Fresh Ingredients

As you probably already know, the term "palette" is the surface an artist uses to mix paint. It is also the word given to the range of colors an artist consistently uses. Traditionally-trained artists tend to keep their palette fixed, once they've established an array of colors most suited for their purposes. In other words, they arrange the same set of colors in the same areas of their palette for the sake of consistency and to minimize guess-work when mixing their colors, as mixing different kinds of colors within a particular hue-family produces different results (i.e. mixing a warm red with a certain white will produce a different color and effect than a cool red with the same white).

For the past year, I have been studying color, value and intensity within my palette in order to produce paintings that give the illusion of depth. In doing so, I have abandoned the traditional method of a set palette to experiment with various color mixtures. Though my palette has now settled to a select group of colors, I continue to mix the paint with a fresh approach for each session. I determine a color I want to add to the canvas and mix that color with a fresh arrangement of colors. For example, I know that I can make a specific type of yellow, using several different mixing combinations; I don't always use the same combination to produce the same color. I believe this approach has helped me to better establish my technique.