- Quinacridone Gold PO49 (Daniel Smith) or Raw Sienna PBr7
- Hansa Yellow Medium (Daniel Smith)
- Burnt Sienna PBr7 (Daniel Smith or Da Vinci)
- Carmine (Daniel Smith) or Magenta PR122 (Schmincke or W&N)
- Ultramarine PB29
You can make a huge range of oranges, reds, yellows, greens and purples, browns and greys, but not quite the exact hue you may be looking at. You would need a cool blue or a phthalo or viridian green as well to create brighter greens, and I'd add Buff Titanium to be able to create cerulean, and a deep cool brown would take over three colours to mix...and so on.
My smallest palette, a tiny keyring sized one I made from a lip balm container, has 7 colours, one of them a mixture. Hansa Yellow Medium, Carmine, Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna, Goethite, Jane's Grey and Buff Titanium. I can do a lot with it but feel as though I waste a lot of time mixing. I prefer my 16 colour travel palette!
Why? I am a realist. I want my colours to match what I see as precisely as possible. I am also a passionate water colourist and one of the joys of watercolour is that you can see the pigment and its characteristics - they are not hidden in an acrylic or oil binder. I don't want to be limited to the characteristics of just 5 pigments.
Furthermore, I enjoy studying pigments and seeing how they react with each other, which means trying many colours!
In all, I am not committed to a minimal palette for my own watercolour work, though I admire it in others and continue to explore options :-)
Here is a lovely bright triad
Here is an amazing bright quartet
Here is a lovely 6 colour set