Transparent Yellow, Quin Coral, Manganese Blue Limited Palette

Recently, someone emailed me with a suggestion of a limited colour palette to test. He's probably a viewer of my limited palette video series on Youtube.

The colours he suggested are:

  • PY154 Winsor Yellow (W&N) \ Imidazolone Yellow (Holbein)
  • PR209 Quinacridone Coral (Daniel Smith) \ Quinacridone Red (W&N) \ Quinacridone Scarlet (Holbein)
  • PB15 Manganese Blue Hue (Daniel Smith \ W&N) \ Manganese Blue Nova (Holbein)
  • PB15:1\6 Phthalo Blue Red Shade

Since I did not have Winsor Yellow, I had to substitute it with Schmincke Transparent Yellow Medium which uses the same pigment PY 154. I did not include Phthalo Blue to limit this to just three colours.

Benzimidazolone yellow (PY 154) is a semi-transparent, staining, lightfast intense yellow. It looks quite similar to Daniel Smith Hansa Yellow Medium but it's slightly warmer. This is a yellow that you can use straight from the tube and it would look alright. This is the yellow I would try to mix with Lemon Yellow and Hansa Yellow Medium, or Lemon Yellow with New Gamboge because when Lemon Yellow looks unnaturally clean and bright when used without mixing.

Daniel Smith does not sell any paint that uses PY 154.

DS Quinacridone Coral is a lovely hue. PR 209 also goes by the name Quinacridone Red but Daniel Smith's version actually uses PV 19. Quin Coral is a cool red but not as cool compared to Quinacridone Rose. PR 209 is a lightfast, transparent, staining pigment.

DS Manganese Blue Hue is a new colour I bought recently to compare with Cerulean Blue Chromium and Cerulean Blue. This is hue version is the substitute for the original Manganese Blue PB 33 which has been discontinued worldwide. Phthalocyanine Blue PB15 comes in many shades, the most common Phthalo Blue (Green Shade) and Phthalo Blue (Red Shade). Manganese Blue Hue is a transparent, moderately staining, granulating blue. It's lighter compared to Phthalo Blue (Green Shade) and looks lovely for painting skies.

This is the sketch that I colour with the three colours.

This palette is quite versatile and was able to produce rather vibrant secondary mixtures of orange, purple and green. The only downside is it is difficult to mix a dark value because Manganese Blue Hue doesn't look as intense as Phthalo Blue or Ultramarine. When I used Cerulean Blue Chromium, I had great difficulty mixing dark values.

Manganese Blue Hue is able to produce beautiful granulation and you can often see the colour separation in mixes, which makes the mixes look even more beautiful.

These are the different grays and neutral colours I tried to mix.

For the hair, I had to glaze over the initial wash to get a darker value. This palette is probably good for those who like to paint light and middle values, those who don't like strong contrast.

It's also a nice palette for glazing or layering. These three colours are staining colours which means they don't lift easily. So painting subsequent layers is not going to lift or wash out the initial layer.

You can find these colours through the Amazon links I've added above, and also on Jackson's Art (UK).


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