Category Archives: Studio

Color Charts


Photo Oct 04, 10 02 42 AM - Copy

My first color chart.

Photo Sep 30, 7 31 27 AM - Copy   Photo Sep 30, 7 41 42 AM - Copy   Photo Sep 30, 7 44 11 AM - Copy

I just got Richard Schmid’s book “Alla Prima: Everything I Know About Painting.”  Richard Schmid is a master oil painter still working at almost 80 years old. I learned a lot reading this book. One big decision I have made is to use his color pallet and follow his advice and do a color chart for each color on the pallet. I finished my first one the other day.

This chart shows each color mixed with white. I mix all 5 shades of a color at the same time on my pallet so I can make adjustments. I apply the paint to the canvas with a pallet knife instead of a brush. This is the way Mr. Schmid did it as a student many years ago. It is good to get the practice using a pallet knife and it makes it easier to keep the colors pure as a pallet knife can be cleaned more thoroughly than a brush. Masking tape makes it easier to keep the squares tidy although I am an incredibly messy painter. On my first chart I was constantly smearing or fingerprinting the completed squares. Hopefully I will get better with practice.

It is going to take me many weeks to complete all the charts.  His basic pallet has 11 colors plus white. I am adding one color (a second green) so there will be 13 charts altogether for me because each color has its own chart. The columns on each color’s chart will show that color mixed with each one of the other colors on the pallet. This will help me learn all about how the colors interact with each other. The completed charts are then used as a reference for matching colors while working on paintings.