12 Color Full Spectrum Palette - Most Efficient for Color Mixing & Painting - Update & New Demo

edited February 2021 in Color Mixing
I just really needed to do this at this time. Add the 3 primaries and we have 12 colors total. I'm almost ready to tube these, but before I do so I need to mix a little more paint to top off my tube efficiently. I'm mixing for 15 ml tubes each, my 3x deep violets on the right are a very good ratio mix, and volume to fill one tube each. The other colors need more volume to fill a tube, and my yellow green needs to be adjusted to make a little more green.
 While I'm mixing I am aware of and sensitive to value relationships with each of the 12 colors. Once this process is completed, while painting I can arrive at any color that I need very quickly. I've applied saran wrap to keep my paint fresh until ready for tubing a little later today.

Edited; replaced the previous photo, now shown including the tubes for reference.


  • These are your semi neutrals?
  • edited February 2021
    @KingstonFineArt my primaries are yellow bottom left, red & blue are at the top. The 9 others are my secondary's & tertiaries. No cadmium is used in this palette. I've replaced cad. yellow pale with chrome yellow medium PY34 mixed with white(a mix of lead white and titanium white) to equal value as cad. yellow pale. The thing about cad. yellow pale is that it has a somewhat luminous quality to it, it's bright in nature, where chrome yellow medium does not and is less bright & more orange than cad. yellow pale, yet this brand holds a very great pigment load. As you can see, there is quite a difference.
     Cadmium yellow is expensive now and increasing, and I don't use much. My 37 ml tube of w&n cad. yell. pale was purchased 4+ years ago, I still have nearly 2/3 of a tube left and I don't use safflower oil, and It's a beautiful yellow!
    Chrome yellow medium PY34 was the color of choice for many artists before cadmium was invented, and I thought I would try it out. It works especially well in "shadows" depicted in oil paintings, and been finding other great uses for it that I like very much and so much less expensive including mixing more white into it! Maybe I can come back to using cad. yell. again later, according to budget, lol! Tin yellow and lemon yellow would be good on my palette too.
  • edited February 2021

    These are my colors tubed, ultramarine blue is not shown here, everybody knows what that is. I added a small amount of white in the darker near black colors to see them (red violet, violet & blue violet, 3x tubes upper right). Above that is basically my color wheel, needs updating but is ok for now. The color wheel has 12 basic colors on the outside circle, next are semi-neutrals, and in the center are neutrals. I understand that chroma has been lost because I'm not using cadmium yellow pale, good, bad, indifferent, this is how I have it at this time and I haven't explored this palette much at all yet but ok so far. More on the tubes, these are 15 ml but filled comfortably with 25 ml of paint each max. I will need to order more yellow. The paint labels need to dry a few days. Comments & feedback welcome.
  • @Forgiveness
    Wow Mark! You paid attention.
    I don't make full sets of the neutral colors. Only the semi neutral and neutral primaries which will quickly make most of what I need. For the past six months I've been simply making them on the fly from the full intensity colors. 
    I have a drawer full of 200ml color and a fresh box of empty tubes. The only thing I don't have is the desire to stand up for 2 days mixing and tubing paint.
  • edited February 2021

    I don't make full sets either, only the primaries in those 2 sets like you. The color wheel is for demonstration and for reminding me well of all of these colors. I haven't mixed any of my primary semi-neutrals & neutrals at this point, not quite enough paint, close but not close enough. Maybe in a couple of weeks when I can get more yellow & white. It's a lot of work and have to keep steady at it until the end, it's important to remain very organized and patient. But I love it when I'm ready. An alternative is to purchase the oils, the dry pigment and paint making tools to mull the paint, and lots of tubes but no way can I mull that much paint by hand, too much.

    In the meantime I have a canvas to begin painting my washes on, and I'll be drawing with my paintbrush for the 3d ear challenge.
  • edited February 2021


     This demonstrates my color palette at work real well, the sunset light and atmosphere works exceptionally well in my 1st attempt in this way. This can easily pass as a piece in "tonalism". and this too is realism. Given that I lost chroma, mainly because no cadmium yellow, so much of it depended on color theory. This palette forces me to think more of color theory and apply it the best I can in every painting, practice makes perfect, so more work to do. I like it that I'm forced to think more color theory and practice, and I'm just crazy over my new colors, I've never experienced this excitement to color until recently. Looking forward.

    Btw this is my 1st landscape painting in oil ever, thanks to everyone's encouragement here.
    I'm so glad to be painting in realism! it's the best!
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