I remember hearing an artist that I admire very much comment last year that he can always tell when an artist uses a limited palette because there isn't much vibrancy to the painting. I don't agree with that, but I DO enjoy more colorful paintings. I have proven that I can use a limited palette - and using one has helped me understand color much better. However, for my own use, I prefer to have more color choices. I like having a couple of each primary color - plus a brown (burnt umber or Van Dyke Brown) and a black (Payne's Gray or Ivory Black), a yellow ochre, and light gray/blue.
On my palette, I place titanium white along the far upper right. Then across the top, I usually keep a cool and a warm red, and a cool and a warm yellow, and, on the top left side, I put a cool and warm blue. Although I can mix purple, I like to have at least one purple simply to save time and make it easier. And last on the left side are a couple shades of green. The four colors along the bottom are what I call my "modifiers." I use them to modify (darken, lighten, cool down, warm up) other colors.
I keep those basic colors at these locations on my palette. Then occasionally I switch out colors or add other colors, depending on what I'm painting. This palette works very well for me.
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