Sunday, November 8, 2020

Mini Altoids paintbox color swatches

New colors for a new, hopefully more transparent, era.
This is the mini Altoids box I carry for sketching, containing a modified complementary palette of magenta, orange, yellow, green, cyan, blue, violet, and warm brown. The actual pigments used for each color can vary, and their individual characteristics determine the way they mix and interact. I had been using cadmium lemon for my yellow, which is very powerful in mixes but is fairly opaque, so glazes can take on a milky translucency. I replaced it with Winsor Yellow, PY154, which is transparent, and closer to a primary yellow (cad lemon leans greenly). I also replaced my cyan with Winsor Blue (Green Shade) PB15, which is also close to the primary cyan.
I started to familiarize myself with the new palette by making an 8 x 8 grid, with the base colors going up the diagonal, and the combinations of any 2 colors defined by rows and columns. The colors obtained by mixing are above the diagonal and those created by glazing are below. Of course, there are many more possibilities depending on the proportions of the mixes, but this gives a general idea.

Mini Altoids tin converted to watercolor paintbox, list of the colors and pigment codes, and table of swatches showing colors obtained by mixing and glazing the paints. The colors listed are Ultramarine Blue PB29, Winsor (Dioxazine) Violet PV23, Winsor Blue (GS) PB15s, Winsor Green (YS) PG36,  Quinacridone Burnt Orange PO48, Winsor Yellow P154, Pyrrole Orange (RS) PO73, Quin Magenta PR122.