Sunday, March 11, 2012

Alternate Oil Palettes

Some time ago, I read about an alternate palette that painter Daniel Corey recommends for students.  It's a simple, three-color palette based on the primaries, but one of the colors is unexpected.  It consists of cadmium yellow, quinacridone red and - here's the unexpected one - Prussian blue.  I never think of Prussian as being a workhorse color when it comes to oils.  I sometimes use phthalo blue; Prussian is similar, but more muted and, because it doesn't have the high tinting strength, it is less dangerous.  In Daniel's blog post, he shows the wide range of color than can be mixed with this palette.

During this week's workshop, I decided to give it a try.  I was pleased with the color range.  Overall, the painting has a cool feeling to it, but then, it was painted at noontime when the sunlight tends to be cooler.  Here it is:

"Cathedral Rock from Schnebly Hill" 6x12, oil - $100 - contact

Below are a few more paintings from the week, all done with my typical six-color palette (cadmium yellow light, cadmium yellow medium, cadmium red light, permanent alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, phthalo emerald).  And one quick note - if you haven't seen my March newsletter, it is here.

"Hononki Tower" 6x12, oil - $100 - contact

"Hononki Cliff" 9x12, oil - $150 - contact

"Arroyo Cedar" 12x9, oil - $150 - contact


N.J.Kennedy said...

Love "Arroyo Cedar"

Danielawashere said...

I have a question about oil paint tubes that never seems to come up anywhere - which is - if you are given or have some old oil paint tubes that you never use, say 10 (+?) years old, is it wise to use them at all, or, are they still ok providing the mixture does not seperate or seep oil, nor, say dry up somewhat and clump in bits?

Or, is it best to give them away long before, to someone who will use them.

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Good question! So long as you can still squeeze out the paint, and the paint is fluid enough, it should be fine. Paint that comes out in stiff clumps is no good, and paint that doesn't come out at all. But paint that has separated is fine; you just might need to mix a little linseed oil back into it.