Maybe it’s better to experiment with one variable at a time. Today I chose four.
For my birthday I received a new palette, which prompted me to rethink the pigments I’ve been using. I have been using Maimeri Blu paints, which I really like except for the raw and burnt sienna. I like burnt umber because it looks great when charged with ultramarine blue, but the other earth pigments I think I can do without. I want to move away from those for a while. I was also without a real bright opaque red. With the fall coming, I thought I might like one. I got the free sample Sennelier paints in the mail recently and like the Sennelier Yellow Light a lot, and the cinereous blue is a great sketching sky blue, so I thought I’d give them a try. For my new ones, I got yellow lake (nickel azo yellow), cadmium red light, and permanent alizarin crimson deep (really quinacridone pyrrolidine red that looks a lot like alizarin crimson and works great). So far so good. These fill in the gaps very nicely, and the consistency is great. I like to squeeze a little in the palette and let it dry, so having the honey-based paint is nice.
I am trying a smaller standard selection of paints for now that seem to give me a good range. They’re laid out from top left and around with gaps for special colors when the painting requires:
Sennelier Yellow Light
Sennelier Yellow Lake
Maimeri Blu Permanent Yellow Deep
Sennelier Cadmium Red Light
Maimeri Blu Primary Red Magenta
Sennelier Permanent Alizarin Crimson Deep
Maimeri Blu Ultramarine Blue
Daniel Smith Cobalt Blue
Maimeri Blu Prussian Blue
Maimeri Blu Cupric Green Deep (Pthalo Green)
Maimeri Blu Burnt Umber
Maimeri Blu Ivory Black
I really want to try to work quicker and looser, and I have been looking a lot at my catalog from the John Singer Sargent exhibit. I thought I’d try to be a paint more like him on my next one, which will have beekeeping as the subject. To warm up for that I messed around on a free sheet of Yupo paper that came in a magazine. It’s similar to painting in a Moleskine sketchbook. The paint beads up and stays on the surface. It also wipes easily, so layering is difficult. Worth a try, but very strange. The end result feels like a bit like a scratch-and-sniff. Here’s what I came up with today based on a photo I took of my uncle checking on the hive.