Friday, 13 March 2015

The Ultimate Mixing Palette: a World of Colours - updated

My next book, 'The Ultimate Mixing Palette: as World of colours', is now available on Blurb.com

This is a very different book to my first one 'Watercolour Mixing Charts'. That contains 98 charts and shows a vast range of colours but also uses a huge number of different paints. It's a fascinating study of colour mixing!

This book uses a more limited palette so it is possible to purchase the same colours and re-create the mixes. I really think it will be a most valuable reference for anyone working with watercolour. It has taken almost a year to create and is based on almost 35 years of watercolour exploration. It has over 7500 individual colour swatches - that's a lot of hues with just these fourteen pigments :-). The charts were carefully painted, then professionally photographed with a large format camera and carefully colour-matched. They look fabulous on a computer screen and the printed physical book is also very true-to-life.

You can see my previous book, Watercolour Mixing Charts, as well as the various versions of the Ultimate Palette book here. Click on any to see a preview.

It is available as an eBook or as a physical book in hardback or softcover formats in Premium Lustre paper, which is slightly thicker so my recommended paper. The softcover version is also available in standard paper.

The link to the eBook is here. This shows the first 30 pages. The eBook will work in iBooks on iPhones, iPads and Mac computers.

The Ultimate Mixing Set.


My website has more information and a tab with a list of alternate paints to the Daniel Smith ones I have used.


37 comments:

  1. Looks very interesting….I really like your base 14 colors! Thank you so much for posting this….

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    1. Thank you Donna. It's a very versatile set of colours :-)

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  2. A book I have used in the past is, THE WATERCOLOR PAINTER'S POCKET PALETTE by Moira Clinch….but I really like your fourteen color base. I've often wondered if the translation of the color, being printed out in a book, stays accurate.

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    1. The Moira Clinch book is nicely arranged but only really shows one mixed hue, though different methods of mixing it. I wanted to show the vast range of hues and tints you can create with each pair of colours - usually about 30 - using a palette that is easy to replicate. The colour translation is pretty good. The scans were colour matched and the files saved in a form suitable for printing. While it's not going to be the same as doing the charts yourself, I am already using the book in my teaching and am happy with the look of the colours.

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  3. I've just downloaded the eBook for my iPhone and my Mac. Straightforward and easy. Colours are superb and it works perfectly on both devices. It will take me quite a while to read and digest all the information - can't wait to get the paints out and try some mixes. Thanks for all your hard work Jane, it's great value!

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    1. I am glad you had no trouble downloading it Annee. The colours look terrific on the screen and are really very good in the printed book too. It took a long time to get them photographed and perfectly colour-matched but I think it was really important with this book. Have fun with it!

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  4. Sorry Jane, where do I go to buy the hard copy?

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    1. If you go to blurb.com you can search my name and find all the versions of both books. Notice you have the option of hard copy with premium matt paper, which I recommend, or soft cover with either premium matt or standard paper. Here's the link
      http://www.blurb.com/search/site_search?search=Jane+Blundell
      both books also have their own pages on my website with a link back the the Blurb previews too.

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  5. WOW!! what an amazing resource. Thank you so much for sharing I have just purchased your book and ebook. I have been mixing using my Daniel Smith colours trying to decide on my 12-16 limited colours, this has helped immensely with my choices. Also the lightfastness tests are such a great help. Would love to attend one of your workshops. Thank You. :)

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    1. Thanks Craig. How perfect that you were looking for 12 - 16 colours. If you were to look at adding a 16th to my set it would depend on what you paint the most. If landscapes, perhaps a convenient mixed green such as Undersea Green or even the wonderful deep perylene green. If people, perhaps raw sienna. If florals perhaps an orange or a purple. Whatever you decide, you'll find you can create most colours you need with the 'ultimate' set. Additional colours are based on what you find you end up mixing the most.

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  6. Hi Jane,
    I purchased your book and it looks pretty good. But I am unable to figure out how to view your book in single pages? It's kind of awkward to read and use on my iPad and computer as a two page layout as I am unable to smoothly flip between pages quickly. How can I view as a singular page layout?

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    1. Dear Kathleen
      I just 'pinch' my fingers on the screen to shrink or 'spread' them to enlarge, just as you would a photo on the iPad. If this doesn't work I would suggest you try reloading the eBook or contact Blurb.com - they are pretty helpful if there are technical issues. Good luck - it should be easy to zoom in for a look at just a page or even just a mix.

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  7. I really love your colors, and have used it to build my own watercolor palette. I noticed in other posts that you love transparent pyrrol orange, yet in this limited palette you chose pyrrol scarlet. Is there a reason?

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    1. This is a very good question. The reason is that I am at heart a teacher - I want to share the most useful colours and colour mixes that will cause the least confusion and get the best results for anyone using them anywhere in the world.

      My Ultimate Mixing Palette contains the mixing pair Pyrrol Scarlet and Phthalo Blue GS. This is clearly a warm red and a cool blue. When mixed, they will create neutral indian red hues, which is really useful in a palette. They will also create Indigo and a deep mixed black. No one is confused as a scarlet is obviously a red, and Phthalo blue GS is readily available and a basic cool blue to many artists.

      In my personal palette I use a slightly different mixing pair - Transparent Pyrrol Orange and Phthalo blue RS. These are a little less 'useful' and more confusing as one is an orange, even though I use it as a warm red, and the other is not as cool as phthalo blue GS so won't be as generally useful. When mixed they don't create Indian red hues but a beautiful range of burnt oranges and deep warm browns (that I love) and a deep rich black - not so different from Ultramarine + Burnt Sienna but less granulating and more staining. I know which colours to add to adjust each of them to create Indian red hues if I wish. I don't expect others to have to do this as my 'teaching' is about mixing just two colours, where possible.

      My reason for including these two in my own palette is about how I use them. In Australia the sky can be the colour of Phthalo blue RS, so if I want a staining sky I can use this colour straight from the palette. Transparent Pyrrol Orange is the perfect colour for creating the underglow of tomatoes and other red fruit, but it has a strong drying shift which others may find frustrating. The colour itself is also very 'thin' from the tube and it tends to crack which might also cause frustration. Pyrrol Scarlet is a lovely paint and a very pure warm red with less of a drying shift.

      So I have devised a palette that will give the most useful mixes and work most logically and simply any where in the world, though I continue to use a couple of idiosyncratic colours myself :-)

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    2. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and thorough reply. That makes perfect sense to me. My dh recently went to the Daniel Smith store and purchased a gorgeous DS paint box that I can fit 19 colors. I have the colors of your ultimate mixing set as well as several others. I love DS paints. I'm trying to decide what to include as my other palette holds 28.

      I would love to make color charts like you do. Do you have a tutorial on how to go about this? They are just wonderful, and I think would be a great exercise when I don't want to paint a painting, but want to play in paint. Thanks so much for this invaluable resource.

      Kind Regards!

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    3. I make up 28 colour palettes for some of my students. Here's what I put in, in this order around the palette - buff titanium DS, hansa yellow light (or medium), Hansa yellow deep or New Gamboge DS, Quinacridone Gold DS, an orange (I use either DV Benzamida Orange Deep or DS Quin Sienna), pyrrol scarlet DS or Permanent red DV, Pyrrol crimson, Quin Rose, Imperial purple DS, Moonglow DS, Ultramarine, Cerulean chromium, phthalo blue GS, cobalt turquoise DS, phthalo green BS, perylene green, undersea green DS, sap green DS, rich green gold, yellow ochre, goethite DS, raw sienna, quinacridone burnt orange, burnt sienna, indian red, burnt umber, raw umber, Jane's grey. There are obviously infinite choices and alternatives for a large palette like this! While these are all DS colours, for some of them Da Vinci is an alternative - they are also great paints. You can see this palette painted out in the palette section of me website.

      There are many ways to make colour charts. My on-line classes cover a lot of them. I'd suggest if you want to create them you rule up a page for each colour - greens, purples, oranges and neutrals. That way you create a reference that you can use when trying to choose a colour for a painting.

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    4. I'm delighted that you have online classes. I didn't know that. I mis-spoke when I mentioned 28 wells with my new palette. In fact, it only has 18 or 19. Still, it is a beauty. It will be challenging to limit it, but perhaps I can fit more in using half pans...not an earth shattering problem to have. LOL

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    5. 18 is still a great size. You can fit in basic mixing colours plus a few convenience colours. For example, my 15 ultimate mixing colours plus undersea green, sap green and perylene green if you are keen on doing landscapes - they are a great range of greens that intermix well. Or you could add a convenience orange and a convenience purple along with the basic palette. Test your colour choices and plan your layout before you fill the palette as, while you can move them around, it's a bit of a pain. Make sure you shake the tubes before filling your wells. Have fun with it!

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  8. I have a palette with half-pans of all of your colours here, with the exception of the bistre Jane's Grey. I wanted to make up a half-pan of it so that it's all ready to go, and have tubes of Ultramarine & Burnt Sienna (DS), but realized I don't know what ratio you used to make that lovely shade. Is it 1:1, or something more complex? Thanks in advance for your assistance, and also for your incredibly helpful posts!

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    1. It is almost exactly 1:1 but once you have thoroughly mixed the two paints together, test them and make sure you like the colour. Jane's Grey is only just on the blue side of a neutral grey. When mixing in a half pan (or a full pan if you have room in your palette as you will get through a lot!) squeeze equal looking squirts of each colour without attempting to completely fill the pan so you have a little extra room to adjust the colour after mixing and testing. Do stir it thoroughly with a fine blunt needle or a toothpick. You might prefer to have it a completely neutral grey of course - it's your choice.
      Here is a link to my post about making Jane's Grey.
      http://janeblundellart.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/custom-made-watercolour-mixes-janes-grey.html

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  9. I purchased the ebook version of this book when it came out and downloaded it to my 1st generation iPad. Now I've switched to a 3rd generation iPad and just noticed that your book is missing, even in the "cloud". It just disappeared. Any clue on what's happened?
    Weirdly, I can still view the ebook on my iPod but I preferred the larger screen.

    Great book, by the way!

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    1. Vicky that sounds weird and frustrating but I can only suggest you contact Blurb. It is possible that if you logged back into the blurb.com website with your new iPad and found the eBook it would give you the option to download it again but I don't know - as I haven't made any changes I certainly can't explain it. I hope you are able to get it back. Make sure it is opened in iBooks on the iPad.

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    2. I had forgotten my log in info at Blurb but was able to get it reset. Looks like I can re-download it without a problem. Thanks so much, Jane!

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  10. I want to thank you for your book. It is a wonderful resource. What I love most about the book is reading your explanations at the bottom of each page explaining why the mixes work. I have it on my computer and Ipad. A very easy purchase and download from Blurb. I also love your color wheels. I have had my head buried in two books on color theory Color Choices by Stephen Quiller and Exploring Color by Nita Leland. Your Ebook is very user friendly! Thank you again for a great resource.

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    1. Thank you Carmel. It felt as though it took nearly as much time to write all the explanations and make them clear and helpful as it did to paint the charts so I am glad they are useful. I have looked at the Stephen Quiller palette and while I think there is a lot you can learn from understanding how to mix your own neutrals, I still prefer to have them in the palette for convenience and also for the extra characteristics they add to the palette. Nita's work on triads is terrific, as long as you use the updated non-fugitive colours.

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  11. Jane I agree mixing neutrals is important. Something I have been working on this morning. I miss the earth tones in the Quiller palette. Although I discovered how to mix burnt sienna and raw umber, the results are not interesting. I would much prefer them sitting in my palette and seeing the the separation of pigments in my gray. I will take a look at Nita's work on triads. Thank you!

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  12. Thanks, Jane, for this wonderful and beautiful book. I'm preparing for a very long trip (around the world) and plan to do a lot of sketching and painting. Deciding on colors was really hard...until I discovered the Ultimate Painting Palette. I've been using this elegant paint selection for some months and love the amazing range of hues it can make. There's a copy on of the book my computer, and one on my iPad, which is going with me. Thank you for doing all that work!

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    1. Thank you for letting me know my Ultimate Mixing Palette is working so well for you Flory. Enjoy your travels and I hope you create many wonderful sketches along the way. I think of travel sketches as creating indelible memories :-)

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  13. Help! I love your book and have bought the Ultimate Palette of 15 and then expanded to include "Jane's Palette" colors. I'm trying to get a grasp on the warm and cool bias of all the colors and got the Quiller Palette - the porcelain version with 24 slots in the color wheel. Out of all your colors, what would be the order on the color wheel? There are also 8 additional wells in the outer corners - maybe use for your favorite convenience colors? Would be infinitely helpful! Thank you for your time!
    Paula in Florida

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    1. The Quiller palette is designed around primary and secondary colours that are mixed to create the earth or tertiary colours. Since my ultimate mixing palette has a number of earth colours, it is more tricky to set it up with mixing opposites around the wheel. I would suggest just arranging the colour around the wheel in the following order (lovely extras added)
      Buff titanium
      Hansa yellow medium
      Quin gold
      (An orange if you wish - quin sienna for example)
      Pyrrol scarlet
      Pyrrol Crimson
      Quin rose
      (A purple if you wish - imperial purple, carbazole violet, cobalt violet and / or moonglow
      Ultramarine
      Cerulean chromium
      Phthalo blue
      (Cobalt turquoise if you wish)
      Phthalo green
      (Perylene green)
      (Undersea green)
      (Sap green or green apatite genuine)
      (Rich green gold or serpentine genuine)
      (Yellow ochre)
      Goethite
      (Raw sienna)
      Burnt sienna
      Indian red
      (Burnt umber)
      Raw umber
      Jane's grey

      That arrangement doesn't put mixing opposites around the wheel but just gives you a great range of colours to work with. Ceramic palettes are gorgeous.

      The outside extra wells could be used for your own custom mixes. Or just to have some nice deep mixing areas while painting.

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    2. Thank you so much for putting the colors in warm and cool order for me! Most of them I can see but the Ultramarine throws me as a warm blue and I think of purples as having cool bias since I see it next to a cool red, so a blue that leans toward purple is warm is a hard concept for me. Your color mixes in your book ( a must have!) are just beautiful! Thanks for sharing your knowledge!
      Paula in Florida

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    3. If you think about an orange red being the warmest colour and a greenish blue being the coolest colour, it's easier to work out. Purples and greens can be either warm or cool - a warmer green leans towards yellow, a cooler green leans towards blue. A warmer purple leans towards red, a cooler purple leans toward blue. But temperature is all relative. Even though red is generally considered a warm colour, there are warmer and cooler versions and they may look warmer or cooler again depending what they are next to. So why is it important? It's about colour appearing to come forward or recede. Cooling down a colour - making it more neutral or less bright or more blue or otherwise cooler than the surrounding colours, will put it into the background. Warming up a colour - making it more red or more yellow or brighter than the surrounding colours - will bring it forward - relative to the other colours.

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  14. Hi Jane I've been really enjoying reading the many many informative posts on your website - so thanks! I am in the middle of creating myself and ultimate palette in hope of practicing watercolor painting more. I am in the UK and Goethite seems to be very hard to come by, do you have any recommendations for other colours/brands that are similar?
    Thanks

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    1. Goethite is exclusive to Daniel Smith, which I think are sold by Jacksons, as well as some of the Tindalls stores in the UK. It is very granulating, which is what I love about it. You could use a raw sienna or yellow ochre instead as an 'earth yellow'.

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    2. I didn't know about Tindalls, and I've now managed to get hold of Goethite. Thank you!

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    3. Make sure you shake the tube well before use each time - it tends to separate. For maximum granulation, use on damp paper.

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