Friday, December 6, 2013

Emile Gruppe Is My Friend

We all have our 'turning points'....

....and one of mine was reading the book 'Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green'.  That was awhile ago but I think you can still find it on Amazon.  Worth your time.

Reading that book and its insights on color led me eventually to Emile Gruppe's books and paintings.  Most of his life he used a simple palette of colors consisting of a warm and cool version of each of the orange.  Seven colors.  Simple.

So for the last many years that's pretty much all I've used.  Occasionally I'll cycle in some different hues to see what they do or I'll squeeze out a color that might work for a particular painting...but the foundation is always that simple Gruppe palette.

With a warm and a cool of each primary it takes little effort to get nice color vibrations going.  In 'Island Farm' it is easy to find warm and cool yellows, reds and blues sitting next to each other and creating the kind of visual stimulus that keeps a viewing eye interested.

Of course it takes more than just color to make a good painting but fluid and related color mixing sure helps.

From that limited palette I can make most any hue but I do add some other colors just to play and see what they will do.  Currently I'm experimenting with Burnt Carmine and Kings Blue Light.  The Burnt Carmine is getting a workout but the KBL is pretty much sitting there and drying out.

Oh.  My palette?  Cadmium Lemon Yellow,  Cad Yellow Medium, Cad Red Light, Quinacridone Red, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Thalo Blue.  Occasional hues: Raw Umber, Ivory Black, Thalo Green, Yellow Ochre Light.

The Roby-King Miniature Show begins tonight during the Friday Artwalk.  I'll be there.


  1. I also read Gruppe's book, a long time ago, and ever since have basically used the same palette as you...

  2. OK I'm checking out that book from the library.


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