I’ve been asked a few times lately what my palette is, so I thought I’d put a post about it.
Over the years I’ve whittled down the palette I was taught to fewer and fewer colors. At present I use:
- Lead or Titanium white (I prefer the handling of lead, but I’m currently using titanium for health and environmental reasons).
- Cadmium Yellow from Michael Harding (or I’ll grind my own Cad Yellow light from Zecchi).
- Zecchi’s Roman Ochre
- Vermilion, hand-ground from Doak. Though I sometimes use the Zecchi one outdoors.
- Cadmium Red Medium, either Harding’s or hand-ground from Zecchi.
- Alizarin, either hand-ground or I was using Doak’s Florentine Lake for a while too.
- Cerulean Blue, $70 a pop from Old Holland, or hand-ground if I need a lot for a large painting.
- Ultramarine Deep from Old Holland.
- Manganese Blue from Old Holland.
- Cobalt Blue, either Old Holland or Harding.
I also use hand-ground Ivory Black when painting indoors, and I’ve tried to find a use for it outside but can’t. I know some landscape painters use it for clouds but I can never see the point.
The palette I started with included Naples Yellow, an earth red (Pozzuoli, English…etc), and Veridian. I have also used high chroma oranges and purples for specific projects with orange trees, irises and such.