Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Advancing art class: 3 the color palette and sketch

Color palettes:

Modern artists often build a palette based on the three primaries of "color theory", but that is just one way to build a palette.   Renaissance artists used a four color palette: red, yellow, green and blue.  The 'Velazquz palette', an even older palette used for centuries uses just three colors: yellow ochre, burnt sienna and ultramarine blue.

Color sketch:

Once the value study was done I thought about the palette for the painting.  I wanted a three color palette that would capture the warmth of the scene as well as provide colors similar to what is seen in the photograph.  The blue pigment I used for the value sketch matched the sky colors very closely.  I then selected Yellow Ochre, not the yellow in either my warm or cool color wheel, but a close match for both the float and the sea oats.  For the final color I selected a vibrant red.  You can see the primary colors (blue, red and yellow) and three secondaries (purple, orange and green) made form mixing the primaries to right of the sketch.  


  1. This was beautifully done. Your limited palette made for a real stunning painting.

  2. Thank you, I learned a lot about harmony in colors and how a simple palette can make that happen. The final painting is on in my flicker feed which is here: