How do we choose artist paint colors for our palette?
Artists can't paint without paint and selecting our paints is an important decision for the artist.
What should we be on the lookout for? Do a little research and look for two important items.
They are made with a higher concentration of pigment. They cost more, but they cover better. They are easier to use and they produce brilliant colors in our paintings. They actually save money in the long run because we can use less paint.
Student grade paints cost less to manufacture because they contain less pigment. So we have to use more paint to get good coverage.
Student paints are a good choice when we are learning to paint. As we progress, switch to the artist paints and experience the pleasure of using them.
Winsor and Newton student paints, the "Cotman" brand have the highest pigment load of any brand of student paints. Therefore, they are recommended for both oil and watercolor students.
Find out how many pigments are used to make the paint color. If the ingredients are not listed on the paint, look on the manufacture's website.
Paints made with only one pigment mix well and produce clean color mixtures. A color containing two or more pigments won't mix well with other colors. They tend to make muddy color mixtures.
The white illuminates the colors, so they appear more brilliant.
The information on the paint tubes will say whether the paints are transparent, semi-transparent or opaque.
They are very beautiful colors. But, when we are looking for the best paint colors, we should be cautious.
There is such a bewildering array of beautiful paint colors. There are so many and they are so pretty! How do we choose?
Ask yourself -
What are the colors in nature? Oh, the colors of the rainbow!
The rainbow colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. There is also, a dark blue between the blue and purple, called Indigo.
Excluding Indigo, there are six rainbow colors. These are the six colors on the color wheel.
We use this knowledge when we are choosing the colors for our palette.
Years ago I switched from the traditional oil paints to alkyds because they dry much faster. Winsor Newton Griffin Alkyds are a good quality paint with an excellent reputation.
If you are choosing paint colors in traditional oil paints, you will find similar names.
Cadmium Orange Hue made by Winsor Newton does not contain cadmium. It is a mixture of Arylide yellow and Pyrrole orange. It closely resembles Cadmium Orange without the toxicity.
Winsor Red is much like Cadmium Red, but it contains no cadmium.
Yellow - Raw Sienna is a warm yellow made from natural earth minerals.
Red - Permanent Alizarin Crimson is a good dark red. It is handy to use to darken other reds. However Permanent Rose makes cleaner mixtures.
Green - Viridian Green is a good standby green that is less intense and easier to use than Thalo Green.
Professional watercolor paints by Winsor Newton are my go-to paints with a few exceptions.
The quinacridone colors are clean, brilliant colors that make beautiful color mixtures. You will find Quinacridone Sienna and Quinacridone Violet from Daniel Smith.
Peacock Blue from Holbein is one of my favorites. Coral Orange is a true orange from Old Holland.
The Winsor Blue and Green are actually Phthalocyanine colors under the Winsor & Newton brand.
Winsor Lemon is a single pigment Hansa yellow that mixes very well.
Red - Permanent Alizarin Crimson may be used instead of Permanent Rose.
Green - Hookers Green or Viridian Green are both good greens.
Zinc white has more body and it is good for palette knife work.
However, it may have a tendency to crack or flake in the finished painting.
With the six rainbow colors from the color wheel, plus white you have all the colors you will ever need.
Clean, clear colors will enable you to mix any of the colors you see in nature. You can also mix the colors you see for sale at the paint store and save yourself money.