A part from being a surface on which to mix, an artist’s palette is also simply a collection of colours that they’ve chosen to use. Some artists’ palettes can appear to be an almost random selection but generally most will be based on a range of cool and warm colours – there will be a selection of various shades of the primary colours blue, red and yellow.
In addition, artists will often include some secondary colours (orange, purple and green) as well as neutrals such as blacks and greys. Most will use some convenience mixes – secondaries or tertiaries that they use frequently – and of course we all have colours that we simply just like. It is so easy to get carried away with the range of hues that are available today, but I firmly believe that, irrespective of what colours you use, it is vital to understand how they relate to one another.
With many colours in your palette, it becomes increasingly difficult to remember just what will happen when any two are mixed and adding a third to the equation takes the possibilities off the scale. By restricting your palette, I believe you will effectively have a better range of potential mixes – simply because you will remember how they mix. The result is more appropriate colours, along with less confusion and greater harmony.
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