Lullwater at Prospect Park, with a primaries palette

5x7" oil on acid-free canvas paper

5×7″ oil on acid-free canvas paper

For amusement, I thought I’d try painting something using only three primary colors plus black and white. The five tubes of paint that I used are:

Titanium white
Mars black
Winsor & Newton Winsor Yellow
Winsor & Newton Winsor Blue (Red Shade)
Winsor & Newton Permanent Rose

Did it turn out to be fun? Not really. It’s too hard to mix a pale bluish-gray sky with phthalo blue, and the various shades of brown that you need in a landscape painting are a lot easier to mix from earth colors. I normally used W&N Gold Ochre and W&N Light Red. Plus I miss the convenience of using Gamblin Portland Greys.

I think that a limited palette is like veganism. It’s no fun to live without eating delicious foods like cheese and meat, but vegans walk around thinking they are morally superior to everyone else. And yes, the limited palette people on the internet act like that.

I’m going to go back to using a lazy man’s expanded palette.


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