shade Winsor & Newton Excellent (I) T The closest to transparent process blue I could get within the W&N range
PR122 - Quinacridone violet Winsor & Newton Excellent (I) T Possibly, the most luminous violet red, ideal to cover the violet range when used with PB29. Should be the closest hue to process magenta.
PR209 - Quinacridone red Winsor & Newton Excellent (I) T A supporting red to help extend the range of transparent red hues.
PO73 - Pyrrole orange Winsor & Newton n/a (very good) ST Possibly, the most luminous orange in W&N's acrylic range. It is semi-transparent and its permanence has only being asserted by W&N, probably because of the rather young age of pyrroles.
PY3 - Lemon yellow Winsor & Newton Very good (II) ST Possibly, the most luminous yellow I could find in the (semi) transparent range.
PG36 - Phtalo green yellow shade Winsor & Newton Excellent (I) T Possibly, the most luminous transparent green in W&N's acrylic range.
PW6 - Mixing white Winsor & Newton Excellent (I) SO A white I may use for tints, in order to preserve as much transparency as possible.
Extended transparent palette Brand Lightfastness Transparency Notes
PB15:1 - Phtalo blue red shade Winsor & Newton Excellent (I) T A hue which I have used extensively in the past. I may prefer the red shade of PB15:1 to the green shade of PB15:3.
PV23 - Dioxazine purple Winsor & Newton Very good (II) T A convenience violet which may be easily made by mixing PR122 with PB15:3.
PY150 - Nickel azo yellow Winsor & Newton n/a (very good) T An orange yellow, yet the most luminous yellow I could find in the transparent range. However, it could be easily mixed from PY3 and PO73.
PG7 - Phtalo green blue shade Winsor & Newton Excellent (I) T A green which could be easily mixed from PG36 and PB15:3 without loss in luminosity or transparency. Yet, it is a hue which I have used extensively in the past and I may prefer it to the PG36.
PBr7 - Burnt umber Winsor & Newton Excellent (I) T A convenient hue for mixing luminous darks, as well as an starting point for mixing flesh colours.
PBr7 - Raw umber Winsor & Newton Excellent (I) T A convenient hue for mixing some darks and, perhaps, for mixing flesh colours.
PBk31 - Perylene green Winsor & Newton n/a (very good) ST A black which I may use for shades (if necessary), in order to preserve as much transparency as possible.
Extended opaque palette Brand Lightfastness Transparency Notes
PW6 - Titanium white Winsor & Newton Excellent (I) O An all round and well known white. I need it for tints (if the mixing white doesn't work as intended) as well as for adding opacity to other hues, if required.
PB35 - Cerulean blue Winsor & Newton Excellent (I) O I hue which I have experience with, and which may come handy when mixing greens. It is an opaque paint and it is here rather for convenience.