I thought I'd share my oil palnting palette, and the reasons why I've chosen the particular colours. I use a very limited palette because I want to get as familiar as possible with as few colours as possible because I have a degenerative eye condition (macular degeneration) and want to get so familiar with using and mixing just a few colours that colour mixing becomes second nature. I've basically simplified my palette to make life easy for myself as my eyesight changes. I also like mixing my colours and being in control of the cool/warm bias and tonal values, and being able to adjust accordingly.
I use Michael Harding oil paints. I've used most brands over the years but have found that these are the best quality. They are highly pigmented, a little goes a long way! They have a soft buttery consistency, which is good for me as I don't use a medium.
Titanium white - a good all-round opaque white which works well with my palette
Cadmium yellow lemon - a light, bright cool-bias yellow which mixes well to make a variety of greens. It makes surprisingly vivid oranges when mixed with quinacridone rose
Quinacridone rose - a cool-bias red to mix nice oranges, purples and violets as well as bright pinks straight out the tube
Ultramarine blue - a warm-bias blue, for skies, great for mixing greens, violets and purples - does everything a blue should do!
Cobalt teal - this is my one luxury colour. I always have it on my palette as it is very hard to mix, especially with my limited palette. It makes more vibrant spring greens (more so than the ultramarine does). I admit turquoise is my favourite colour and I can usually fit it into most of my paintings! It's such a beautiful colour, and is good for adding cooler mid-toned colour to shadows, skin tones, etc. It makes great greys too
Burnt sienna - a warm brown which is so useful. When added to any colour it makes them more earthy - ideal for naturalising greens. It also makes a lovely grey when mixed with ultramarine blue
So my palette basically consists of each of the primary colours, my earth, burnt sienna, plus white and my 'luxury' colour, Cobalt teal. With this palette I can mix any colour I want to with relative ease.
Here's a colour wheel I made using just cadmium yellow lemon, quinacridone rose and ultramarine blue, plus white added to the mixtures on the inner circle. It shows the extensive range of colours that I can get with just these three primaries, and the vibrant secondaries. The middle is a mix of all three colours...
Today is World Mental Health Day, so I thought I'd share something here which I hope will be useful for others.
I have always been open about my struggles with my mental health and how this is intrinsically linked to my creative life.
My ups and downs mentally, mirror the ups and downs I experience with how creatively unblocked and free I am.
However, I never understood (or even really linked together) this cycle until I started to journal regularly. Through journaling I began to learn about myself, what makes me tick. Through this new understanding I've been able to get in touch with what makes me tick creatively, making me into the artist I was always meant to be, bringing me into a creative life that fills me with joy.
Through the simple act of daily writing, I've cleared the way for myself to move forward, and I continue to do so. In particular I can now move forward through the negative cycle of overthinking... I overthink everything. I used to get trapped in this for months at a time. Those early journals were a revelation!
Journaling keeps me grounded in my own journey through life, personally and creatively, without comparison to others. I find that artists get so hung up on what others are creating and where their at on their creative journey (that dreaded comparisons thing!). Journaling for me keeps me focussed on what I'm doing, where I'm finding inspiration and where I'm going next. It doesn't mean I never have ups and downs of course, but I now I have a powerful tool for exploring my feelings and helping myself out of the low points, moving from negative thinking into positive. Some of my writing will end up on here, my online journal, in the hope that it will help others.
In my opinion, there's no right or wrong way to journal, but I'm convinced that journaling has huge benefits on your mental health, whether you're an artist or not.
Here's a great resource from the MIND charity I recommend here
And, if you're struggling to think what to write about then this guided book is fab... view here
Read more about journaling on the MIND website here
Get more information and help on mental health issues from the mental health charity MIND here