copy test 2

by Susan Abbott

Pigments are to a painter what ingredients are to a chef. I stock my studio shelf with tubes of color in the same way that a chef fills a larder with the foodstuffs that are essential to her cooking. The chef knows that a pale and tasteless tomato will not make a flavorful sauce, and I know that cheap paint loaded with binder will not produce a clean, clear hue. The chef knows that if she buys every new condiment  that hits the grocery shelf, her larder will become disorganized and her cooking confused. I know that I really don't need to order those tubes of "Pink Moonlight" or "Pearly Stardust" watercolor that looked so appealing in the latest catalog.

copy test

by Susan Abbott

Here are the top five tips I would volunteer if asked about pigments:

1. Know the names and brands of the pigments on your palette. Painters say "I'm using Sennelier Permanent Alizarin Crimson", not "uuhhh...that's some kind of red..."

2. Build your palette around a wide range of primary colors (reds, yellows and blues) and a few secondary colors (violets, greens and oranges.) If you have a wide range of primaries, you can mix just about any secondary or neutral color ("neutrals" are blacks, browns and greys).

3. Make charts that show all of your pigments, both fully saturated (strong, pure color) and as tints  (mixed with water if watercolor, and with white if oils).  Until you're familiar with the value range of your colors, refer to these charts when you paint.

4. Buy "artist's grade" paint even if you're a student. Economize by buying a more limited range of colors (say, just a set of primary colors) rather than cheap paint with less color intensity.

Testing again

by Susan Abbott

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test blog

by Susan Abbott

Pigments are to a painter what ingredients are to a chef. I stock my studio shelf with tubes of color in the same way that a chef fills a larder with the foodstuffs that are essential to her cooking. The chef knows that a pale and tasteless tomato will not make a flavorful sauce, and I know that cheap paint loaded with binder will not produce a clean, clear hue. The chef knows that if she buys every new condiment  that hits the grocery shelf, her larder will become disorganized and her cooking confused. I know that I really don't need to order those tubes of "Pink Moonlight" or "Pearly Stardust" watercolor that looked so appealing in the latest catalog.