Those of you who have taken any of our courses here at Moore Art School will know that the Moore Method of Painting uses a fairly limited palette.
I have found from experience that this is the easiest way for beginners to learn how to paint. Limiting the palette down to just the three primary colours and white means you have to learn how to mix paint … a vital skill for all artists.
This is the basic palette that I recommend for beginner to intermediate artists:
The colours in the basic palette are:
This palette works well for most landscape and seascape paintings.
But what do you do when you are starting to get a handle on painting and your understanding of colour and how to mix it has developed sufficiently that you want greater variety and flexibility?
This is the Double Primary Palette:
The colours in this palette are:
So what we have is a WARM and a COOL of each of the primaries plus my booster yellow which I mainly use in mixing greens and for highlights.
With this advanced double primary palette you now have a lot more options especially when it comes to mixing greys. You can use this palette to mix a WARM GREY and a COOL GREY and then use these greys to alter the saturation of paint in a landscape.
Doing so allows you to create a lot of depth into your painting.
John Wilson who is one of my favorite Australian Landscape artists uses this approach. In a workshop I took with him last year he started out mixing a warm grey and a cool grey at the start. These then became the basis to set up the tonal structure of the painting.
This is my version of the painting we did with John in his class using this approach:
As you can see the distant hills and cliffs recede off into the distance and there is a lot of atmosphere in the painting.
So the use of the Double Primary Palette can be highly effective.
I have been showing students in the Colour Mixing Course how to use this Double Primary Palette approach and how to create greater aerial perspective in your paintings.
If you have been painting for awhile and feel like you have a handle on the basics of painting then give this palette a try. Just remember to use your cooler colours in the background and use the warmer ones in the foreground.
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