Colour play

I used to never use colour straight from the tube. I think I’d read somewhere once that it was “better” to mix, and I certainly liked the nuanced tones of mixes.

Then I began to work more rapidly with big brushes and gestures and mixing colours in large quantities just felt like too much some days. In recent years I’ve noticed much stronger colour emerging in my paintings but I’ve also many times wanted to knock back the strength of something straight from the tube.

Good colour work though is as much about happy accidents as choosing the starting palette and happy accidents happen more often the more you mix whether on the surface of the painting or on the palette.

So this year making time to play with colour mixing within an extremely limited palette (range) of colours will be a priority. Above you see the result of three colours (magenta, manganese blue, and transparent yellow ochre) plus black and a white.

It’s very much a basic set of results. Once the mixing starts, the possibilities seem infinite. Which in a sense, they are.

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