Thought I’d share with you some color combinations I use when painting certain subjects. I keep a notebook of all kinds of useful painting information and the oil paint palette diagram shown below is from there.
Many oil painters adopt the colors of their respective teachers or “masters” they studied under. Some go entirely their own way, and through experience (and many yards of canvas) figure out the colors they like best. It’s fairly safe to say however, that if you understand how to separate values, then color becomes much less confusing.
What I did when I first decided to paint more seriously, is look at an artist whose work I liked and just use the exact same colors they used. The first painter I chose was John Stobart. I was very interested in landscape painting at the time and there was a gallery of his right across the street from the place I worked, so I spent more than a few lunch hours there studying his originals. I know Stobart is known for his maritime scenes, but he did plenty of beautiful landscapes as well.
For years I was using the Stobart palette of colors shown below for doing landscapes. It is comprised of these colors: Cadmium Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Windsor Red, Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Green, and Titanium White. I decided to add Cerulean Blue because I like it for skys mostly. My palette gets arranged like this:
Among the landscapes I’ve done using this palette are these two:
Times change, and so did my subject matter. I thought my palette had to as well. However I still sometimes use these basic colors when doing landscapes.