colour palette

I find that I’m inspired simply by looking at my wooden box brimful of paint tubes. No matter how scuffed, squeezed, contorted, holed or shiny new they are, I love them all.

My basics are Payne’s Gray, Titanium White, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Hooker’s Green (acrylic) or Terre Verte (oil), Cobalt Blue and Yellow Ochre. I really can’t do without these heroes.

All my paintings start with a Burnt Umber sketch, and some stay that way. But if it’s just an undercoat, I block in the shadows, get the tonal range sorted, rough out figures or skin tone or the textured surface of tree bark or rocks, and imply atmospheric perspective with a few tinted washes.

It’s not a big range but these basics provide tonal cohesion. I add other colours to the palette as required.

And if I’ve neglected their care, and the lids have got stuck, they are very forgiving of the ridged toothy grip of my trusty FatMax pliers. While hosting an art workshop, I was happy to share the pliers with fellow artists for the same pesky reason – wrestling the stuck lid of a paint tube!

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