Menu

Limited Palettes 4: warm and cool primaries together

October 2, 2020

The Ceno at Ponte Lecca
Painted with; Lemon yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue

This week we will still be working with just three primary colours but you may choose to use any two warm primaries with one cool primary or any two cool primaries with any one warm primary.

Palettes with a cool bias;

One that gives good mixing opportunities is;

Alizarin Crimson: cool red

Ultramarine: warm blue

Lemon yellow or Cadmium lemon: cool yellows

Reasonable green colours can be mixed and purple and orange hues, as well as near black neutral greys using the red plus blue plus a tiny amount of yellow.  By substituting Alizarin with Permanent Rose or Magenta some great violet /purple colours can be made but cooler orange hues.

Another interesting choice with a cool bias would be

Cadmium Red Pale: warm red

Cerulean Blue or Phthalocyanine Blue: cool blues

Lemon Yellow or  Cadmium Lemon: cool yellows

This will give very fresh and may give rather acid looking greens which can always be knocked down by adding the tiniest amount of red (more if you need a rather olive green/brown).  You will not be able to mix a good purple. 

Two Palettes with a warm bias would be;

Cadmium Red Pale: warm red

Ultramarine: warm blue

Lemon yellow or Cadmium lemon: cool yellows

and

Alizarin crimson or permanent rose: cool reds

Ultramarine Blue blue: warm blue

Indian Yellow: warm yellow

Remember that the overall look, cool or warm, will depend not only on the pigments used but the proportions in which they are used. If blue is predominant the whole may have a cooler appearance than if red dominates. Also where colours are diluted or made paler in tone by mixing with white this also has a ‘cooling’ effect, as does working with muted colours and coloured grays mixed from the primaries.

The Pinterest link below references a variety of works that could be interpreted with a limited mix of primary colours. There are a handful of still lives, some Impressionist and American landscapes including a couple by Thomas Moran, whose paintings I have seen at first hand with other amazing landscapes painted in America over the same period around 1870 to 1900. There are also a couple of delightful posies by Fred Cuming. Other artists represented are even better known, and a few sunsets and sunrises that I am sure you will know.

Hope you enjoy them!

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/jhall1282/limited-palettes/warm-and-cool-together/

Practical

1. The only rule this week is that your three primaries should include at least one cool and one warm primary colour, so investigate what you have in the paint box, and try some mixes out.  If working in any opaque way you may use white but not black!

2. Paint a picture, perhaps a still life with flowers or a landscape with an architectural feature or a dramatic sky.  The ‘architectural feature could be anything from a garden shed to a distant ruin. The palette used is more important than the subject but try to choose the combination of primaries that best suit the mood of your painting, and please list the pigments used when you send an image.

Your paintings:

May in George’s Garden by Sarah
Cool bias: Lemon Yellow, Permanent Rose, Ultramarine Blue
Red flowers by Sarah
Warm bias: Lemon Yellow, Scarlet Red Ultramarine Blue
Sunset by Maricarmen inspired by Fred Cuming
Indian Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Chinese White
Sunburst by Maricarmen
Indian Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Chinese White
Zinc White Gouache
Figs by Ann
Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red, Prussian Blue
Castiglione del Lago by Ann
Cadmium Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue
Avenue by Ann
One that escaped last week’s post!
Heather’s palettes:
Left warm bias: Cadmium Yellow, Alizarin crimson, Ultramarine Blue
Right cool bias: Cadmium Red, Lemon Yellow, Cerulean Blue
Crab Apples by Heather
Cadmium Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue
Pyracantha by Heather
Cadmium Red, Lemon yellow, Cerulean Blue
Freston Tower by Jane
Lemon Yellow, Permanent Rose, French Ultramarine
and Grey pen
Toward Lundy Light by Jane
Lemon Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine
Balcombe Viaduct by Angela
Cadmium Yellow, Quinacridone Magenta, Ultramarine dark, Titanium White
Ligurian Bridge by Malcolm
Painted in acrylic with Cadmium Yellow Medium,
Quinacridone Magenta, Ultramarine Blue and White

Malcolm used a palette of warm blue, cool red, warm yellow: Ultramarine B29, Quinacridone Magenta R122, Cadmium Yellow Medium Y37. Plus white.
The reference was a black and white photo b&w photo of a vintage original which took his eye on a hotel staircase in the Cinque Terre; something about the light and dark composition. So Malcolm gave himself the challenge of relating the original tones to the colours achievable with the palette.
Starting with a reddish-purple monochrome underpainting of the darks only, everything except the sky was covered with a with a transparent glaze of the opaque yellow, using glazing medium. This turned the grisaille brown as in the basic building shadows. Malcolm deliberately left some yellow imperfectly covered to get a warm afternoon feel to the painting.

Corfe castle by John
Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Red, Ultramarine Blue
Traditional Dress from Mongolia by Barbara
Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Red Pale, Cerulean Blue
Plums by Barbara
Lemon Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue
Mixes by Shirley
Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red Hue, Cerulean Blue
The Hut by Shirley
Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red Hue, Cerulean Blue
Sandhills of Lake Amadeus, Central Australia by Elizabeth
Cool bias: Lemon yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue
Dahlia by Elizabeth
Warm bias: Permanent Yellow Deep,
Permanent Rose, Ultramarine Blue
Sweet Peas by Jan
Cool bias: Lemon Yellow, Magenta, Ultramarine Blue
After Lunch with Klee by Roger
Warm bias: Cadmium Lemon, Cadmium Red Light, Ultramarine Blue
The Uphill Run; acrylic by Vivienne
Lemon Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, White
Yellow Dahlias by Vivienne
Acrylic: Cadmium Yellow Hue, Cadmium Red Light,
Phthalo Blue Green Shade and White
A Memory of Scotland by Chris
Hansa Yellow, Cadmium Red, Ultramarine Blue
On the Lizard looking West by Sandra
Cadmium Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Blue
Gold Hill, Shaftesbury by Liz
Deep Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Phthalo Blue

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *