The Big Impact Special Edition Palette
I’m happy to share a new set of colors, the Big Impact, available now as a limited edition in my Shop and curated by artist Uma Kelkar specially for the upcoming 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge. Created by Marc Taro Holmes, the challenge is to create 30 watercolors in 30 days throughout the month of June, without the use of ink or pencil line. Last year I was thrilled to participate as a guest artist (see my sketches here) and I am excited to support the event again this year!
This year Uma Kelkar is co-hosting the challenge with Marc and will be sharing her fresh, dynamic approach to watercolor. She wields her brushes with confidence, creating bold and energetic paintings. For this upcoming 2019 30×30 Challenge, we’re collaborating to present her Big Impact palette of nine essential colors, selected for their potential to mix fresh, high contrast colors. All pigments are Daniel Smith except for a Holbein Burnt Sienna which Uma prefers.
With four blues (two cool, one warm, and one unreal—lavender), four yellows (including browns) and one red, these nine colors can create 585 combinations, from mixes of primaries, triads, and two color mixes.
A range of greens can be mixed from the blues and yellows, varying in temperature, value, and intensity.
Lavender, a new color for me to experiment with, brings opacity to mixes. Uma also included a favorite of mine, Yellow Ochre, which can create beautiful salmon and dusky mixes.
Finally, a wide range of neutral browns can be mixed with this palette using variations with Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber.
Any new palette requires experimenting and messing around to get to know it. Uma has shared a great list of prompts to play with this palette:
- To the swatches of greens when wet, add a dash of Quinacridone Rose. Which mix gave you an olive green that you liked?
- Let these swatches dry. Then, run a wet brush through this mix. Which pigments lift? Which stain? The color that shows through when you lift is the most staining.
- Did you figure out how to make black? If so, what was your recipe? The world wants to know via your comment below.
- Make a bright violet. Add yellow to it. What color did it turn to?
Above all it’s about having fun! We’ll have just a limited edition of the Big Impact palette in my shop and you can learn more about Uma on her website, as well as Instagram and Facebook. I hope you join—or follow along with—the 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge 2019!
12 Responses to “The Big Impact Special Edition Palette”
I am down with tendonitis and thought this 30 by 30 Challenge would help me to work r my physical limitations.
Can you advise me?
I would like to get the palette and a color chart.
I have never done a project like this; but, somehow know it would help me very much.
Thank you, Peggy
Hi Peggy, I think the 30×30 can be as big or small as you like! I’ll follow up with an email, but I encourage to think of a small series you’d enjoy exploring. All my best, Maria
Wow! Some really nice mixes. I would never have thought to add a lavender to the palette. It will be fun to play with. I’m joining the 30×30 fun along with a friend. It will be a great way to get some sustained practice in this summer! Thanks for your work and tutorials.
Yes! It’s all about practice not perfection. Have fun and happy sketching! All my best, Maria
I’m almost ready. I have all of the colors, having just bought the Lavender for an upcoming workshop with Thomas Schaller, but I will be substituting the Daniel Smith Quin Burnt Orange for the Holbein Burnt Sienna as I just can’t buy yet another manufacturer. I have a lot of Daniel Smith so I try to stick with that line and just find matching colors to whatever palette I am working. I am really looking forward to experimenting with the Lavender.
Wonderful! I love Daniel Smith Quinacridone Burnt Orange, I think that’s a great substitution. Happy sketching and have fun!
Can you tell me how to get 585 combinations from the 9 colors in Uma’s Big Pallet? I can come up with a lot, but 585 seems illusive.
Ha! You caught me, I haven’t done the complete math myself, I took Uma’s word for it. She goes into more detail on her blog! https://www.umakelkar.com/2019/05/big-impact/
You are right, the total of combinations was 511 and not 585
9C1 + 9C2 + 9C3 + 9C4 + 9C5 + 9C6 + 9C7 + 9C8 + 1 combination that has all pigments = 9 single pigment combinations, + 2 color combinations + 3 color combos + …
= 9 + 36+84+126+126+84+36+9+1 = 511
Thanks for breaking down the math, Uma! 😍
The only “art” I ever made was pencil drawings of dogfighting airplanes when I was a kid in church while the preacher was haranguing us about our many sins. BUT, when I saw your Haul-a-Day and it was in PT where I used to live, I sat straight up. Yep, that was the family I used to wave to! Nice to see you are doing well. Maybe at age 77 I could learn to watercolour?
Hi Tim, nice to make the connection! It’s never too late to pick up a paintbrush, just remind yourself that it’s all about play.