On my last post Caroline asked about the colours and papers I use, so I thought I would take the opportunity to give a few details.
My usual palette consists of seven colours:-
Winsor Blue (Green Shade)
Winsor Green (Yellow Shade)
Occasionally, for flowers or bright objects, I add Winsor Yellow and Scarlet Lake.
The colours are all transparent and are spread evenly around the colour wheel -
I find that this gives me the greatest number of possibilities for mixes. Most of the time I only have to mix two colours together. I can make a good range of warm greys with Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna, or cool greys with Winsor Green and Permanent Rose. Both mixes produce a very dark grey at full strength. In fact Winsor Green/Permanent Rose will give me as close to black as I ever need. I have Burnt Umber for dark mixes as well, but I tend to forget to use it because Burnt Sienna seems just as good for that purpose.
I don't always need to use all of the colours. In fact I have often only used Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna and Raw Sienna.
I used to follow the maxim that you should always mix greens from yellow and blue, and never use a ready-made green. However, I found that the mixes were often a bit opaque and nearly always involved using a bit of red to get the right colour. Since I started using Winsor Green (which is the pigment Pthalocyanine Green), I have found that I can get a good range of transparent greens by mixing it with the earth colours. Also I usually only need to use two colours.
The papers that I use at the moment are Bockingford Rough and Fabriano artistico in Rough and Not (Cold-pressed). I like these papers because they are not heavily sized and the paint flows on better. Sometimes I use other papers, like Arches or Saunders Waterford, but I find that they don't take the paint so well and it tends to dry lighter.
The paper is usually 300gsm (140lb) and unstretched. It does curl up a bit if I am doing a very wet painting, but it isn't usually too much of a problem. If it doesn't dry flat, I dampen the back and press it between sheets of clean paper overnight.