All About The Phthalo Blue

Blog post written by Charlie Albright
This story is about putting in place a handful of strategies to ensure that you paint in a soft colour palette, but forgetting about the power of intuition, creative flow and instinct.. and then painting with your favourite colours anyway. Every piece craves some phthalo blue and torquoise.
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Omg it finally looks like a painting I’ve made.

This is exactly what I said to myself, after I turned the painting I had been working on for the last hour, to something that resembled my work.

If you follow my Instagram Stories, some of you may have noticed that there have been some unexpected colour palettes being used in the canvasses I have been dabbling in of late. I’ve been trying to challenge myself to explore a soft colour palette, where the colours are muted…rather than distinct with their own character. Let’s just say the process has been interesting…

So in order to ‘guarantee’ that I would actually use a soft colour palette, I purposely purchased a whole range of soft colours in the Global Fine Art Acrylic Impasto paint from Riot Art & Craft. And yes I actually purchased pre-made colours, rather mixing my own paint colours! To be honest, I was afraid that I would just mix a whole tonal range of phthalo blue, turquoise and magenta, and call it a day. Whilst trying a soft colour palette, I also wanted to explore some other colours, other than the ones I’m obsessed with.

After I picked 7 muted, soft colours, I was really confused as to how this colour palette would work. So I picked 3 strong colours matching the soft ones, as a backup.

This mistake in purchase should have stood out like a sore thumb at the time, but it didn’t…

And back in the studio, I just found myself gravitating to the stronger colours, with the promise that I would add the softer colours to the top layers soon…

I also convinced myself that having strong colours on the bottom layers was completely justified.

And necessary…

Today was all about top and final layers. That being said, there are as many final layers, as there are bottom layers, so really, ‘final’ is completely the wrong word.

I tried. I really tried.

I actually tried for more layers than I was motivated to. There were many points where I wanted to make it the last layer and ditch the entire concept all together. But I continued.

Then without realising I made a decision. I added turquoise.

Then a lighter shade of turquoise…

Then phthalo blue…

You can’t have turquoise, without its companion phthalo blue.

Have you seen how dramatically phthalo blue can impact a painting? Let alone one housing a series of soft colours. Moment of beauty.

And yes, this is the point, where I said to myself, “Omg it finally looks like a painting I’ve made”.

So what happened to that soft colour palette I was working on? Well it disappeared.

At least for this painting…

Charlie x

Charlie Albright

The world: ignites in me, a sense of curiosity. My mind does not settle until it can comprehend, until it understands. For the physical world, creation has always been my enduring method of choice. For the spiritual world, all-encompassing practices like yoga and meditation, a belief in a higher energy, and writing have always been the soothing and balancing tools I have returned to, to re-ground myself. This is my journey of self-expression. Through written words and different forms of art. To my soul, my inner essence.

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