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What You May Not Know About Colour

As an artist with over two decades of painting experience, I’ve experimented with various materials, including acrylic and oil paints, soft and oil pastels, and a wide spectrum of colours from different brands. Now, let’s dive into a few essential things about paint colours.

Naming Variations Across Brands

Different brands might use different names for the same colour. For instance, what Galeria labels as Winsor Blue is called Phthalo Blue (Green Shade) in other brands.

Colour Variations Between Brands

Colours can significantly differ between brands. An example is burnt sienna; one brand might have a reddish hue, while another may lean towards yellow.

Now, for those navigating the world of painting, the choices can be overwhelming. Questions like which brand to choose or what colours to invest in can be daunting. Here are a few pointers:

  1. Simplify Your Palette:
    • You don’t need every colour available. Some colours marketed by manufacturers are termed ‘convenience colours,’ saving you from mixing them but often at a higher cost. Personally, I find it more rewarding to mix my own.
  2. Brand Consistency:
    • Stick to one brand to deepen your understanding of its paint and colour range. Consistency pays off in the long run.
  3. Limited Palette:
    • Opt for a limited palette. In my upcoming ‘Brush Flow’ live workshops, we use just 10 colours that can practically create anything.

While we often want to create a finished masterpiece, valuable lessons come from experimentation. Recently, a student spent an entire lesson just mixing colours and discovered differences in blues and reds.

Here’s a Suggestion for You

Next time you paint, don’t worry about creating a finished piece. Grab a sketchbook, preferably watercolour, and spend two hours experimenting with colour mixing, use what you have. You’ll be amazed at the amount of colours you can create and you’ll get to know your materials better. You may find it useful to make notes as you go, like the name, is it transparent or opaque, does it have a high tinting strength.

My Fav Brand

I love using Golden Fluid paints, I love the way they glide across the surface and the rich pigment strength they have but like anything it’s a personal choice, however, if you’re like me and you love colour they are a great place to start.

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