I’ve been pondering recently on colour. As in what colours I use regularly; and those I don’t use at all. These thoughts were prompted by a recent art supplies order, when I realised I order a lot of the same colours, almost on repeat.
An artist’s palette is such a personal thing. Over the years I have read books by different artists on the colours they use; their palettes. When I was younger I tried all their suggestions out. However in the end I think each artist graduates to their own way of working and their own choice of colours.
Some artists are distinguishable by their palette; that is their ‘style’. And they don’t seem to move away from their colours. I understand this, you can get deeply connected to colour. Although, I don’t think an artist’s ‘style’ is a simple as using a repeat palette. But that’s another blog, maybe.
Whilst I have a clear set of colours I regularly work from, I use them in different groupings, so my own paintings do vary in colour. Although key colours pop up all the time in my work, I like to respond to the landscape sketches I work from. And as a result the colours tend to change. I don’t like my work to be formulaic so I have veered away from acknowledging and defining my palette in the past. However, making my recent paint order I have to acknowledge to myself that some of the colours are regulars to the party and maybe I need to pin this down.
So, taking all this into account I have undergone an assessment of my palette and am in the processing of settling on my colours. Although I hadn’t defined my palette it hasn’t been too difficult to work out. To be honest they are the ones I use all the time anyway, so it wasn’t that hard. There are still questions to be answered. And some pondering of colours to be done. There are one or two borderline colours I paint with sometimes. For example Viridian. Now I know many artists who use this colour beautifully. I just have love hate views about it. Personally, I am not sure I’ve ever seen that particular colour in any landscape greenery. However, I do like to mix with it. That’s one colour to work out if he gets an invite to the party. There are others. I just have to decide if they are in or out!
So I will keep you all updated on this and we can see what happens. Once I have settled on my palette I’m going to stick to it for about a year and see what difference it makes. It may make no difference whatsoever. It may on the other hand make a huge difference, and affect my work in ways I can’t think of.