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?
I was initially tempted to include lots of dark, muted colors, but in gathering inspo photos, and in paying attention to my favorite real-life sights of winter, I have noticed so more bright colors than I would have expected! Sure, the trees are bare and the grass is dry, but there is color if you know where to look. Winter sunsets are explosively bold with fiery corals, pop oranges, and deep lilacs. On sunny days, winter golden hour is more intensely gold than at any other time of year. Snowy landscapes are bright with fresh, clear blues and gentle violets.
Let’s break down the colors I chose, and why I chose each one.
While moving some of my watercolor stuff, I found the key to the first complete watercolor palette I put together from professional paints after I switched from Cotman student grade! I made it in an Etchr ceramic mini-palette with 19 wells. I carefully researched what I was going to put in here, picturing that it … Read more
My Desert Palette, which I used to paint my Vegas travel sketches and post-travel paintings, contained 26 carefully chosen colors. So which ones did I end up using the most? And which could I have left behind? Most Valuable Colors These were the colors I found myself reaching for again and again: Also Good Liabilities … Read more
My partner’s sibling is getting married near Las Vegas in a few weeks, and even though it will be a short trip and I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to paint, I’m excited to prep a new palette for a new biome (I’ve never been to the desert!) and to bust out some not-usually-used colors.
The Autumn Palette was so much fun to put together that I decided to go back in time and do one for summer. Even though the weather’s getting colder where I am, the Summer Palette captures the warmth and fun of summer!
To be honest, summer is my least favorite season in reality because I hate being hot, but I love the aesthetic of summer: the beach, the boardwalk, bright colors, sunny skies, nostalgic/steamy tan-toned blue skies.
In this palette, the top row represents a rainbow of brights, while the bottom row is the colors of nature.
I think of myself as being a color person, being in touch with my favorite colors, but when I started putting together my watercolor palette and having to actually make choices between colors, I found it really difficult! It’s easy for me to get really into a color, or to have multiple similar “favorites.” How do I choose between quinacridone rose vs. purple magenta when I love both of them? Am I more of a bright color person or a muted color person? What if it depends on my mood?
Happy autumn! I love fall – it’s my favorite season – so I’ve been super excited to collect fall colors and do fall paintings lately! I’ve put together this theme palette focusing on the warm tones of autumn, like colorful leaves and pumpkins. It could also be considered a golden hour palette because it’s designed to bring out those warm, golden, sunshiney moments right before sunset.
This is my second theme palette, after the Neon Palette, and it was so much fun to build that I’m champing at the bit to make the rest of the seasons. For now, it’s perfect for making seasonally-appropriate paintings!
I’ve decided to dedicate my new, vibrant green Travelers Paper Co x Art Toolkit Pocket Palette to a Neon Theme!
The time has come! I’ve avoided making a “what’s in your palette?” post since I started this blog because it has changed so rapidly that it would always be out of date between when I wrote it up and when I posted it. But since doing Liz Steel’s course, I’ve settled on a pretty great set of colors that has had more sticking power than my previous sets, so I thought: it’s time!