February 19, 2013

A Limited Four-Color Earth Palette

As I start to think about various assignments for my advanced painting students this spring, I remember the four-color palette with which I experimented eight years ago. This small study was painted in oils using only four colors: Yellow Ochre, Indian Red, Lamp Black and Titanium White. 

To Go, oil on canvas, 10 x 8 inches, 2004

The nature of this palette is color temperature and color relativity. Place a cool gray against a warm red and the cool gray appears blue.  I will post more example of my paintings using this limited palette if I come across them.

Other variations of four-color earth tone palettes are out there. Experiment, substitute and see what color and spatial relationships you create in your paintings.

Titanium White
Yellow Ochre
Indian Red
Lamp Black

Venetian Red (more orange/warmer; makes a better orange); Terra Rosa (better pinkish red); English Red is more brown. Lamp is a cooler black, which is good for "blue;" while Ivory Black is warmer. Yellow Ochre substitutions might be explores with Pale Yellow or Naples Yellow for Ochre?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi, Emily - I recall this exercise from university days - thanks for the memory. Sure makes me want to paint, but off to the mighty mighty day job I go today. Will you join the drawing challenge this week? I am hosting for the first time. xxoo, sus