Experimenting with pre-planning colour palettes and pre-mixing colours

I’ve never painted with a pre-planned and pre-mixed palette before. I’ve always just created my colours as I worked, and I also often used some colours straight from the tube.

For this next series I’m experimenting with pre-planning and pre-mixing my colours to see how that feels and what results I get.



These are going to be abstract paintings. There are so many decisions with infinite possibilities that you have to make all the way through the process of creating an abstract painting – what tool will I use to apply the paint? What shapes or marks will I make next? What size? Where to put that colour? What textures am I wanting? What do u want to obscure or obliterate? What layers do I want to create? Paint or drawing media? Thin translucent paint or thick impasto paint? Applying on top or scratching away?

I try to stay “thoughtless” and in a play/ flow/ intuitive state for most of the process of painting my abstracts. Every time I make a decision, if I linger too long or don’t trust my first impulse, there’s the opportunity for analytical/ left brain/ critical thinking to take over from that lovely thoughtless play state. And when that happens, I tend to start playing it safe, tightening up, making boring choices, creating marks that lack vitality, and questioning everything I’ve done. And then painting becomes agonising.



I’m interested to see whether pre-planning and pre-mixing my colours will feel a little simpler and help me to stay in play/ flow / intuitive state. I’m also interested to see how a more focused approach to choosing my colours will play out in my work… hopefully there will be some wonderful developments there too.

Here’s the palette I’ve chosen and mixed up some nice tubs of paint for, ready to start painting…