My Basic Palette

I have tried nearly every color of acrylic paint manufactured, and my basic palette still boils down to simple primary colors with a few browns thrown in for good measure. Years ago I learned that you must always mix your own green, never use pre-mixed greens. I believe that learning to mix all values of green will make you a superior painter. It is easy to spot a novice painter because of the use of ghastly pre-mixed green. For years I included black on my palette, that is another color to avoid. I know, I know, black is not a color! Make your own blacks by mixing anything and everything. These blacks will be richer and better. Using black is a slam dunk mistake in amateur art, and very easy to spot. It creates a “dead” color, areas of paint without life.

One color that I do buy pre-mixed is violet. A truly gorgeous red doesn’t exist in acrylic. It takes a great red to make a fabulous violet, and I’ve yet to find a great red in acrylic. So, my one exception to the rule of not using pre-mixed colors is Liquitex Acra Violet which unfortunately is not made anymore and hard to find. Here is a list of my basic acrylic palette; Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cadmium Red Light, Naphthol Crimson, Acra Violet, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo Blue.

More tomorrow,

Gail Niebrugge, Original paintings of Alaska

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