Tuesday, 27 October 2015

My smallest palette - great for urban sketching

I have posted all sorts of interesting limited palette ideas, but I thought I'd share the limited palette I actually use at times. These are set up in a miniature keyring palette - shown here about life-size - that I made from a lip balm tin. You can see a photo of it here. I sprayed the lid with enamel to act as a mixing area. If I had room for one more colour it would probably be Cerulean as I tend to use Ultramarine + Cerulean Chromium for skies. In this little plein air palette I could probably use cerulean instead of Quinacridone Rose as I use so little red of any form in landscape/urban sketching, but that is too limiting for me. I always like to keep my options open, and want to be able to paint an orange or purple flower if the occasion arises :-)


Here are the colours painted out in a couple of colour wheels. There are so many earthy colours that can be mixed with this palette, along with lovely purples, oranges and greens. I really like the slightly neutral greens that are created with Quinacridone Gold and Ultramarine. Hansa yellow medium is a more pure mixing yellow, and was my original yellow in this palette, but I use Quin Gold more when I am urban sketching and the earthy greens can be mixed very quickly from just two colours. 

So many building materials can be painted with the earthy Buff Titanium, Goethite and Burnt Sienna colours mixed with some Jane's Grey.               These are less than half the colours from my Ultimate Mixing Palette set, but they generally represent the colours I actually use up fastest in my palettes when urban sketching, apart from Quin Rose which is only occasionally used. I was out with the San Francisco Urban Sketchers in September and one of the group arrived with a huge bunch of purple orchids. I painted one of them. I couldn't have done that without Quinacridone Rose in my palette. Creating a limited palette without limiting your subject choices is the key I think.