Monday, November 20, 2006


One of my first painting teachers, way back in college, proclaimed that you should always place colours on your palette in the same spots. The idea of course being that you will not have to spend time looking for a particular pigment while working. At first I paid little attention to this, and kept on randomly placing paints prior to each class or painting session. Eventually, I began to adopt the system seen here; starting in the upper right with white, followed by cadmium yellow light, cadmium yellow medium, and continuing counter-clockwise towards darker and colder hues, with earth tones last. This was also the time at which I began settling on a set of pigments.

For a less experienced painter, such as myself, does repeating the palette layout lead to a use of the same colours? Working with the same pigments can create a better foundation of their properties and potential application. On the other hand, experimenting with other paints can result in discovering new pigments that work for you. Where is the balance between developing set colours and finding new ones? The answer, of course, is wherever you are still learning.

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