The natural palette
I've been thinking on this one a while and I've come to a couple of conclusions: 1) We all have an innate color palette and 2) Forcing your palette to change just to fit into a group or movement or even a specific artists way is not always a good thing. I'm not saying don't continue to learn new things, I just think using someone elses system just because you think it's better than yours may take you from your individual path. It's great to take workshops and learn new systems and methods but make them your own, don't copy some colorist or tonalist movement just because you believe it's the only way. Most of the great painters had/have their own way of doing things. One general plein air tenet is no black on your palette, but Sargent used it and used it beautifully. Scott Powers uses it. Or only use a limited palette, while I use a limited palette and it's a great way to really learn color, it's not the only way. I've put up a painting from a paint out last week and when I looked at my work compared to others, as I have in other events, I see that I paint towards the warm spectrum. I see a lot of red in everything. Is that bad or is it good? I've finally come to terms with my pallette and am just trying to make it better in baby steps. One key is to have balance with your color system. A mix of lights and darks, a variety of cools to offset the warms, neutrals to balance the saturation and so on. If there's one thing I've learned it's that there is no one way to do anything. If you really want to work on things, work on drawing first, value, color and then new compositional motifs and shape making skills. Try new things but follow your still, quiet voice that makes you who you are. Amen.