Friday, April 21, 2017

Planning my watercolor palette for 2017

I've been playing with colors to make my next palette. I want to share this  process of selection with you.The truth is that I want to be ready for the Urban Sketcher International Symposium in Chicago this July! Woo-hoo! 

I have to mention that I tried (out of curiosity) the Daniel Smith watercolor essential set for several months and I LOVED the intensity and how easily they dissolve once dry in the pan BUT, before I buy more paint, I think it's fair to say (and also fair to my pocket) that I need to finish first other stored paint I have. I think paint last some time without loosing its properties but won't last for endless years, it dries eventually. 

My criteria was:
1. What colors I use the most (which pans have the biggest holes, therefore the ones I like the most).
2. What do I have in inventory (seriously, get them out and use them, paint is not cheap!)
That's it. Base on that, I assigned a whole pan or half pan for each color.

I want to create a new palette with my favorite colors putting together the essential watercolor set from Daniel Smith and my Winsor&Newton old palette.
Right now I have the Daniel Smith paint in a pocket size pill organizer I brought with me to Mexico.  I think they deserve better. 

I'm waiting for a new metal travel palette and empty pans I ordered to finish this project. I plan to do the follow arrangement. I organized the colors by groups.

DS transparent New Gamboge is a new favorite, I noticed I used it a lot, therefore I'll use a whole pan; W&N Yellow Cadmium is opaque but I have a LOT of it, so a whole pan, I have to use it; DS Hansa Yellow Light, semi-transparent, half pan; W&N semi-opaque Yellow Ochre, half pan. I'll switch pan size with Yellow Cadmium when I finish it.

DS transparent Quinacridone Rose, I used it a lot, whole pan; W&N transparent Alizarin Crimson, love it and thankfully I have plenty, so a whole pan; half pan of DS semi-transparent Pyrol Scarlet, essential to make VERY dark colors with Phthalo Blue (GS); W&N transparent Winsor Red, a favorite, half pan, it's going nowhere.

The ones I use most is W&N opaque Cerulean Blue and W&N transparent French Ultramarine. I like better Ultramarine from W&N than DS, it's smoother, brighter, easier to dissolve, and it doesn't shrink when in dries in the pan. I also realized I used DS transparent Phthalo Blue (GS) a lot, although I'll use half pan, I also have similar color W&N transparent Winsor Blue (GS) in storage, so both will make a whole pan. Half pan for W&N Smalt or Dumont's Blue a beautiful purple-blue paint  I have stored. Half pan for W&N opaque Payne's Grey, it's grey but it has a hint of blue, also makes VERY dark color.

I have to have them, it saves me mixing time. Whole pan for transparent Sap Green which I use a lot, I like better the one from Daniel Smith, BUT I have a lot W&N stored, so it will use it until I finish it, then I'll switch to DS. Half pan for a W&N transparent Winsor Green, I have it as a Phthalo Green (YS)

Whole pan for W&N transparent Burnt Sienna, love it, also have lot of it. Half pan for W&N opaque Burnt Umber, it saves me time from mixing color for dark browns. No more new earth colors to try until I finish these paints.

I can see I'm very close from achieving my perfect palette. It looks like I'll have lost of colors on it but for my advantage I know them as the palm of my hand. A-ha!

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