Terry Miura • Studio Notes


Sunday, April 30, 2017

My Current Palette


I've been using a variation of this palette for many years. From time to time, I switch out a color or two, just to shake things up, but it's always been a primaries palette, basically.

I have three variations of each of the primaries, plus white. I don't have any secondaries - I just mix them with this set of colors.

White - Titanium White. I like the opacity and the coolness of Titanium White. Nothing against other whites, but I got to know Titanium pretty well, and I don't have a problem with it so I haven't really had an incentive to get to know the others.

Blues - In the picture they all look pretty dark, but they are Ultramarine, Prussian Blue, and Payne's Gray. Ultramarine represents the violet-leaning blue, Prussian the green-leaning blue, and Payne's Gray the low chroma blue.

Yellows - Cadmium Lemon for my cool yellow, Cadmium Yellow Deep for my warm, and Yellow Ochre is my low chroma yellow.

Reds - Permanent Red is my warm red. It's a Cad Red Light alternative. It's much cheaper and does what I need it to do. Less toxic, too, which may be a plus, except I use other Cads so I don't have a leg to stand on.  Alizarin Permanent is my cool red. I've been trying other cool reds like Venetian, Terra Rosa, Pompeii, etc. But haven't found one that works for what I'm looking for. So until I do, I'll keep using Alizarin.  My low chroma Red is Transparent Oxide Red. every brand has a different name for this color and I most often use Transparent Earth Red from Gamblin. It's like Burnt Sienna, but transparent, more intense, and goes down cleaner when doing washes.

The palette itself is a shot of my 10 x 12 (?) Open Box M, which I love. I use a 16 x 20 surface in the studio, but in the field, I like my Open Box M if I'm traveling or if I have to hike to get to a spot. If I'm painting near my car, I use my Soltek or a half-box French easel so I can have a larger palette to work with (12 x 16).


13 comments:

  1. I saw you comments on Facebook but I wondered what about Manganese blue for the cool blue? I realy let your greens explode!

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    1. I like Manganese Blue, but it's not green enough for this palette. I also like that Prussian maintains it's dark value, which I exploit when making a "black" by mixing it with Alizarin or Transparent Oxide Red. there are lots of other colors that are great - but this set is working for me right now~

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  2. Wow, nice to hear about this primaries palette. I've been painting w/ just 3 tubes + white lately, but got my clock cleaned yesterday when I was trying to paint a relatively neutral-painted house in warm light. Lemon Yellow kept turning everything green for me yesterday and so I'm starting to warm up to the idea of keeping a primary palette, but adding more flex to it w/ a setup like you've got here. Do you find you're able to easily make greys and have control over their temperature w/ this palette? Thanks, as always, for the post and helpful insights to the process!

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    1. Thanks Robb, yes, this is a very flexible and versatile palette. One way to get rich grayed-down colors is to mix a neutral gray using a bright red, a bright blue, bright yellow, and white, and use it as a modifier. I don't do this much anymore, but when I was learning, it was super helpful!

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  3. Thanks for sharing this!
    Which Permanent red do you use? I know Rembrandt makes 3 versions- light, med., and deep. I've been looking for cad. red replacements. Thanks!! -John

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    1. I use the Rembradt's Permanent Red Medium. Works great!

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    2. Hi terry
      What brand do you use for Cad yellow Deep?
      Thanks

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  4. Hi, Terry, Love this palette and still follow your basic set up with the primaries as indicated in your book.

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    1. It's a super versatile palette. I just switch out a color now and then when all my paintings start looking the same, but it's still the same concept. 'hope you're doing well!

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  5. Hi Terry
    Thanks for sharing this as trying to simplify my palette for plein air. Just wondering what Cad Yellow Deep you use as from the photo it looks much lighter compared to the Yellow Ochre than the ones on my palette ( both Utrecht). When I tried mixing greens with these 2 Utrecht yellows and the 3 blues on your palette the difference was not so great. Trying to work it out in R.I.

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    1. My paints are all Gamblin, except Permanent Red (Rembrandt) there's lots of other great quality brands, but I've gotten to know Gamblin colors and I don't have a reason to try something else right now. From time to time when I need a change, I try something new but not often.

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  6. Hi Terry,

    A very rational and business like palette! :)

    It’s similar to what I use except I have an additional yellow - cad yellow pale and an additional low chroma red - light red. Do you know what the pigment is in the Permanent Red you use as I’d be interested in trying it?

    I normally don’t use trans oxide red as a low chroma red but use it mainly for making darkest darks with other dark transparent colours like ultramarine blue.

    I was wondering about Alizarin Crimson as your cool red, which is standard cool red, but have you ever tried Magenta (PR122 - its a quinacridone I think)? It has a stronger tinting strength, is transparent and is a much purer hue than Aliz but not as dark.

    For my blue I have been searching for an alternative to genuine Colbalt Blue as it is so expensive and I use it lot to make opaque greys and cool things down. Ive tried Pthalo Blue but its tinting strength overpowers most colours so is difficult to control. Prussian Blue Ive considered but I read there is a danger of fading with some pigments and / or when used in low concentration mixtures such as tinting.* How does it compare with Colbalt Blue would you say?

    *4 year Light fastness test: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=12217112&postcount=43

    I dont have a low chroma blue on my palette so I’m interested in trying Paynes gray.

    Cheers,
    Alex

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  7. Interesting to read the thread on lightfastness tests~ I haven't really noticed any issues with my paintings - of course mine aren't exposed to harsh sunlight so they should last a good long time. I haven't tried Magenta. I think I might, when I use up my alizarin. My colors tend to be muted and tonal so it's not super critical that I have specific pigments on my palette, but I've just gotten used to the set and I'll only try something new when I get into a color rut.... which may be happening soon, I can feel it coming!

    As for Cobalt substitute, I dunno. I use it instead of Ultramarine sometimes. Phthalo or Prussian would be too green, I'd think.

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