My watercolour palette


This is my hardworking watercolour box. It’s now 25 years old and is rusting through the bottom. And in it are my regular colours – apart from the green at one end which is an interloper. Don’t know how it got in and since everything is rusted in now I don’t risk taking it out – it may  fall apart!

So for what it’s worth why these? The most obscure first. Indian Red – I like it. Next Light Red. It makes a plummy purple with Ultra Blue that I like and granulates on rough paper. Joh Blockley said he hated it. There you go. All artists have irrational loves and hates for different pigments. You can’t be a proper artist if  don’t HATE vermillion, or lamp black or something else. Aureolin. This is a FABULOUS (point made?) yellow that is transparent, cool without being lemony and makes good greens.

The rest is a mix of the usual suspects:

Warm – ultra blue, Cad red, Raw sienna

Cool – Winsor and Cerulean blue, Lemon yellow, Alizarin.

I always squeeze paint from tubes to top up the pans – it’s cheaper. I also wash the whole box after each session to clean up the colours – I don’t like muddy colours. It’s also why the box is rusting out. I also have a tube of permanent white gouache for opaque touches here and there.


~ by noelgarner on August 10, 2009.

One Response to “My watercolour palette”

  1. I too live in Cambridge and am fascinated by the pictures whch let me think “I’ve seen that…, well some of that.” I enjoy and learn much from your struggle to combine the immediacy of sketching /painting outdoors and the back up of a photo to build and check on colours, balance, proportions etc. later. Interesting that you involve Photoshop as well in the process. I come to you through New Foundations website, so am not reading you day by day, mor like now and then.

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