“Working with a limited palette of elements leaves a designer nowhere to hide.” ~Michael Bierut
Could this be the same for the Art World?
Ken Auster says, “When using a limited palette you solve most of your problems. You can’t mix the wrong color, although you may put it in the wrong place.”
Preferring my many colors to choose from, including Quinacridone Magenta, Green Gold, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, et cetera, et cetera, it was quite a discipline to paint the above painting with only three colors, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, and Cadmium Yellow Light. Also, added were Ivory Black, Titanium White and the pusher color Cadmium Red.
Ken Auster was correct in saying that you can’t make a bad color when mixing these colors together. Even though mud is made, focusing on edges and correct placement, the palette will be in perfect harmony.
A beginner would do well to paint with a limited pallet, especially when you add composition, stroke and value into the mix. Notice no neutrals are used, except the grey from black and white. Using neutrals when beginning isn’t necessary, since most of the time a beginner will make plenty of them on their own. Avoiding neutrals will limit the chance of the painting turning into complete mud.
Almost every color can be made with the three above colors, except Cadmium Red. Cadmium Red cannot be made. I used Cadmium Red for the pusher color. Since it is a bright it is a great color to be used for the focal point.
Another wonderful palette you can try is; Indian Yellow (preferably Daniel Smith’s brand), Permanent Rose and Thalo Turquoise, plus black and white. The pusher color could then be Mediterranean Blue. This palette is great for a cooler painting. Ivory Black and Titanium White are added to create the neutrals. They make the most wonderful opalescent colors.
Do you have a favorite limited palette you would like to share?
This is my forty-first painting of my #paint52 challenge, medium Oil on vellum, measures 14″ x 20″ price $795.00 plus Shipping and Handling.
*All art from Janet Vanderhoof’s Fine Art Gallery, maybe seen in Janet’s studio at Morgan Hill, CA. You may purchase through contacting my email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (408) 460-7237. Thank you!