24 Color “Full Spectrum” Paint Box
PLEASE NOTE: I began playing with this 24 color palette in early 2015, and have made numerous small changes to the color selection. Both from my own test paintings and feedback from other professional artists.
I don’t think color I’ll ever stop testing colors – I already know I want to switch out Fuschite for a warmer yellow green like Rich Green Gold (out of stock in my local shop today).
I’ve edited this post as I make changes – and I’ll keep doing so as I move colors in the set. So you can check back here for the ‘final’ (current) word on my color choices.
I still recommend a traditional split-primary palette to beginners – listed over here on the watercolor materials page. The split-primary was how I learned to mix color and I think it’s easier to understand at first.
I call this 24 color selection a Full Spectrum Palette. It has a warm and cool side, with Blues, Blue/Greens, Greens and ‘Blacks’ on one side, and Yellows, Earth Tones, Reds and Violets down the other. I’ve arranged the colors in a kind of light/mid/dark philosophy in their rows – (such as the violet row) – sometimes it’s more of a warm-to-cool gradient – such as the Blue/Green row.
This is a 5×8″ (when open) paintbox as compared to 14 in my previous 3×5″ bijoux box. I like the larger mixing area offered by that flip out panel below. I like to pack small, but upsizing to this kit was worth it for the mixing area alone.
Let me know if you’d make any replacements to this mix. I’m always curious what other people are using for pigments!
FURTHER NOTE: I can also say, now that I have tested artist grade tube colors and equally high-quality pan colors side by side – there is a noticeable difference in how they re-wet.
In a typical usage case artist grade pan colors release more pigment faster than most of my tube pigments – IF that is – the tube color has begun to dry out in the tin. This is typical after two or three days in northern climates.
If the paint is fresh from the tube, there is no difference to re-wetting – and in fact, tube colors allow me to pick up juicy gobs of color and let them mix and bloom on the wet paper.
This means, if you don’t paint that often, pans might be the better choice. (The re-wetting is very convenient). However, if you like to paint very wet, or with a lot of blooming color – then tubes will win out – but you have to keep your paint fresh.