Studio Mysteries

June 8, 2009

Artist Palettes

Filed under: Painting — Anya Galkina - Studio Mysteries @ 3:41 pm

Colour mixing is a tricky and individual thing. It’s generally a good idea to develop your own palette, and to choose paints not only based on their own appearance, but on what colours they can produce when mixed together.

Recently, I had the pleasure of exploring a new museum, the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. It is crammed full of soul food, brain candy and study material to last any serious artist for years.

Here is a sampling of palettes I observed.

Van Gogh:

  • Insomnia Blue
  • Substance Abuse Yellow
  • Domestic Violence Red
  • Existential Doubt Green
  • Poor Diet Purple
  • Empathy Yellow
  • Dissatisfaction Rose


  • Good Roast Brown
  • Dinner With Friends Red
  • Coming To Terms Yellow
  • Somebody Cleans My House For Me Orange
  • Unprocessed Acceptance Brown
  • Processed Acceptance Brown
  • Transcendence Black
  • I Love My Wife Scarlet


  • I Just Got Laid Yellow
  • Hey What’s Up Blue
  • Eh What The Hell Mauve
  • Let’s Go To The Beach Orange
  • Awesome Margarita Red
  • Pull My Finger Purple

What are your favourite artist palettes?


  1. Ack-ack! Oh this is tooo, too funny 🙂

    I’m rusty but I’ll give it a go – not as spontaneous or as amusing as yours though…

    Paul Gauguin’s paint palette:
    Stockbroker violet
    Sacrificial wife + kids red
    Polynesian Tahitian blue
    Exotic tropical viridian
    Pauper’s yellow
    Syphilistic ochre

    Comment by InkSplodge! — June 9, 2009 @ 10:58 am

    • Lol – I love Stockbroker Violet and Syphilitic Yellow!

      Comment by studiomysteries — June 10, 2009 @ 5:35 am

  2. You could get work naming crayons/aritist oil paints!

    Comment by sheila — June 18, 2009 @ 7:08 pm

  3. Heh, you know what would be WAY TOO MUCH FUN? A job coming up with brand ideas for a cheeky line of nail polish.

    Comment by Spatula — July 6, 2009 @ 4:03 am

  4. This is pretty brilliant.

    I think my palette lately has been made up of Uninspired Ultramarine, Annoying Studiomate Music Brown, and Dispirited Dun.

    Comment by Chris Rywalt — July 22, 2009 @ 9:00 pm

    • Oh, no, that doesn’t sound very good! Perhaps a vacation? And introducing a “headphones” rule in the studio?

      Comment by Anya Galkina - Studio Mysteries — July 23, 2009 @ 1:27 am

      • I’ve tried wearing my own headphones but then one of my studiomates has to shout to ask me why I’m not talking. Mostly it’s okay, but this one time one of them put on Yo La Tengo and, good lord, they suck so hard.

        I forgot the main color I’ve been using, which is the Beige of Demoralization. Art sucks.

        Comment by Chris Rywalt — July 23, 2009 @ 2:54 pm

  5. I CANNOT stop laughing at this post. It is brilliant. I will work hard to come up with some names from my palette, but mostly I’m using the “beige of demoralization” and the Uninspired Ultramarine from Chris’ palette. I may also have some use for the Oh Phuck! Phalo Blue.

    Comment by Carol King — September 5, 2009 @ 2:58 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: