Friday, October 28, 2011

The Palette

I use two palettes for the majority of my work: a Winsor & Newton Cotman Field Sketch Box for my sketchbook work; and a John Pike palette for my studio work. I use Holbein transparent watercolor for both palettes.

The field sketch box comes with student grade half pans which I remove and replace with a squirt from the tube. I do not fill the Pike palette with the entire contents but rather refresh the palette before each painting session with a small amount of paint. I spray both palettes with water a few minutes before painting to make sure the paint is nice and juicy.

Here are my colors:

Permanent Alizarin Crimson
Cadmium Red Light
Permanent Yellow Orange
Gamboge Nova
Greenish Yellow
OLive Green
Cobalt turquoise Light
Cerulean Blue
Cobalt Blue
Marine Blue
Ultramarine Blue
Mineral Violet
Raw Sienna
Burnt Sienna
Burnt Umber

For the present time I no longer use Opera, or Titanium White, if I can help it, although it is shown in the above photo.

I leave out Greenish Yellow, Cobalt Turquoise Light and Mineral Violet when using the field box as it only has twelve slots.


  1. I came across your blog after reading your book "Expressive Color". Beautiful work.
    I like your palettes. The John Pike, in particular, has always impressed me (the only problem I have with plastic palettes is that they stain, whereas a palette with an enamel finish wipes away pretty clean).

    I will be returning regularly.

  2. Simonne Mason
    I too have read your book "Expressive Color" and found it very inspirational. I have also just read your blog - I didn't realise you had one (much better than mine!) and it has motivated me to get on and do a lot more sketching.
    I will be keeping up to date.

  3. Joseph, there are many fine artists that value your blog as do I. We need to get the word out that you have one! :-) Mark Hawkins, Long Beach

  4. Yep, I too have your wonderful book. Do you have a new one that is coming out? Hope the word does get out on your blog.......

  5. Joseph, Soooo glad that you are featured in Watercolor Artist! Glad that your great art is getting some limelight......