Old Masters Academy

Tips on Oil Painting – Your Advanced Palette




In this article I will discuss the tube colors belonging to an advanced palette based on a basic 6-color palette. I find these colors the most useful and often necessary to round out a versatile palette.

The 6-color basic palette consists of the following colors:

 1. Lemon Yellow      2. Cadmium Yellow      3. Cadmium Red      4. Permanent Rose      5. French Ultramarine      6. Phthalo Blue

To these 6 colors we, of course, add        7. Titanium White      8. Ivory Black

Note that you can already create amazingly diversified paintings with the above palette. But, for various reasons, artists tend to add a variety of other colors to their palette. One reason is that tube colors are, by and large, always brighter than mixed colors. Other reasons have to do with the tinting strength or the undertone of certain tube colors. Or, maybe just because a certain tube color looks particular good to the artist and can not easily be mixed.

Here are a number of tube colors I like to work with beyond the ones already mentioned:

* Burnt Sienna – Burnt Sienna is a warm, orange-red, and transparent brown. This brown is a medium-to-fast drier and has a medium tinting strength. Mixed with Lemon Yellow it yields a clean orange-brown. * Cerulean Blue – Cerulean Blue is a cool, green leaning, and opaque blue. This blue is a medium-to-fast drier and has a medium-to-low tinting strength. Mixed with Lemon Yellow it yields a spring green.

* Cadmium Orange – Cadmium Orange is a warm, red or yellow leaning, and opaque orange. This orange is a slow drier and has a high tinting strength. Mixed with Permanent Rose it yields a sharp hot orange.

* Cadmium Yellow Light – Cadmium Yellow Light is a warm/cool, somewhat green leaning, and opaque yellow. This yellow is a medium-to-slow drier and has a high tinting strength. Mixed with Cadmium Red Light it yields a bright orange.

* Cadmium Red Light – Cadmium Red Light is a warm, orange leaning, and opaque red. This red is a slow drier and has a high tinting strength. Mixed with Cadmium Yellow Light it yields a bright orange.

* Yellow Ochre – Yellow Ochre is a warm, brown leaning, and opaque yellow. This yellow is a medium-to-fast drier and has a medium tinting strength. Mixed with Cadmium Yellow it yields a glowing sandy color.

* Burnt Umber – Burnt Umber is a warm, red leaning, and fairly transparent brown. This brown is a fast drier and has a medium-to-high tinting strength. Mixed with Cerulean Blue it yields a series of colors from green-gray to green-brown.

* Viridian – Viridian is a cool, blue leaning, and transparent green. This green is a medium drier and has a medium tinting strength. Mixed with Burnt Sienna it yields a nice fall green.

* Cobalt Blue – Cobalt Blue is a cool, violet leaning, and semi-transparent blue. This blue is a fast drier and has a low-to-medium tinting strength. Mixed with Permanent Rose it yields a glowing violet.

There are few more colors I use occasionally, such as Dioxazine Purple, Permanent Sap Green, Raw Sienna, and Raw Umber. But the palette here described has more than enough colors in it to paint just about anything as long as you also use mixtures of these colors.

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