Today I painted squares. Lots of squares.
This is because I have been thinking about skin tones, and the wide range of colours different painters use - an obsession shared by others, as can be seen at this blog . So I decided to experiment - painting squares is the the first step, actual painting the second.
Each row is one colour, with the brand noted. One thing already evident from doing this is there can be quite a difference between brands - I have 2 burnt umbers, with the Gamblin one being much more intense. The row varies from a light shade up to black, using titanium white and ivory black to adjust the shades. The tube colour is outlined. All this gives me clear reference material for deciding which colours to use for a particular painting - I can see how light or dark the tube colour is, and how it changes with white.
Next, I plan on doing a few paintings using what is thought to be other painter's palettes - like Zorn's cadmium red, yellow ochre and black. Mainly these will be first layers only, or life paintings, but we'll see how I like the variation - the point will be for me to really think about my choice of colours and how they effect the final painting.
Hopefully, the end result will be more thinking, less painting time, and particularly less "darn, that's not quite right, I'll have to do it all again" time.