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I’m looking for One Weird Color :)

July 1, 2017

Full Specturm 24 Palette

Hey watercolorists! I’m looking for advice :)

I want to exile one color from my palette. That will give me a space, that I can use for something else.

What is ONE WEIRD COLOR that I can add?

Something that you use, that you are kind of sure nobody else uses? Something I can have on there just for the hell of it :)

Here’s what I already have, if that helps you choose:


Hit me up in the comments with your ONE WEIRD COLOR.

Oh, and for bonus points – can you guess what I’m going to get rid of?



137 Comments leave one →
  1. July 1, 2017 4:27 PM

    Marc, not a weird color exactly, but you are missing DS Quinacridone Burnt Orange. Drop it into the reflected light of shade and shadow, and watch it glow like magic :)
    Tot Ziens from Holland…S

  2. July 1, 2017 4:29 PM

    Cobalt violet is a single pigment

    Cobalt green

    Both were favorites of Pierre Bonnard


  3. July 1, 2017 4:30 PM

    You have plenty of grays….

    I just wrote about cobalt violet and cobalt green….


  4. July 1, 2017 4:32 PM

    Marc – I would add English Red. I have no idea what you might eliminate.

    Bob Callahan

  5. Cori Lanza permalink
    July 1, 2017 4:37 PM

    Marc, try Schmincke’s Brilliant Rose Violet or Daniel Smith’s Hematite Burnt Scarlet Genuine…both interesting colors! Both are very different and interesting!

  6. ooman55 permalink
    July 1, 2017 4:41 PM

    Daniel Smith Cascade Green is a weird, beautiful paint. It separates into variations of blue and green that I can’t get by mixing the 2 pigments myself. It has a mind of it’s own and does different things on different papers. Pretty cool.
    Getting rid of one of your colors? They all look essential to me!

  7. Maggie permalink
    July 1, 2017 4:50 PM

    I am a fan of Ulramarine blue because it granulates so well.
    I wonder if you might be getting rid of one of your grays.

  8. July 1, 2017 4:54 PM

    I find DS Quin. Burnt Orange very satisfying, also DS Jadite Genuine is interesting when used carefully. I'd get rid of the Buff Titanium, too much sediment, but I am a traditionalist.

  9. Magdalena French permalink
    July 1, 2017 5:01 PM

    Viridian – it’s such a versatile colour, being a single transparent pigment you’ll get the most beautiful, range of warm and cool greens depending on which yellow or blue you mix with it. It’s a great green for taming/knocking back all your reds without muddying them by either glazing or mixing with it. Last but not least, a variety of lovely, clear greys can be so easily achieved with viridian and to that end I suggest you get rid of a grey.

    Magdalena French

  10. nate4117 permalink
    July 1, 2017 5:07 PM

    I would have to think you’d be losing a grey. I have been hooked on DS lunar blue

  11. Nancy Rinn permalink
    July 1, 2017 5:09 PM

    Daniel Smith Undersea Green is gorgeous and granulates into 3 separate colors: olive, gold and blue!

    You have a LOT of grays. I would get rid of one and mix my own,

  12. Judy Sopher permalink
    July 1, 2017 5:16 PM

    Some of your palette colors are already weird to me. Looking forward to your answer,

  13. July 1, 2017 5:18 PM

    just for the hell of it – DS Cobalt Teal Blue…..

  14. July 1, 2017 5:20 PM

    Add DS Quin Sienna– you’ll love how it can brighten up a scene

  15. suzypal permalink
    July 1, 2017 5:20 PM

    Inline horizon blue. By Holbein
    It’s not weird but always use in my sky with other blues.
    Love your art!!

    • July 1, 2017 5:29 PM

      I love Holbein. They make such weird colors!. Googling it shore looks purty :) That’s a great sky color. (I am super happy with my test of Verditer blue so maybe maybe). Thanks!

      • Lady permalink
        July 1, 2017 5:48 PM

        I was told that Verditer Blue is a color that Winsor & Newton put out, then quit producing it, but has only temporarily brought it back; so if you like it, stock up. I hope they continue making it. I love it!

        • Suzbart permalink
          July 1, 2017 7:36 PM

          Holbein makes a Verditer blue, too.

      • suzypal permalink
        July 1, 2017 5:56 PM

        I learned about horizon blue from carl Purcell. I use it in my shadows too. Just drop in spots of it. There are so many great colors is hard to decide sometimes.

        • July 1, 2017 5:59 PM

          That’s a few votes for Horizon then….interesting.

          • suzypal permalink
            July 1, 2017 6:10 PM

            One more thing…Makes a nice purple!
            I am interested in the grey-grey for clouds. What is the brand?
            I will revisit your list

  16. carolyn doherty permalink
    July 1, 2017 5:22 PM

    Have you tried DS serpentine green? Buy a slightly bigger tin?

  17. Tracy permalink
    July 1, 2017 5:33 PM

    I say potters pink, by w&n, and it granulates. I’d get rid of green gold, because you can mix it.

    • July 1, 2017 5:39 PM

      I was thinking about Potters Pink. It is on my short list.

    • Dena permalink
      July 1, 2017 7:00 PM

      I was going to suggest PP as well. Or DS Amazonite. Mixed with Quin Gold makes a beautiful green.

  18. Nancy permalink
    July 1, 2017 5:36 PM

    Hey Marc,

    My suggestion is DS Imperial Purple…and you have decided to get rid of Graphite Grey.

    I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    Nancy Mosk nmosk

    • Chris permalink
      July 2, 2017 6:28 AM

      That would be one of my picks too. I have dioxazine violet WN. I like an intense vibrant purple/violet.

      I would get rid of the charcoal grey too. Doesn’t do too much for me in my painitngs.

  19. July 1, 2017 5:37 PM

    I think you are getting rid of that crumbly raw umber violet. You don’t have ultramarine or, as others have suggestion DS burnt orange but….whatever you choose, I’m sure we are all waiting with baited breath!

    • July 1, 2017 5:40 PM

      I find Raw Umber Violet re-wet’s quite well? are you using it in Daniel Smith? It’s my go-to mid-black unless the thing is blue-black.

  20. July 1, 2017 5:38 PM

    Why not dump the Raw Umber Violet. You already have Raw Umber and Quin Rose. Mix to your liking. I would add a Ultramarine Blue

  21. July 1, 2017 5:40 PM

    If this were my palette I would get rid of the Raw Umber Violet. You can mix Raw Umber and Quinacradone Rose and get the same thing….I always have Ultramarine Blue (red shade) and Burnt Sienna are my go to mix for gray. I love Manganese Blue as my choice for a weird color.

  22. July 1, 2017 5:41 PM

    Kremer got some very odd colors!

    From DS I have Smalt, totally useless! I started with one, and they keep sending me replacements, now I have four I cant use for painting!

    • July 1, 2017 5:46 PM

      Looking at a video, Smalt does seem to be the most useless color. W&N have a limited edition Smalt that’s $30 for a tube!? I can’t imagine what it’s for. It looks like, ultra weak, granulating blue. You do win on the most obscure color!

      • July 1, 2017 5:58 PM

        W&N did have it many years ago as a gift, the company celebrate in 2007, 175 years of colour making. You did get a small tube of Smalt. It worked really nice! Many years later I tried to find it again! So I bought the DS one. weak granulation to the top, and after drying you can wipe of the pigment from the paper! But I found out W&N did not fill the Anniversary tubes with Smalt but with Ultramarine Violett.
        I have it now from Schmincke, everything it touches turns into grey! ;-)

      • July 3, 2017 11:00 PM

        Smalt is made for museum restoration dept. as are many weird colors. Somehow they’ve gotten mainstream. Meant to be used in miniscule amounts to touch up old ptgs. Same with lapis lazuli etc.

        • July 4, 2017 9:20 AM

          That makes some sense – it seemed profligate to use Lapis – somewhat like painting on tiger skin parchment.

      • July 20, 2017 5:33 AM

        I got DS Smalt genuine when I was looking for a light sky blue. You´re right, it´s very weak but makes lovely granulated skies between light blue and white when there´s only a hint of cloud – however, I won´t buy it again because it´s a color for rare occasions and being so I don´t see the sense in paying so much and carrying it around without using it 98% of the time.

        I do vote for quin burnt orange – has been my substitute for siena for a long time. Enjoy Chicago, Marc :)

  23. July 1, 2017 5:41 PM

    You folks are all “coloring my world” today!!! My eyes are salivated at the thoughts of all these suggestions. Thank you Marc for starting such an interesting discussion!!

  24. zuzala permalink
    July 1, 2017 5:55 PM

    Sayin bye bye to grey of grey and replave w DS solidite. ( or cobolt turq)

    • July 1, 2017 5:59 PM

      WoW! I like the look of that DS Sodalite! That’s fascinating. It’s like my Indigo but granulating. (but nooooooo, never give up Grey of Grey~! Try it in some clouds someday :)

  25. lynne permalink
    July 1, 2017 6:26 PM

    Love reading the comments! And that you will not get rid of grey of grey, and that you have no ultramarine or cobalt blue in your palette! surely you are one of few… i vote for adding either D.S. quin. burnt orange or W.N. potter’s pink. both are magic… as for which color you should get rid of, I can see none. ; )

  26. suzypal permalink
    July 1, 2017 6:37 PM

    Thanks! I am.checking that color out

  27. N Hyde permalink
    July 1, 2017 6:54 PM

    Daniel Smith phthalo yellow green and/or Daniel Smith Lapis Lazuli Genuine

    • July 1, 2017 6:56 PM

      ahah! I have looked at that Lapis Lazuli just for the fun of having it :) Have to do some medieval illumination !

  28. nate4117 permalink
    July 1, 2017 7:04 PM

    DS quin deep gold is aweful close to quin burnt orange…

  29. Maggie permalink
    July 1, 2017 7:11 PM

    I also like DS Lunar black because it is granulating and an be added to flat colors in a mix or dropped into wet color to add a little jazz to a shadow or rock. Serpentine green granulates to a subtle brown. I use that in place of sap green now because of this characteristic.

  30. Harry permalink
    July 1, 2017 8:08 PM

    I cannot manage without sepia

  31. July 1, 2017 8:16 PM

    Cobalt Turquoise PB36 is an amazing colour to mix with, it will give extend your green mixes and grays very nicely. I think Joseph Zbukvic uses it.
    I see you have some of Chien Chung Wei’s colours from his new Holbein artist set (gray of gray, veriter blue, Davy’s gray) he recently posted a preview on YouTube, you might get some ideas there ( Lavender and Jaune Brilliant 1 and 2 look interesting.

    • Kathleen Roush permalink
      July 7, 2017 3:38 AM

      The video has English closed captioning! Perfect! Jaune Brilliant 1 and 2 are interesting although in doing plein air in Oregon I didn’t use them in my original huge palettes. I think I will fill half-pans with them now, just to have them more available. They are cad yellow, cad orange and titanium white and cad red and cad orange and titanium white mixtures.

  32. Molly permalink
    July 1, 2017 8:20 PM

    DS- Lunar Blue! It’s an amazing blue that has gorgeous granulation of bright blue and spots of flatter grey.

  33. Mel permalink
    July 1, 2017 9:01 PM

    I thought you used DS Zoisite Genuine – now I use it a lot. Davy’s Grey – out!

  34. Joe permalink
    July 1, 2017 9:02 PM

    I’m going to have to second DS Cobalt Teal Blue & Cobalt Violet Deep–the former is a great aqua for seascapes and certain skies where you want a slightly greener, more varied look (pairs well with Verditer which I’m glad you’re loving as you mentioned above).CVD is just a great choice for when you want a very subtle purple (nowhere near as strong as like a Dioxazine, which I also love) or just good mixing color when you need to mix it with a yellow to dull it, blues or browns to cool them down etc.

  35. July 1, 2017 9:08 PM

    I just discoverd BLE OCHRE. I use it as an encasutic color in my paintings.. It is Cobalkt blue with raw sienna. Kind of a greay, green dark blue, like indigo but not as bright.. I wish I could post a comment.. I just posted a painting on myfacebook and tagged you…here is the link..

  36. Suzbart permalink
    July 1, 2017 9:14 PM

    Old Holland Violet-Grey and Old Holland Blue-Violet are tasty.

  37. L. K. Colvin permalink
    July 1, 2017 9:15 PM

    I would dump neutral tint or one of the greys. I would dump all Grey. Boring. But I don’t paint things the way they should be most of the time. I cannot live without magenta, the pinker sort. You already have a nice Turquoise green. Buff titanium is actually really useful for painting goats and limestone. Sedona (DS) is also a great rock color. Then there is WN Indantradine Blue and Schmincke Sapphire Blue. 

    Blessings,Linda Colvin

  38. nkvorka permalink
    July 1, 2017 9:34 PM

    I thought a grey would be going, maybe the Davy’s Grey, and a color I love for your weird color – Quincridone Magenda by QoR. I look forward to seeing what the final verdict is too. Thanks, this is interesting.

  39. July 1, 2017 9:49 PM

    DS Iridescent Aztec Gold is a fun one for urban work. It layers nicely over darks, too :)

  40. July 1, 2017 9:50 PM

    You don’t need my comments about colors, but I do envy you the many folks who follow your blog and comment. WOW!

  41. July 1, 2017 9:51 PM

    Oh my I wouldn’t attempt to guess what your going to eliminate. I agree that you have too many greys. You have more than enough tube greys already and that is so easily mixed either going warm or cool grey. I see you have many DS pigments. Have I been wasting my time with WN? I have just now order my first DS , I believe it was shadow violet, and raw sienna as I find Winsor Newton raw sienna is way too yellow.
    Of course I love your work, when it comes to urban sketching your way at the top. I have your book, have taken your classes, so I’m waiting to go from a traditional watercolorist to an Urban Sketcher. LOL !

  42. Fred permalink
    July 1, 2017 9:58 PM

    Try Brown Madder PR206

  43. B. Nelsen permalink
    July 1, 2017 10:27 PM

    As a shameless color junkie, I am surprising myself to be recommending DS Sepia, DS Terre Verte and DS Indanthrone Blue – all very understated colors. But what wonderful effects have resulted from using them in mixes!

  44. July 1, 2017 10:35 PM

    Out: grey of grey
    Add: Holbein Lavender
    I took a workshop with Alvaro Castagnet and he introduced me to this weird color. It’s great to glaze over a background to really help recede the space.

    • July 1, 2017 10:53 PM

      I USED to use Holbein Lavender! Dang,that would be full circle :) I figured it wasn’t giving me enough options, so I’d go with Quinn Rose, and I could make a lavender with the much maligned Grey of Grey. That’s a color I love. I use it as a mixer where you might use Chinese White. I won’t give that one up :) So many people knocking the Grey of Grey :) You have to try it in a sky or to make a skin-tone with a a red!

  45. July 1, 2017 11:12 PM

    The weirdest one I ever use is PWC Opera Pink. My partner won it as part of a set. I am surprised at how much fun it can be to throw in as a highlight

  46. Rosi Berry permalink
    July 1, 2017 11:56 PM

    I would get rid of one of the grays too and replace with DS Shadow Violet. Also love DS Cascade Green, Rose of Ultramarine and Undersea Green

  47. Sue Heston permalink
    July 2, 2017 12:33 AM

    I doubt that you are looking for another one, but I love Sennelier Grey. Also, DS Purpurite is surprisingly useful.

  48. July 2, 2017 6:14 AM

    Add DS Potter’s Pink, weird, have no idea how to use it. I have it though, could not resist.

  49. Julia Blackbourn permalink
    July 2, 2017 6:32 AM

    Schmaltz from Daniel Smith. It’s really weird but wonderful with effects you can’t get any other way. If you want a smashing color, try daniel smith’s Imperial Purple, it’s a knockout!! Julia Blackbourn

  50. Gina Bisaillon permalink
    July 2, 2017 9:39 AM

    Have you tried W&N Brown Madder? It’s kind of a blood red, great for brick walls in Montreal.

  51. July 2, 2017 10:36 AM


    Well, I use very conventional pigments but sometimes have Duochrome Blue Pearl by Daniel Smith in my palette. The iridescence can contaminate other colors—then I get rid of it but then I add it again. I used it for the interior of a room in a ruin of a hacienda here in Mexico that had been painted with some kind of iridescent paint long ago.

    You seem to have lots of somewhat opaque or semi-opaque pigments on your palette. Perhaps you are getting rid of one of them?

    Lorie Topinka


  52. July 2, 2017 12:18 PM

    Hi Marc,

    Have you ever tried the brand Sennelier? They sell it in Montreal or at least on the South Shore of Montreal in the Hachem art supply stores and I know they have stores in Montreal also. I would recommend their Prussian Blue (PB27) and also their Chinese Orange (PO49 / PR209). I like the texture of the Sennelier paint, it blends very well and this may be strange to say, but I find it very sensual. There is also a DS Undersea Green (PB29 / PO49) which I use, that I would recommend also. I would also get rid of one of your greys but I will let you decide which one ! Good Luck!

    • July 2, 2017 12:22 PM

      I heard mixed reviews from Sennelier, and I’ve ended up liking what I have from Daniel Smith and M Graham, so, I guess I’ve just never gone into their lines? One day I’ll have to get a kit and just try it for a month. Also – I’m getting a lot of good reviews of Undersea green here !

      • nate4117 permalink
        July 2, 2017 2:56 PM

        I have and love undersea green.

    • Anonymous permalink
      August 22, 2017 9:42 AM

      If I were to buy paints, I would do so through Omer de Serres stores. They have online shopping. Also, give Studio-Six or Curry’s a try. The tubes from these suppliers are fresh and do not bear really old batch numbers. I have had to return many a tube to different manufacturers because the paints were not “quite right”.

      Sennelier’s Chinese Orange is PY150, PR209 and PBr23, and Daniel Smith’s Undersea Green is PB29, PY150, PO48.

      These are the new formulas; they’ve been out for a while now. I agree with the Holbein’s Grey of Grey: love it!

  53. July 2, 2017 2:58 PM

    DS newest color Aussie Red Gold is amazing, really adds emphasis to grass/prairie and some buildings. Also couldn’t go without Venetian Red (for many brick buildings) and DS Shadow Violet (blend with hematite genuine or bloodstone for great rocks). Ditto another poster’s suggestion of DS Cascade Green, which is perfect for fir-shrouded distant hills. I think you’re gonna need a bigger palette….

  54. Marion Isherwood permalink
    July 2, 2017 3:04 PM

    WN OPERA. A favourite Zingy sort of colour. Makes me very very happy. and Marc I wouldnt dare to suggest you removed ANY colour from your palette. You don’t seem to be using much of Raw Umber though.

  55. marghorak permalink
    July 2, 2017 3:53 PM

    I’ve been a big fan of undersea green for quite awhile! Not so much of a fan of the greys (or grays), though. Davy’s Grey might be something to consider getting rid of. Why do you like it? I also LOVE Buff Titanium for sand. It’s perfect!

  56. Lynn permalink
    July 2, 2017 4:33 PM

    When I tried to comment, it asked for my website. I typed in and it won’t accept it. Lynn Marit Peterson

  57. July 2, 2017 5:33 PM

    DS Prussian Green 😀

  58. daveyone1 permalink
    July 2, 2017 5:44 PM

    Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..

  59. WWendi permalink
    July 2, 2017 5:52 PM

    My vote for a weird replacement color is Daniel Smith Sugilite Genuine! It’s a wonderful greyed lavender-ish color has a delightful shimmer to it! I love it with Moonglow, and it also mixes well with many other colors as a neutralizer. I enjoy using it straight for silverwear and metallic reflections, shimmer sands and snow… and just for fun!! (My second pick would be Undersea Green, it has a nice range. Sugilite and Undersea Green look great together, too)!

    My bonus guess is that you be removing Neutral Tint…?

  60. Linda permalink
    July 2, 2017 7:42 PM

    I think you’ll get rid of the Graphite Gray – you can always mix a gray. I’d say to add Andrew’s Tourquoise from Cheap Joe’s. Take a look at Keiko Tanabe’s paintings. She uses it to sign her name and for accents you can’t miss. It’s a very powerful color. Another color I love, but it isn’t one that “pops” is DS Moonshadow. It is made from two non-staining colors, so after you paint it on, it separates back out into two colors that shimmer.

  61. July 3, 2017 5:12 AM

    For me, it has to be Daniel Smith Green Apatite genuine. It granulates beautifully, and makes really intense darks with ultramarine blue. But then again, you don’t use ultramarine blue. Ah go on, give it a try!

  62. July 3, 2017 7:35 AM

    Hi Marc
    I’d like to recommend DS Cobalt Turquoise (stunning skies). Or DS Mayan Blue, which I use for pretty much everything. But then, I’m not too fussy about matching real colours… And for me, I’d get rid of one of your greys. They are so easy and fun to mix… best regards,

  63. July 3, 2017 8:04 AM

    What a response to your query!
    Just to throw a monkey wrench into the mix, try getting rid of half your colors.
    “Too many notes”, as Mozart said. On the other hand you know better than anyone on the planet what to do with that rainbow of colors so what do I know. Still it could be an interesting trial by fire. DS has far too many colors IMHO. Plus they keep coming up with more to drive watercolorists mad with gluttony. Their supplier is Kremer pigments (where I worked for 8 years part-time and introduced KP to making watercolor pans/mediums etc.). In the end there’s nothing wrong with the color palettes of Homer, Hopper, Sargent, Turner and all the great watercolorists. They did pretty well without burnt orange whatsit.
    Just sayin.

    • July 3, 2017 4:08 PM

      Haha – yes you might be very right :) I do want to try that someday. (A very limited palette – to ‘grow up’ my paintings :) After Chicago I can make that a project :)

  64. Christine permalink
    July 3, 2017 8:08 AM

    Schmincke Delft Blue PB 60! Best blue for shadows ever! Pure and yummy!
    Close seconds: WN Cobalt Violet PV 14 (gives your landscapes that special je ne sais quoi) and Schmincke Cobalt Turquoise PG 50 (to be used in tiny doses for that extra zing in every composition)

  65. July 3, 2017 8:24 AM

    On second thought dont change a thing..after looking at your recent email. ‘If it ain’t broke…’

  66. July 3, 2017 9:52 AM

    Cobalt Violet from M Graham, NOT the DS version, which is weak and gummy as hell. It’s a deceptively useful color that desaturates reds, oranges, and yellows into beautiful shadow colors (and flesh tones!), makes haunting landscape greys when mixed with greens, and creates very interesting urban shadow colors when mixed with greys and blacks. Plus, it is an outstanding violet on its own — a hue cannot be mixed from any combo of blue and red pigments I’ve tried. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get the M Graham version of this, however. Cobalt violet is one of the most expensive pigments on the market today, and paint manufacturers work hard to minimize the amount needed for a tube of paint. MG does the color justice, better than I can make on my own.

  67. Melissa McCracken permalink
    July 3, 2017 10:08 AM

    Opera. Holbein. It is a scintillating, searing pink. It will flirt with you from the palette. Great mixer. Beware of the mind games it plays–it will make you want to figure out where you can integrate it into your painting because it is so delicious! You will weep unabashedly if you see its relevance and you realize you left it at home!

  68. July 3, 2017 11:37 AM

    Shinhan Peacock Green or Holbein Mariner Blue, they are similar, they give you the colour of turquoise water that is hard to mix.

  69. Sheila Roote permalink
    July 3, 2017 2:40 PM

    How about WN Cobalt Blue Deep? I love the various purples and greys I can mix with it.

  70. Violina permalink
    July 3, 2017 4:05 PM

    Payne’ grey – most of my colleges hate it but I love the way it separates, and makes interesting greens. My favourite cool dark. I also love phthalo turquoise. Both WN.

  71. Sherry permalink
    July 4, 2017 8:46 AM

    Van Dyke Brown – its warm and gorgeous! And lose one of your greys?

  72. Torrilin permalink
    July 4, 2017 8:18 PM

    M Graham has scarlet pyrrol, PO 73. That might let you avoid having pyrrol orange and cadmium red. Their Indian yellow is PY 110, and it’s high on my list of yellow pigments to try. Their Azo green is PY 129. Daniel Smith uses the same pigment for a different green gold than you have. And it looks like it washes out to a good acidic green.

    I think you have PBk 6 in a couple different paints, and I know it’s supposed to be a rule that you don’t use black… but M Graham’s PBk 6/lamp black makes a nice dark blue. It also is great for perfectly coordinating with Platinum Carbon Black. I’m not sure how it mixes with other yellows, but with a yellow earth it makes really weird greens. Very natural looking, especially for early spring. And I like it in very thin washes for cloud shadows. Granulates nicely.

    I’m not sure how the brown ochre and raw umber are different? And the bloodstone genuine might fit in that group too.

  73. Maria permalink
    July 5, 2017 1:00 PM

    Yarka’s Russian Green, Indanthrene Blue, and Madder Lake Red always claim spots in my travel kit.

  74. July 5, 2017 4:12 PM

    Well..I think that you can replace more than one colour on your palette because you have several of the same or about the same kind with too many convenient mixes. Convenient mixes are useful but only if you use them very often and it is difficult to mix the hue you need quickly.

    You have for example three greys. The Davy’s one is in my opinion a conv. mix that is rarely needed and easily mixed. It is actually a watery mix of PBr7 with a touch of something black or something that contains black. You can mix it easily by using your Raw Umber. The colour you’ll get will not contain also white that makes everything look a bit dull when dried.

    Same for the Olive Green that can be mixed in different hues by mixing any of your greens with with PBr7 or PR101. I wouldn’t say that is needed and it would be better to replace it with another single pigmented green. What about a Veridian that will compliment perfectly the Green Gold ( warm) and the Perylene Green ( dark) and will allow you to mix more Greens too?

    Now your Indigo contains black. I mix mine with PV19 Red Violet +PG7 a combination that is btw the mix of your Neutral Tint though I think that your Neutral Tint will not look that blue as my own made Indigo.
    In any case darkeners like Indigo and Sepia can be very useful but how many darkeners a palette needs? Not to mention that it is better to avoid mixes that contain black as black looks a bit unnatural as a watercolour. Too dark and too opaque if you get my point.
    I mix my own made Sepia with the combination of PR264+PG7 and a bit of PBr7 Burnt Umber. This gives a colour very close to the original Sepia that is transparent and doesn’t contain black. Mixed with PB29 ( Ultramarine) can give you the darkest of darks.

    Your Verditer Blue the one that you testing, is made by three pigments and it is actually a mix of Cobalt Blue with Cerulean Chromium + white. With such a combination of pigments it is possible to get mud if you mix this particular convenient colour and also make it looking a bit dull and not so saturated on its own because it contains white.

    Why don’t you go for a the original Cobalt blue that will compliment the two other blues. The Indigo ( dark) and the Turquoise ( warm)?

    • July 5, 2017 5:09 PM

      You did hit on why I like convenience mixes : Speed! Also, compactness. I paint a lot on location, so for me, it’s great to be able to pick up exactly the color I need and put it right down on the paper without any bother mixing. I don’t need a large mixing area, or a lot of water, making it possible to paint up to a full sheet with my pocket palette and tiny 120ml bottle of water. :) Also, I like being able to take a color full strength, not diluted with too much water – if I had to mix my grey’s, they’d get thin. I use Davy’s grey as an opacifier – so I like grabbing it ‘impasto’ :) And there’s nothing like grabbing a brush full of Olive Green and applying it full strength! Such fun :) I realize it’s not the final answer for most things, (my sketching surely lacks subtlety :) :) but for traveling and note-taking – it’s just the ticket.

      • July 5, 2017 5:54 PM

        You’ve just confirmed that each and every artist has its own technique and colour preferences. Personally speaking I tend to become more minimalist on my sketching palette and maximalist on my studio palette and to experiment more and more with different colours and techniques. But this can change at any given time, depending the subjects that attract my attention.
        Anyway.. I’m very curious to know what is the colour that you are going to get rid of! Teeellll me pleeeaseee!!! :D

  75. everart permalink
    July 6, 2017 4:09 PM

    A lot of great ideas, but not a lot of “weirdness”. I’ve been playing with the moderately weird granulating DS Potter’s Pink lately, works well with cerulean/cobalt blues for dawn/dusk skies. Would work with Verditer, maybe MG Turquoise and with Perylene Maroon and other darks to make interesting texture effects.

    I agree with the DS Undersea Green suggestions. I also like the weirdness of the new Aussie Red Gold–it really does separate into reds/oranges/yellows! And DS Lavender has a great grey undertone, but I’m not sure how I’d use it. It would be fun to see how you incorporated a luminescent paint into your work. I like DS Iridescent Scarab Red–it’s very granulating and like a shiny earthy dark red.

    Thanks for sharing your palette explorations with us!

  76. Zoe permalink
    July 7, 2017 12:29 PM

    Caput mortuum violet is a fascinating oddball for hard surfaces.

  77. Judy Sopher permalink
    July 7, 2017 2:37 PM

    The number of comments is amazing. But I have a question–probably no good answer. I was removing alizarin crimson from my travel palette which is small I got paint all over me and the palatte. Do you-or anyone-know of a slick way to remove a color? Such a process may not exist. Thanks.

    • July 7, 2017 4:45 PM

      Judy, I don’t know if this will work with watercolour but as you’re with paint pigment it might be worth a try. Murphy’s Oil Soap will do amazing thing for oil and acrylic brushes, completely restoring old, dried out, paint filled brushes. One of my students recently used it not only for her brushes but for removing dried paint from her clothes, she said it was amazing.

      • Judy Sopher permalink
        July 7, 2017 4:52 PM

        I’m more interested in removing paint from a palette paint well. The smallish ones-or any one. Its always a real mess. But thanks for the reply. Appreciate it. And I think I have used that soap years ago to clean our saddles..

        • July 7, 2017 11:15 PM

          For my plastic pans and metal palette box I use “The Masters Brush Cleaner and Restorer”. It does a good job on cleaning off most colours, some staining colours, like Phthalo Green not as well. I have an old pan of Alizarin (PR83), and just tested it; cleaned back to white perfectly.

          • July 7, 2017 11:16 PM

            Thanks Glenn!

          • Judy Sopher permalink
            July 8, 2017 3:48 PM

            Thanks. I guess I really need help with removing one color without getting the paint all over the others not being removed. Marc, since you are planning to remove just one, I asked this question. I guess there is no easy way to remove just one without making a mess. I’m good at messes.

            • July 8, 2017 4:11 PM

              Oh! I misunderstood – I “glue” the half pans in with blue-tac poster gum. So they’re not held in very tight. Then I pull individual pans out with tweezers. And clean the area with scraps of tissue and tweezers. :)

              • Judy Sopher permalink
                July 9, 2017 6:57 AM

                That is so clever. However I am not using pans but tube paint. And I wish I had known about blue-tac poster gum before using permanent glues. I have a small Windsor Newton palette that I have removed the pans and just added tube paints. This does not come apart.

                BTW, I do have one you did a post on- the put in 6 large pans and 2 small and it is a nice limited palette.

    • Drayve85 permalink
      July 10, 2017 10:43 AM

      I found a perfect fix for palette stains, and by “found,” I mean “borrowed!” From parka on parka blogs. He suggested using one of those “magic erasers” (sorry for all the quote marks!lol) They work great for getting even the most stubborn staining colors off, such as any of the phthalo colors. Some you may need to scrub a lil bit and use some elbow grease, luckily that stuff is pretty cheap!😎
      Also, Marc, if I were you, I would add Cinereous Blue by Sennelier, or cerulean blue chromium by Daniel Smith, and take out maybe…..Pyrrol Orange?? Idk. I don’t envy you, seeing how color choice is such a difficult task!

      P.S. rubbing the mixing areas of a palette with toothpaste helps get rid of the dreaded “beading up” of paint on the plastic and enameled metal palettes. Works like a charm!!

      Thanks, waiting on bated breath to hear what colors you

      • Drayve85 permalink
        July 10, 2017 10:58 AM

        Also, I would swap out that MG Turquoise for W&N Phthalo Turquoise. It’s a single pigment color, and I think it’s probably the best phthalo blue. Better than red shade or green shade. Same thing with Green Gold. Go for the single pigment PY 129. Either W&N Green Gold or DS Rich Green Gold.

      • ooman55 permalink
        July 10, 2017 1:43 PM

        Cinerous Blue, yes! It’s a color that MOVES, which makes it unpredictable and fun. It mixes well with other colors, too.
        I think many of us will be trying out lots of new colors after reading all the interesting suggestions here, I know I’ll have to.

  78. katzp2014 permalink
    July 7, 2017 5:29 PM

    Fun challenge.

    I don¹t know that these suggestions are weird, but I¹ll suggest anyway.

    The one color I use a lot of ­ next to Quin Gold ­ is Quin Burnt Orange. I knocked Burnt Sienna out of my palette a couple of years ago in favor of QBO. It rocks.

    I¹m also a fan of Scarlet Lake as a red. It mixes well with Quin Gold ­ actually replaces Quin BO if you use them together.

    I see you have a lot of greens already. That said, I¹m a fan of DS Serpentine Green ­ a happy color without need to mix with others.

    It¹s interesting to me how many greys you have in your palette. I tend to mix those in my work from other colors.

    As for what you are planning to eliminate, I might guess Buff Titanium. I know it¹s good for beach sand, etc ­ but I find when it mixes in with other colors that it dulls them right down.

    Have fun.

    Patricia Katz – Pauseworks Studio

  79. katzp2014 permalink
    July 7, 2017 5:36 PM

    Hi Marc

    I notice from the pic in your blog that you have a metal palette with removable pans.

    I, too, have been using one for a few years now (see pic attached).

    I like the removable pans and being able to switch paints in and out.

    However, most recently, the enamel finish is rusting away, and the Œblack bits¹ are settling into my paints.

    OK if you¹re looking for texture ­ but bad news otherwise.

    The rusting is also making the palette difficult to open and close ­ it sticks.

    Have you had a similar problem with metal palettes?

    Or are there some that are more durable than others?

    Any advice appreciated.

    Thanks, Patricia

    • July 7, 2017 6:30 PM

      I agree on the rusting! It’s just part of it – replacing the thing every three to five years? Or I suppose one could dry it out each time :) I’ve seen some very nice brass paint boxes, but they’re simply to heavy for me! So -a $75 box every five years seems OK :(

      • July 8, 2017 12:22 PM

        Yikes, $75.00! I’ve had a nice me weight box for about 3 years now with no rust problems (yet😋) that lists for about $18.00 from Jacksons in the UK. A lighter weight version, one of which I’ve had for a year that’s still going strong, can be found on eBay in the $4.00 to $6.00 range. I think the interest in Urban Sketching has pumped the production of these in Asia.

  80. Jenny permalink
    July 7, 2017 6:12 PM

    I only read some of the comments, but it was interesting to see Horizon Blue mentioned many times! I live in the “Land of Holbein” (Japan) and I have been reading a book by artist Kazue Kuyama about her 8-color palette for landscapes. One of them is Horizon Blue! It seems like an oddball, but that is clearly part of the charm. She also uses Light Red. My suggestions for new pigments: Light Red or Mars Violet.

  81. Judy Sopher permalink
    July 10, 2017 11:57 AM

    Marc, with so many interesting suggestions, it would be easier to get another palette and try these new colors. Or it may take more than one palette Of course, it’d cost a small fortune but what fun!!!

  82. Judy Sopher permalink
    July 10, 2017 11:59 AM

    Marc, with so many interesting suggestions, it’d be easier to buy another palette –or more–and try them all. Of course, it would cost a fortune, but what fun!

  83. Judy Sopher permalink
    July 10, 2017 12:00 PM

    Sorry about that, but I guess I did this over as it didn’t seem to post. I thought I was being censored. Hmmm.

  84. August 13, 2017 5:11 PM

    I loe MG quinacridone rust :)


  1. Follow up on: One Weird Color | Citizen Sketcher

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