Simple Colour Palettes

Painters today have more pigments to choose from than any other artists in history. They can buy traditional, historical varieties that Rembrandt would recognize, such as siennas and ochres, or 20th-century innovations like phthalocyanines and quinacridones—pigments with an intensity that would have startled even the color-loving Impressionists. Despite this abundance, many artists and art educators endorse the use of a restricted “limited” palette as a way to develop coherent, harmonious, and personal paintings.

“A painter’s palette is, ultimately, an expression of how they see the world and the colors that they love. By exploring a variety of limited palettes from earthy to intense, painters can discover the combination of colors that best helps them convey their world view.”

This article from Artsy is a quick reminder and effective lesson in limited palettes.

Colour Wheel. Acrylic on Hub Cap by Yvonne Callaway, collection of


  1. Thanks for the item on limited palette. First off, I love the Colour Wheel on Hub Cap! I’ve always used a limited palette because I could never afford many tubes of paint. My palette would be the primaries, white and black. From there I could create most any colour and I think it was great training at mixing. I’ve stuck with that although I do buy other colours now and again but don’t use them very much. Brenda


  2. That is a VERY pretty hubcap,Yvonne! Good use of reuse and recycle. Like Brenda, I don’t buy a lot of different colours, preferring primaries , both cool and warm, and black and white to mix my own as much as possible. We were taught to mix our own colours way back in art school, when most of us were economically challenged students.


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