“Near Threlkeld, Cumbria”: oil 7×5 inches


A few articles on limited palettes took my interest during the past week or two. I tend to have a small number of regular colours put out when using oils; but more when working with pastels due to the greater numbers required for darks, midtones, lights etc.

So this week’s painting is made from a limited palette; permanent alizarin crimson, french ultramarine and cadmium yellow light, along with titanium white. The first two and fourth are Winsor and Newton, the yellow is a Daler Rowney tube, which is actually quite bright but I preferred it to lemon yellow.

The image here is a little bit dark, not a good photography day; I will probably get a better image and replace this one later.

I will own up here and say that I dabbed a small bit of thalo blue onto the palette for the sky colour. Thalo blue with white provides a clean and fresh-looking shade, whereas a mix with french ultra acquires a cooler, slightly mauve look. Lower sections of the sky tend towards a greenish tint, which is more readily provided by thalo blue since it is nearer to green on the colour circle.

Ultramarine and cadmium yellow light provided the base for several greens; adding white, or a touch of alizarin crimson to “brown up” the colour and knock back the brightness. Alizarin plus ultramarine makes a nice purple that can be modified with white, light yellow or even a green mix to make various greyish shades. Cloud colours were begun with white plus a mix of alizarin and light yellow, which makes a browny-orange colour. That small dab of thalo was used up by incorporating it here and there in green mixes.

The painting is on an Ampersand gesso board, made with a lovely smooth white surface which I prefer these days to canvas.

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