So I counted up the number of colors I have mixed and printed ...16! That's sixteen layers of colors to date.
Here's my palette:
One of the times I enjoy most while working in the studio is when I'm mixing inks for my prints. Piles of semi viscous batches of joyfulness. I use a very limited palette of 6 colors to create my print colors: Rubine Red, Benzine Yellow, Reflex Blue. Milori Blue, Thalo Green and Orange (plus white). That one less color than the rainbow. Remember the old adage for remembering the rainbow colors and their sequencing when you were a child? Richard Of York, Grave Battle In Vein: red, orange, yellow, green. blue, indigo and violet. On my studio shelf I have all but one color of the rainbow: violet.
With flexible putty knives, I mix and scrape together colors that can cohabitate and dance together on the printed surface. It's laborious thinking about color. Do I want warm or cool? What value should I assign to a color? How much chroma? Yes, there's a lot of critical thinking taking place before I start mixing the inks together. For example the violet color used as a second color to denote bark textures in the squirrel print came to me after eating a combination of yogurt and frozen blueberries for lunch. I looked at the bottom of my dish and there was this perfect shade of violet; what a great companion to be paired with the turquoise color I had already printed.