Tuesday 6 October 2015

Just 6 colours - bright, transparent and non-granulating full gamut palette

I previously posted about limited palettes containing just 6 bright colours here. While I don't use such limited palettes myself, I really enjoy the challenge of working through them. It is also very helpful when those on a limited budget are trying to get started in artist quality watercolour - they can start with just a few but still mix an amazing range of colours.

This palette of six colours is transparent and non-granulating. It contains the full gamut of yellow, orange, red, purple, blue and green with no earth colours so you have to mix them yourself. It is made up of three neutralising pairs of single pigment colours. 

Phthalo Blue Red Shade DS + Transparent Pyrrol Orange DS 
Hansa Yellow Medium DS + Carbazole Violet DS
Pyrrol Crimson DS + Phthalo Green BS DS

Pyrrol Crimson won't make the bright purples that a magenta or more rose-red colour would, but as there is a purple in this palette, the powerful crimson can be included to create deep black hues with Phthalo Green. (see 10)

Transparent Pyrrol Orange and Phthalo Blue RS completely neutralise each other creating another deep black, as well as a gorgeous range of earthy burnt sienna and burnt umber hues (11)

Carbazole Violet and Hansa Yellow Medium will create yellow earth hues and, with a touch of orange, raw umber hues (15)

You need a pretty good understanding of colour to work with these palettes if you are going to successfully create all your earth hues as well. You also need a decent mixing space. They are great fun to explore.

Other explorations you might find interesting.
Just 3 colours - exploring primary triads
Just 4 colours - an amazing bright quartet
Just 5 colours - why it's not for me :-)
Just 6 colours - lovely limited palette
Just 6 colours - bright transparent non-granulating
Ultimate Mixing Palette - palette of 14 paints, 15 colours.
Single pigment wheel - 24 colour wheel

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