Acrylic Painter's Pocket Palette The Acrylic Painter's Pocket Palette
by Ian Sidaway
pub. Search Press, 2002
Paperback, 64 pages, 8.99
ISBN 0 85532 997 1

Of course no painter's pallete is an island, and there is a virtually limitless number of colours and hues which can be mixed from the simplest pallete. This Pocket Palette is a quick guide to mixing up 2000 colour shades in acrylic. Look upon it as a sort of ready-reckoner to getting to a colour quickly, taking a bit of the hit and miss out of colour mixing and thereby perhaps making the artist's time better used.

Anyway, to the contents.... These are an intriguing mix - no pun intended - which include a bit of colour theory, a brief overview of acrylic paints, loads of colour mixing tables and charts, plus five short case studies demonstrating colour usage in action.

The colour charts within the book fall into two categories... several 'Special Charts' which look a bit like Dulux swatch cards, except that these show how to get to a range of secondary colours - greens, oranges, purples - and ideas on mixing brown and greys.

Then there are what the author calls the 'Main Charts' in which a Main Colour and Pallete Colour are mixed, then a sample with some white added, another example of the Main Colour overlaid with the Palette Colour, and the original Mixed colour diluted with water. There are also symbols to identify whether a colour is opaque, transparent and translucent.

The final page is dedicated to the Equivalent Colours bewteen the Liquitex, Rowney and Winsor & Newton brands. Another very handy inclusion.

Bottom line...
One supposes that painting purists will say this book is for cheats, and that the only way to true perfection and artistic success is by learning through mistakes. Fine! For those less experienced, and wanting to spend more of their time painting the picture than searching for that elusive colour mix, then this small pocket sized book should help shorten the learning curve. It is also handy enough for those painters who like to take their paints out on location and who can slip this book in their pocket.

Copyright © 2002