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What are your Favourite Colour Combinations?

One of my artist friends, Sea Dean, posed the question "If you had to choose just two colors what would they be and why?" But it was not as simple as saying blue and yellow, of course she wanted more detail - exactly what shades, which brand etc.

This got me thinking. I use a lot of colour in my paintings but my palette has evolved to always having cadmium yellow medium, ultramarine blue, winsor blue, dioxazine violet and alazarin crimson and often viridian squeezed onto the palette. These basic colours provide me with combinations that suit the Provence landscape. I add yellow ochre pale for some buildings, rocks and pathways and also use other colours as required. I use winsor and Newton oil paints as the consistency is right for me for both palette knife and brush.

I can't say that I have two favourites but there are certain combinations I love and here are two:

Pale purple and green/turquoise
This painting is based on the shimmering combination of the violet and turquoise

For the pale purple I mix diox purple with white, sometimes adding a touch of pink (permanent rose or al. crimson with white) or a touch of pale winsor blue depending upon the temperature I am trying to achieve. For the green turquoise I will mix a combination of phthalo blue, lemon yellow, white and often viridian and winsor blue to get the correct colour.

Yellow and purple
This combination is difficult to pull off because they are both such vibrant colours. It is important to make one of them more dominant than the other. In this painting the purple dominates but the yellow is the star

Of course the yellow doesn't need to be vibrant, the combination works just as well with purple and yellow ochre

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I must admit, because I use a lot of colour, the values can sometimes go awry and I have to always be very conscious of that. So getting more of a grip on this, is my goal for this aspect of the course.

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This one still exists as shown, I have yet to put colour on it
The first one, received some limited palette colour:
I have not taken this one forward and I shall have to find it again in my pile of unfinished boards. I can see it is too busy (so obvious now) and it needs to be unified.

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As usual, I am working on several paintings at once but they all look a little flat so I am injecting some texture into them.

The best way to do this is at the beginning of a painting is using gesso or modeling paste. You can also use these on an in-progress painting but, as they are opaque, you will lose any colour already down.

One method I enjoy using, because it brings up a lot of unexpected surprise, is laying down two, three or even four layers of acrylics on top of one another and then scraping through the acrylic.

Use thick paint for the best results and wait for the paint to touch dry before adding another layer. I like to wait until the top layer is just touch dry before dragging the scaper through the paint. The effects are different according to how dry the paint is. Practice this to see the different effects. The wet paint also lifts off some of the dried paint underneath, giving in…

Work in Progress on the Easel

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