Full Palette

I've decided to post my full oil paint palette that I've slowly settle on. Some things have changed since I started out. This has been the palette I've stuck with for a while now:

High + Medium Chroma

  • Quinacridone Violet, PV19 - M. Graham
  • Quinacridone Magenta, PR122 - Winsor & Newton
  • Pyrrole Red, PR254 - M. Graham
  • ”Quinacridone Rust”, PO48 - M. Graham
  • Scarlet Pyrrol, PO73 - M. Graham
  • “Azo Orange”, PO62 - M. Graham
  • ”Indian Yellow", PY110 - M. Graham
  • Bismuth Yellow,  PY184 - M. Graham
  • ”Azo Green”, PY129 - M. Graham
  • Chrome Oxide Green, PG17 - Williamsburg
  • ”Permanent Green Light”, PY151 + PG7 - M. Graham
  • Phthalo Green, PG7 - M. Graham
  • ”Cobalt Teal”, PB28 - M. Graham
  • Phthalo Blue, PB15:3 - M. Graham
  • Ultramarine Blue, PB29 - M. Graham
  • Dioxazine Purple, PV23 - M. Graham

Low Chroma + Darks

  • Titanium White, PW6 - Williamsburg
  • Neutral Grey N6 - Williamsburg
  • Ivory Black, PBk9 - Williamsburg
  • ”Transparent Maroon”, PBr25 - Winsor & Newton
  • "Van Dyke Brown", PBr7 + PBk9 - M. Graham
  • "Raw Umber", PBr7 - M. Graham
  • Perylene Black, PBk31 - Winsor & Newton
  • “Indigo”, PBr7 + PB27 - Williamsburg

I've got a lot of High Chroma paints in that list but you'd be surprised how rarely I use some of them to achieve realism. I have two colors in the mid range “orange” that I alternate between: Quina. Rust and, to a lesser extent, Trans. Red Oxide. TRO is the darker and stronger mixer of the two. This color space is the core of my flesh tone mixes when combine with Neutral Gray N6.

The companies these paints come from are very important to me! Paints with the same name can be totally different colors and have different handling characteristics from company to company. Most important to me is what pigment is used (I tend to stick to single pigment paints). Most manufacturers list this pigment using a industry standard pigment number. For example Ultramarine Blue is PB29. From this pigment base, it’s up to how the company mulls the pigment and which oil they use as a binder. The way the manufacturer mulls the pigment and the pigment itself combine to affect the handling characteristics of the resulting paint. I like looser paints and M. Graham’s walnut oil based paints fit the bill for me. Williamsburg is a close second, but only because their prices are high. Winsor & Newton you can find anywhere and are great paints as well in their artist grade. I prefer the handling characteristics of Graham and Williamsburg but I have have some W&N when only they offer a pigment I want.


  • Alkyd Resin Medium - Williamsburg. My main painting medium (I mix 2 parts Alkyd Resin with 1 part Gamsol).
  • Oleogel - Natural Pigments. My favorite thing to glaze with. I use this to create very transparent mixtures for glazing. It can be treated like a clear paint so there are no mixing restrictions.
  • Gamsol - Gamblin. My main solvent for making my painting medium.
  • Spike Lavender Oil - Natural Pigments. Less harsh on my studios air quality but very strong and expensive.