Lee Angold is a Canadian botanical and scientific illustrator focusing on plants and other natural subjects. One great resource on their website is a spreadsheet of pigments compared across brands. They’ve also done cool experiments like painting a blue subject from green and purple. I love a person with strong opinions about color.
Let’s take a look at their palette as of June 2021 from the post “What’s in my studio palette.” Be sure to visit this post for more about the reasoning for each paint.
|Slot||LA Has||Some Alternatives|
|Underpainting Yellow||WN – Bismuth Yellow (PY184)||Cool yellows like Lemon Yellow (PY175) or Hansa Yellow Light (PY3) are closest. For a similarly opaque but warmer yellow, consider Naples Yellow (PBr24). Lee also doesn’t have what I’d consider a “middle yellow” other than this, so my closest would be PY154 Permanent Yellow Light.|
|Mixing Yellow||MG – Nickel Azo Yellow (PY150)||I sometimes consider this a gold but in this palette it’s being used as a primary/mixing yellow. Any primary yellow (e.g. Hansa) would work in the slot, though this transparent mixability is pretty unique; PY151 Azo Yellow is closest. Quin Gold is a mix of this and earth orange that’s warmer. PY129 has similar glowing properties but is greener (and is also in this palette).|
|Gold/Green Mixing Yellow||WN – Green Gold (PY129)||Gold alternatives from above; or if using as a green, mix of Phthalo Green and Nickel Azo Yellow.|
|Orange||WN – Transparent Orange (PO107)||Closest is Transparent Pyrrol Orange (PO71). I also sometimes substitute scarlet for orange (e.g. PR188, PR255), adding yellow when I want a true orange color.|
|Coral||DR – Quin Red (PR209)||Scarlets (e.g. Scarlet Lake) for mixing oranges, or Quin Rose for mixing purples.|
|Cool Red||DV – Carmine (PV19)||Cool deep red. Similar: Carmine (PR176), Alizarin Crimson (PR83 or permanent alternatives), Quin Rose (PV19). For a slightly warmer option that has less overlap with magenta below, my fave is Pyrrol Crimson (PR264).|
|Magenta||MI – Permanent Magenta (PR122)||Quin Rose (PV19), Quin Fuchsia (PR202)|
|Purple||SH – Quin Purple (PV55)||Diox Violet (PV23) [darker/bluer], Quin Violet (PV19) or PR202 [redder], Ultramarine Violet (PV15) [weaker/granulating]|
|Purple (Granulating)||SH – Cobalt Violet Hue (PV62)||Ultramarine Violet (PV15), Cobalt Violet (PV14)|
|Violet Blue||MG – Ultramarine Blue (PB29)||I think UB is the most versatile pigment in this slot but you could go slightly less violet with Cobalt Blue (PB28) or slightly more violet with WN Smalt (a PV15)|
|Dark Blue||MG – Anthraquinone Blue (PB60)||This is the same pigment as my fave, Indanthrone Blue. Other dark blues: Indigo, Payne’s Gray.|
|Dark Granulating Blue||DS – Blue Apatite Genuine||Another granulating dark blue from the DS Primatek line is Sodalite. Non-granulating green-toned dark blues include Indigo, Prussian Blue (PB27), Mayacrom Blue (PB82).|
|Cyans||Holbein – Phthalo Blue YS (PB15:3), |
Holbein – Marine Blue (PB16)
|I consider these 2 colors to be roughly the same slot. PB16 (aka Phthalo Turquoise) is more greenish.|
|Turquoise (Granulating)||WN – Cobalt Turquoise Light (PG50)||Cerulean Blue (PB35/PB36) is a granulating light blue that’s a bit duller. Manganese Blue Hue (PB15) is a granulating bright/light blue that’s a bit less green-toned. I personally use Phthalo Turquoise (PB16) (in cyan slot above) for most of my turquoise needs, though it’s not granulating and has to be diluted or mixed with white to achieve this pastel hue.|
|Green||SH – Phthalo Green (PG7)||Phthalo Green YS (PG36), various greens mixed from one of the Phthalo Greens (e.g. Hooker’s Green)|
|Dark Green||SH – Perylene Green (PBk31)||Any dark color (e.g. Payne’s Grey) for shadows, or custom mix for dark greens (such as Indanthrone + Green Gold)|
|Earth Yellow||DS – Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr7)||Yellow Ochre (PY43), which is yellower; Raw Sienna (PBr7), same pigment but more orangey; Goethite (PY43), which is more granulating. Lee states they will replace this with a DIY paint!|
|Earth Brown||DS – Transparent Brown Oxide (PR101)||SH Transparent Umber (PBr41); various classic earth browns like Burnt Umber/Raw Umber (PBr7); get a similar hue from Transparent Red Oxide (PR101) mixed with a bit of blue.|
|Earth Red||SH – Madder Brown (PR206)||aka Quin Burnt Scarlet. I like DS Deep Scarlet (PR175) as a direct alternative to this, or Red Brown (PBr25). Transparent red oxide (PR101) is similar but more orangey.|
|Granulator||SH – Potter’s Pink (PR233)||Other colors that lighten/pastel mixes are Buff Titanium or white. Other highly granulating colors for textured mixes (with different hues) include Goethite, Lunar Earth, French Ultramarine, and Ultramarine Violet (or WN Smalt). Diluted Indian Red is another nice granulator with a pinky hue, though warmer.|
Lee has some unusual colors; I rarely see Bismuth Yellow, and PV62 is a new one to me (it is a Schmincke brand exclusive color). I always find it interesting when someone doesn’t have a burnt sienna/earth orange equivalent. I think the combination of the PR206 plus yellow/earth yellow must cover the use cases for which I’d pull out my Transparent Red Oxide. It’s also interesting to me to see an artist include two colors which I would typically try to choose between, such as PY129 and PY150 or PB15:3 and PB16, because it means they have figured out distinct use cases that I would want to dig into more!
Here’s my “version” of their palette using my own paints in a similar arrangement. I’ve check-marked paints where I used the same pigment and hue (if not the same brand).
Almost all my “typical” palette colors were used here. For my personal preference reasons I would probably replace Phthalo Blue GS with RS, and Alizarin Crimson Quin with Pyrrole Rubin. The reduplicative color pair I often have is having both a PV19 rose and a PR122 magenta, which I could make room for by skipping the purple.
Like me, Lee has lots of other mini-palettes customized with more unusual colors, so be sure to check out the blog for more!