i laugh at limiting my palette HAHAHA, i have at least four tubes of every hue plus my sellener half-pans. that makes 55 colors not counting the watercolor pencils i sometimes chop up and use as regular paint. i love my daniel smith watercolors the best, they have such a wide range of colors and moonglow and rose of ultramarine are so awsome for lifting ( moonglow goes down a plum-y purple and lifts up to reveal a dark blue and rose goes down violet and lifts up to reveal ultramarine). honestly i would have all 200+ of their colors if i could afford it!
14 pans Schminkce, 36 pans Winsor&Newton, 12 pans japanese watercolours and random amount of other tubes and pans. So a lot of colours to pick from, why I love to have them all is that they behave a bit differently. Also, usually when painting I pick up around 5 to 10 colours to use.
I have 36, which is really more than I need, and mostly a result of the fact that a) I quickly grew dissatisfied with my first set of 12 and b) it took some experimenting to figure out which colours are really essential to me. I have some doubles as well (in the sense of, 1 pan of Ultramarine and 1 pan of French Ultramarine, when I really need only one of both) because I bought a larger box with 12 artist quality paints (+ plenty of room for more) after my student set of 12. But if 36 is too much, I think I couldn't do with less than 20. I like having several blues (Cerulean, Cobalt and Ultramarine), several yellows (Cadmium, Winsor and Indian) and several reds (Winsor Red - light + dark - and Alizarin Crimson).
I know that a great deal of the art is in mixing your colours, and a palette of 12 should really suffice... But I guess I'm not a good enough artist for that!
The thanks would go to my 9th grade art teacher... I learned from her that mixing orange and blue results grey, and later on I thought about how dark I could make the colour. Took about year until my black actually started looking black
You use tubes or pans? How do you get the dark colours? The thing about pans is that it generally comes with a bigger number of colours, but when I work with oils I use Cadmiun Red and Yellow, Cobalt Blue, White and a tiny tiny pinch of Black. I know that for a lot of artists using black is a no no but I can't avoid it, sometimes I need a darker colour and I can't make it with the other three.
I use tubes ( Winsor & Newton ). If I want a deeper blackish color I'll use a Cobalt Blue.
The reason I don't use black, is because it will look flat on the actual piece; and tend to create a void to the eye.
When I paint in watercolor, and Gouache, and oils, I do a underpainting, and multiple layers: I used to do multiple layers on my Sketch Cards in the beginning, but now I limit those layers because of deadlines.
I have around 40 W & N tubes (some repeat colors) my grandpa recently gave me. Prior to that, I had 5 colors - red, yellow, blue, this orangey/burnt red, and black. I don't mind a limited palette as long as I've got the primaries.
I have 43 W&N pans in my set but i also have a set of 24 White Nights that I dip into occasionally. As for my mixing palettes, I have 4, one of which is a flower shaped one for mixing large quantities for big washes and the other three have all the wells and trays full of different colors that I use regularly.
Having said all that, the blue pans have barely been used (i don't like working with blue pigments - not sure why, I just can't seem to get to grips with the way they dry. Having to put a blue wash on something is my worst arty nightmare), whereas the earthy colors have been replaced numerous times...
well ok.. mine varies.. i have a very large colelction of watercolors in tubes.. i prefer tubes over pans.. but typically i work from around ten to fifteen colors at a time..because i use some very exotic colors that are ( i dont care WHAT people say!!) are bloody well near impossible to mix from the big three. dpending on the painting. then i rinse out the paint box and start again.