Sunday, 28 May 2017

David Curtis Colour Palette

Draft gouache for painting "High Stile Range from Lanthwaite Green"

When at long last I was able to join the Edinburgh Group of Urban Sketchers on a wonderful mid -week outing to Dean Village, I found I was being asked about the colours I was using.....

Definitely time to put something in writing, so here goes....

I notice that it was five years ago that I did this study in preparation for an important commission- certainly it was the first time I had really seriously attempted to use this particular colour range!
I came across David Curtis's lovely work when browsing in a flea market, coming across his really superb book "A Light Touch"
Not only is David a tremendous painter, preferring to work mainly Plein Air, but in his books and films he is particularly generous with information and advice.  You can get some idea , perhaps, from this clip ... I for one am indebted to him for completely transforming my painting approach, up until then based largely on guesswork and trial and error (mostly the latter!).

Here is the limited range of colours he uses, and which I now use as a standard (I've got these as watercolours, oils,gouache and aquarelle, as well as watercolour brushpens and neocolour crayons)
Naples Yellow           Cadmium Orange      Titanium White
 Lemon Yellow          Cobalt Violet             Burnt Sienna
Raw Sienna                Viridian                     Cerulean Blue
Cadmium Red (light)  Ultramarine

If you want to know more - get the book, I implore you!

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