Michaels Palette

I like to work with a limited palette. The colors I use are Cadmium Yellow Pale, Vermillion, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Phtalo Green and Titanium White. Old Holland Classic Oil Paint are a great brand to work with I find.

my palette layout

You may have noticed that I don´t use any black. Well, I do prefer to mix a neutral black from complentary colors rather than the usual carbon or iron oxide blacks.
A careful blend of Alizarin Crimson, Phtalo Green and a little bit of Ultramarine Blue makes a rich "colorful" black.
Depending on the hue (color note) of the "black" needed, I add blue, red or green accordingly.

All other colors are mixed with this palette. It makes it quite easy to work fast, especially when painting en plein air. Almost automatically a wonderful color harmony is achieved. The same yellow is in the greens and the browns and orange tones, and so on.


Mixing warm, neutral greys

Original Oil Painting by M. Sason
For this painting I mixed a large pool of "black" with equal amounts of Phtalo Green and Alizarin Crimson, added a little Ultramarine Blue and a tiny bit of Cadmium Yellow Pale. The yellow in this mixture "warms up" the hue (color note) when white is added to it.
The three lighter values are all mixed from the large pool of "black" by adding Titanium White.


Mixing brown and yellow occre

Original Oil Painting by M. Sason
For this painting I needed a lot of brown tones which I mixed with my limited palette. By the way, I don´t find a limited palette limiting but rather liberating. But that´s just me.
Vermillion and Phtalo green are the basis for a nice warm reddish brown.
To darken the brown you can add a bit of Ultramarine Blue and Alizarine Crimson. Depending what brown you need, you can add a bit of greeen, blue or red to it.
Generally when adding white to a color it not only gets lighter but also "cooler". Mixing yellow to it will "warm" the color up and in this case will create a nice occre.

By experimenting with the pool of paint you can "push" the color in every direction you need it. More green or a touch more of blue and so on. That´s why I think that this palette is not limiting at all because you can mix all the colors you need.


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