I have been thinking of a very muted primary color palette for some time. Basic features behind the color palette are:
- Colors are commonly available, mostly series 1-2 colors. No fancy ones
- The paintings will be somewhat muted, not overpowering like my regular primary palette and different from a Zorn palette
- I can lighten the colors upto white and darken the colors down to black. No change here
- I can use colors that can be identified as red, blue, yellow and mixed ones purple, green, orange (I can live without the most accurate secondaries here)
- Reducing stress over correct color mixing. Focusing on values only
- Palette must be suitable for any muted subject
Following are the choice of colors. Obviously, minor changes can be done depending upon the choice of colors available to an artist. I am selecting from Camlin brand only due to availability.
- White: Titanium White. I specifically did not look for a muted white because the colors need to be lightened to the highest degree
- Yellow: My choice is Yellow Ochre as it is a great muted yellows. I thought of using Raw Sienna and Naples Yellow, but they pose various challenges in color mixing. I can mix a color similar to Naples Yellow or Raw Sienna with Yellow Ochre
- Red: This was the toughest choice to make. I needed a muted slightly bluish red that can influence other colors. Obvious choices were the earth tones. Both Venetian and Indian red in Camlin brand are orangy. So not a good choice. But, I opened the tubes of the Light Red and Indian red. There was very little difference. I bought Indian Red, which has a color of very powerful rust. It produces muted purples/violets but I am still gonna try the Light Red color next time and see if it is slightly cooler. However, when mixed with yellow, Indian Red produces a vibrant orange
- Blue: I bought Indigo, which was more of a black with blue undertone. Other options being Ivory Black and Payne's Grey. I want this palette to be a distinct from Zorn Palette, therefore I won't add Ivory Black. Indigo serves the purpose greatly but I will also test Payne's Grey once and decide which one is better
Here is a mixing that I did for some clarity. Muted violets are not apparent in the photo but they were there physically. Muted purples can also be created. But the Light Red color needs to be checked for once. That is the only change that I am looking forward too.
These limited palettes push one's perspective of looking at a scene and identify the colors. Painting a misty scene, desert landscape, a dimly lit still life or a portraits with lesser presence of vibrant colors are possible with such a muted color selection.
Happy Painting! ☺