Premixing Your Palette

This semester, I have taken up a course called “Painting For the Illustrator” taught by the legendary Dennis Corrigan, and even in this early stage I have learned so much! Our first project has to deal with recreating a portion of an old renaissance master painting, and learning how to paint as they did. Many, including myself, never really realized just how illustrative these masterpieces actually are. These artists would paint by premixing their entire palette with a focus on only three main colors, with black and white to add shades and tints. This technique is the main focus of our project, and helps us learn to identify and recreate colors, which is an invaluable skill as a painter.

I have made some progress on this project, slowly but surely (partly because I’ve been locked out of my studio and unable to paint on about 3 separate occasions already!) However, I am not too proud to admit that I have had some difficulty painting this way. I have never pre-mixed an entire pallet before, I’m sure I’m like most and just adjust the colors as I go but i am very interested to see where this new process leads me. By pre-mixing a palette, it forces you as a painter to really see color. I know that sounds like a silly thing to learn this late in the program, the idea of actually “seeing” color but I was actually surprised how great of a reminder that actually is and a useful thing for all of us to remember!

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