Neon Palette II

A few months ago, I presented the Neon Palette, a set of 14 colors that I grouped into an Art Toolkit Pocket Palette that were the brightest ones I owned. I wasn’t totally happy with that palette, feeling that it could be more balanced; it contained some redundancy, a lack of useful dark values, and at the same time a few not-so-bright brights that dragged the average down. Can I do better?

The Inspiration

In the palette profile of Nikki Frumkin (Drawn to High Places), I reminisced about a Schmincke palette that Nikki designed for Art Toolkit. This palette, no longer available or described online anywhere except this very site (that I can find), was the inspiration for this second version of the Neon Palette.

Schmincke palette designed by Nikki Frumkin for Art Toolkit

I found more-or-less equivalents to most of these colors, or simply used them outright. Fittingly, I moved it all to Art Toolkit’s new hot pink Drawn to High Places Pocket Palette! 

My own copy of a Nikki Frumkin piece, painted with the Neon Palette Mark II, which is now in my hot pink Drawn to High Places Art Toolkit Pocket Palette.

The Colors

Colors in the Neon Palette Mark II

Top Row:

  • DV Hansa Yellow Light (PY3). Cool yellow. Nontoxic equivalent of DTHP’s SH Cadmium Yellow Middle (PY35). More opaque/higher tinting strength than my previous pick of WN Winsor Lemon (PY175)
  • WN Winsor Orange (PO62). Same pigment as DTHP’s SH Chromium Orange Hue (PO62). More opaque/less yellow than my previous pick of HO Isoindolinone Yellow Deep (PY110).
  • MI Bright Opera (PR122, BV10). Fluorescent, though admittedly fugitive, super-bright pink alternative to DTHP’s pick of SH Magenta (PV42). Carried over from previous Neon Palette.
  • Holbein – Ultramarine Deep (PB29) in double pan. Darker, purpler, and more granulating version of the same pigment of DHTP’s SH Ultramarine Finest (PB29).
  • SH Cobalt Turquoise (PG50). Only color on all palettes (DHTP, Neon I, Neon II)!
  • Schmincke Horadam – May Green (PY151, PG7). No equivalent in Neon I. I pulled in Nikki’s yellow-green pick after seeing how bright and bold it is (in the palette and on the page), even though I’m not 100% convinced it’s a really useful color, since it’s easy to mix a yellow-green from other colors in this palette.

Bottom Row:

  • Letter Sparrow – Sunflower (PY74). New color. A bold, warmer (but not orangey) yellow.
  • WN – Winsor Orange Red Shade (PO73). Super-bold red-orange. Not on DHTP; carried over from previous Neon Palette.
  • Holbein – Quinacridone Magenta (PR122). Primary magenta. A more straightforward alternative to SH Magenta.
  • WN Winsor Violet (PV23). Equivalent to DTHP’s pick of Schmincke Violet (PV23). Brighter, bluer, violet than my previous pick of DV Bordeaux (PV32); definitely a more useful mixer and magical night-sky color, crucial for rainbow/psychedelic/unicorn palettes.
  • WN Winsor Blue Green Shade (PB15:3). Primary cyan. Roughly equivalent to DTHP’s Cerulean Hue pick (that is a mix of PB15 and PW6 white). More blue/less green than my previous pick of Holbein – Marine Blue (PB16).
  • HO Indigo (PB15, PBk6, PR122). Equivalent to DHTP’s SH Indigo pick. In my initial version of this palette, I piled on bright colors and bright colors only, which meant that the overall palette lacked dark tones. It was a breakthrough to observe Nikki’s pick of dark blues/grays to provide more value contrast and set off the brighter colors.
  • Winsor & Newton – Winsor Green Yellow Shade (PG36). Roughly equivalent to SH Phthalo Green, though that uses the more cool PG7 pigment. Either way, Phthalo Green is the ultimate bold green mixer.

Comparing this to the old version of the palette, I can see that I mostly cut a lot of repetitive reds, blues, and greens.

Comparing it back to Nikki’s palette, I may have gone overboard on adding extra yellows and oranges (LF Sunflower and WORS) at the expense of neutrals like Payne’s Gray and silver. I’m not a big fan of mica metallics, but I think a white would also be a good option for mixing pastels.

Overall, though, I’m much more satisfied with this neon palette than my previous attempt. All these colors just make me happy, and the palette comes closer to giving me that “exciting bowl full of candy” feeling that I get when I look at Nikki’s original choices.