Unnecessary Pigments for Oils and Acrylics

The artist does not need countless pigments within the palette to mix all the colors needed in painting. In fact, less is often more. So long as the essential primary colors are included, the other pigments can be used as secondary importance. Find a list of oil colors below which in my view are redundant to artists.

The Most Important Oil Colors

Useless Bright Colors

The following so-called bright colors are also unnecessary in the artist’s arsenal: Flesh tint, Naples yellow, cadmium red (deep), cadmium orange, chrome yellow, rose dore, purple lake, purple madder, permanent mauve, purple madder, turquoise, indigo and Prussian blue.

These colors can easily be mixed with the essential oil colors outlined earlier. Using premixed oil colors from the tube for organic art could result in a stilted and flat painting. Oil paintings with life depend upon uneven color mixes and brush marks. A blue sky dotted with clouds could do without the application of a layer of premixed blue paint, and a portrait could certainly do without a tube of flesh tint.

Subtle Oil Pigments

Flesh tones can be captured by a few oil pigments mixed in various ratios, which are burnt umber, burnt sienna, cadmium red, permanent rose, ultramarine, pthalo blue with varying amounts of white. A few other colors may be perceived in bright light, such as a little viridian or cadmium yellow. Mixing your own colors helps increase understanding of color behaviour.

Bright Pigments for the Palette

Some artist used only three colors and white, such as Renoir and Monet in some of their studies. Many colors can be mixed with just three colors. Try out viridian, permanent rose and pthalo blue (with white) for a landscape, or burnt sienna and ultramarine (and white) for a monochromatic study. Many darks and pales with different color temperatures can be mixed with just these two colors.

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There are many oil pigments available on the market, but really many color mixes can be achieved with just ten oil paints or so. The aim of each artist is different, but when it comes to painting in general, I use the following pigments most predominantly: titanium white, lemon yellow, cadmium yellow (pale), viridian, cadmium red, permanent rose, ultramarine, pthalo blue, burnt umber and burnt sienna. The following oil pigments might also come in useful: alizarin crimson, carmine red, cobalt blue, cerulean blue, monestrial blue, cadmium lemon, Indian red, Venetian red and Winsor green.

Useless Colors in Art

Unless the artist wishes to produce a painting featuring particular colors throughout, such as a study in monochrome and a ready mixed color is required from the tube, many pigments are really not necessary. In fact, many selection boxes of paints include useless colors the artist does not really need and which do not produce clean color mixes.

Dirty Earth Colors in Oils

The traditional view that oil painting require lots of earth colors needs to be overturned. The following pigments fall into the category of what I view bring only dirty color mixes and dull paintings. Raw sienna, yellow ochre (over-rated), Vandyke brown, Paynes grey, Davy’s grey, Terre verte, sap green, olive green, raw umber, blue-black and charcoal grey. Any black except lamp black, which I use discriminately.

Color Mixing in Art

So the artist does not need lots of paint tubes to embark upon painting, whether this is oils or acrylics. I use just ten colors. Other colors may be used for exploration, but I avoid using premixed colors that can easily be attained by the mixture of these basic colors. Lots of earth colors will create dirty colors and dull paintings. Bright secondary colors can be dispensed with by mixing two primary colors.