I like to start by making sure the colors I choose can combine to make a reasonable version of all the colors I see in the scene. "Reasonable" is defined according to the immediate needs of the individual painter. Some days you'll want more accuracy than others.
As usual, I start with a few questions:
What's the bluest thing in the scene? The reddest? Yellowest?
With those places identified I can select my primaries, at least temporarily. Which of the primary colors I have look most like those spots?
Then I want to look at the secondary colors in the scene, and ask, "With the colors I've selected, can I make the oranges, greens and purples?" If so, onward, but if not, I'll have to adjust my palatte. If I can't tell just by looking, I can try some mixtures on a practice sheet.
When I'm confident that my choices will make the colors I need, I want to also check to see if the combo can make a dark enough dark.
Before we go any farther, is anyone asking why we're limiting the colors? I mean, we've got dozens of colors. Why not just use whatever is closest to the color we want, and adjust it a little?
It's all about cohesiveness.
When everything on the page is made of the same three colors, all the shapes resonate with one another. The result is a scene in which everything feels as if it belongs with everything else.
|Tom Hoffmann On Balky Hill 2017|
For homework, Choose a palette for one of the photos that follow, and paint the scene. If you'd prefer to copy one of the paintings, by all means go right ahead.