Tag Archives: colours

Another brick in the wall!

Faux brick ceramic tile in midnight blue

The latest addition to the Alan Skyrme Design Studio, store at Zazzle is a set of ceramic tile designs that are designed to make an impact in a home or office environment. The faux-brick design is available in 7 colours though custom colours can be created on request.

The tiles are available in Zazzle’s large size (6 inches square) only as the small size (4.25 inches) does not suit the design. They can be produced in the smaller size on request.

I have 88 ceramic tile designs on sale – varying by colour or size – which will increase to 100 designs in the next month.

My tile designs have found buyers in several states in USA and in the UK while other products have been sold in Canada and Europe.

Aqua blue, dark brown, green, dark blue, pale yellow and brick red.

Zazzle regularly offers great discounts so its a good idea to look often, especially if you are looking for great home design products.

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Why use a huge palette?

Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolour chart

I remember walking into an art supply shop in Mexico City where I saw a huge range of colours. I was like a child in a sweet shop – I couldn’t decide what I wanted so I just bought colours without any real thought. That was a few years ago before I decided to take up painting more or less full time.

Having now had the benefit of seeing other artists at work, via You Tube, and hands on experience in painting I wondered what conclusions could be drawn from being faced with such a wide choice of colours when, in fact, we only need three!

My own collection of paints includes Winsor & Newton, Daler-Rowney and a couple of other (Italian and Brazilian) brands.

Suppliers offer a couple of ranges of colours – professional and student. The reason for this is that the pigments used in professional grade paints are expensive while the student grade paints, without going into the full analysis of manufacturing processes, have I believe substituted dyes for mineral-based pigments. That is not to say that student grade paints are inferior, far from it as they are both high quality and less expensive. Professional artists use student range paints.

I use both student and professional grade paints and, depending on the colour, generally prefer the pro version but am certainly quite happy with the student range for certain colours.

After reviewing a number of artists’ palettes I concluded that many artists use a palette limited to between 8 and 10 colours, depending on their speciality eg landscape versus botanical. I found that I use a palette of 8 or 9 colours for landscapes but up to 20 colours for bird portraits.

The underlying reason is not because it is easier to use a specific colour from a tube or pan (eg quinacridone red versus scarlet lake) but because using a colour from a range avoids the necessity to mix colours to match a hue in the subject. Mixing or glazing colours is ok to a point but there is a danger of creating muddy mixes, or glazing to the extent that luminosity is lost when trying to achieve a specific colour accurate to the subject.

These issue are not really relevant to me – I have to manage costs rather than manage a range of individual hues, though some colours are not available in the student range eg quinacridone gold or naples yellow. I may rethink this approach in due course but, for the present time, it suits me even for my bird portraiture.

Winsor & Newton

Daler Rowney

Note: Although there are other manufacturers eg Daniel Smith, Sennelier, Schmincke and many more, I have no experience of these.

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