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What Colors Beyond the Basic Colors Do You Recommend?

Feb 21, 2020

It can be so overwhelming to know what colors to purchase. There are so many. You can use a very limited palette using one of each of the primaries (plus black and white). But you may want to add to that palette instead of mixing all your colors. Sometimes it's easier when colors have been pre-mixed.

One of our members asked, "What paint colors beyond the basic colors do you use and what colors do you recommend?" Good question!

The colors that I use if I am going beyond my three-color limited palette are:

  1. Cadmium Yellow Light
  2. Cadmium Yellow Deep
  3. Cadmium Orange
  4. Cadmium Red
  5. Quinacridone Red
  6. Dioxazine Purple
  7. Ultramarine Blue
  8. Phthalo Blue
  9. Phthalo Green
  10. Permanent Green Light
  11. Burnt Sienna
  12. Yellow Ochre
  13. Mars Black
  14. Neutral Grey
  15. Titanium White

I do have other colors, but I don't use them very much. There are a lot of other colors out there but I recommend experimenting and seeing what colors you really love. You need to see what colors work best depending on what subject you are painting.  If you live in an area where the water is turquoise you may need a particular color to create that water.

Or if you're painting people you might need a color that will represent the skin color of the people that you're trying to paint. The colors that you use will be related to what you like, where you live, and the subject matter you are painting. If you don't know what colors you need use my list (above). With these colors you can mix almost any other color!

Jed Dorsey