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Painting Art Ezine: Selecting Oil Colors for Your Palette
February 17, 2023

, welcome to the Ezine!

Your Oil Painting Colors

What works for a selection of oil paint colors?

Last month we talked about selecting colors for the watercolor artist. This month let’s talk about selecting the paint colors for an oil painting artist.

I have tried many paint colors over the years. There are lots of them and I tend to get sucked in by the beautiful colors. Sometimes, I want to get the colors used by artists I admire.

But colors don't make the artist. Learning to paint means getting some knowledge about colors, how to mix colors and applying the paint.

The rainbow colors

I have used a palette of rainbow colors for years.

This is a great selection of colors for any artist. It includes a warm and cool version of each of the six colors in a rainbow.

Any color we could dream of can be mixed from the rainbow colors. The rainbow goes from red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet on the bottom end.

My six rainbow colors exclude indigo which is just a dark blue. Then of course we add white for the oil and acrylic paintings.

Downsizing the color selection

The rainbow colors are able to mix a full range of colors. But that's 12 different tubes of colors to keep in stock.

There is nothing wrong with the rainbow selection of colors, but I am into downsizing everything.

It started in 2020 when somethings were not available. After getting frustrated, I decided I'm going to scale down on my supplies.

See a list of the paints of the rainbow.

So what colors am I using now?

I am using the primary colors, yellow, red and blue.

We can mix a huge range of colors from the primaries. And a warm and cool version of the primaries, speeds up the mixing process.

A Primary Palette Selection

The primary palette is as basic as we can get:

Cadmium Yellow Light

Cadmium Red or Cadmium Red Light

Ultramarine Blue

Cadmium Red Light is a warm, vibrant red. We can mix our own by mixing Cadmium Red with some yellow.

Double Primary Palette

A warm and cool version of each of the primaries:

Lemon Yellow and Cadmium Yellow

Cadmium Red and Alizarin Crimson

Ultramarine Blue and Phthalocyanine Blue GS (Pthalo Blue for short)

What can we paint with a limited palette?

I have been enjoying using a limited palette.

I have not found much use for Lemon Yellow. In fact I rarely use it. It will make some brilliant spring greens when mixed with Pthalo Blue. But other than that I haven't used it much.

So it will probably be eliminated and I'll just stick with Cadmium Yellow. It's a nice warm yellow and I tend to do warm paintings. They are more pleasant for viewing.

A gold fish was a fun painting.

The gold fish was painted with 4 colors.

It was painted with Cadmium Yellow Light

Cadmium Red and Permanent Alizarin Crimson

Pthalo Blue.

You can paint it by following the step-by-step tutorial.

Paint the fun gold fish

Next month “Use color bias for mixing paint colors"

Unfortunately, next month will be the last issue of the ezine. In the future there will be similar articles on the God Gifts Blog.

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