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Picasso's 5 colors or less....


From: Larry Seiler (lseiler_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Oct 08 2000 - 06:57:33 PDT

> Picasso did all his paintings in 5 colors or less. He said it was
> easy to do a painting in more but a true artist only needed 5 colors.

I almost fully agree....
I do not use black, but my color mixing appears often that I do. Since
there are so many variations of a red...of a blue...of a yellow, I would
agree in the most limited of palettes but use a warm/cool variation to mix
what the eye sees with integrity. I use a warm red, a cool red. A warm
blue, a cool blue, and a warm yellow and cool yellow. With that I use
white. Sometimes to save time, I'll add burnt umber to help with mixing

I insist with painting students, (adult and children) that using color
rightly requires a great deal of responsibility. Such weight of
responsibility requires learning to do more with less rather than invest in
the unnecessary pigments. Understanding how atmospheric light bathes and
works on color.

It may come off as tooting my horn, and for that I apologize, but I have put
a lot of work together to put together some "how-to's" at you are looking for any example of a working artists
that is accessible online for which you could show your kids in class,
consider Wetcanvas. Not only my tutorials are there, but many fine artists.
Check out Scott Burdick's recent lesson on portrait painting. How wonderful
for the kids in class to see how it came together step-by-step, and unlike
many book authors, your kids could send the artist a question, a comment and
no doubt expect a response! Check out the archives of past lessons. For
short cuts on mine, stick my last name "Seiler" in the search window and hit

Also...look at my landscape paintings which I paint outside on location. I
use a strict limited palette. I put out a challenge to anyone to tell me
where adding black or more colors might intensify my color, my images, the
sense of drama to my works. I say defend and crusade the use of a
limited color palette, because I think color is difficult and confusing for
many as is. When I first came to the school I am now at, my students were
shocked at the few colors I gave them. "Is this all we get....?" 8^) "Art School Online"-

Click onto my "Gallery" link on my artist's page, and go to landscapes. The
thumbnails enlarge several times until full monitor screen size-