In the best ‘Smash Hits’ interview tradition, here’s a few of my favourite colours…

French Ultrmarine

My most used blue. It’s ideal for skies. Add one of the brown pigments for a cool gray. Can be added to almost any colour to knock it back and give the illusion if depth or distance.

Titanium white

A very useful opaque and pure white that I use in great quantities. If it has a fault, it can lack subtlety and can look a bit chalky.

Alizarin Crimson

Deep red, like blood which perhaps explains why it’s so useful in portraits. It has a slight cool, bluish appearance.

Naples Yellow

A pale yellow that looks unimpressive straight from the tube. Liquid sunshine for me, it brightens the mix without muddying.

Opaque Oxide of Chrome

Artists traditionally struggle with green mixes as they can look very artificial. This green perfectly replicates the greens in the British countryside – not bright and harsh but a subtle shade. Add yellow to brighten it or ultramarine to darken it.

Cadmium Orange

Proper artists quality cadmium red and yellow just can’t be replicated by any other pigment. But it’s cadmium orange that I use the most of, added to cool greens to create incredible grays or used with titanium white to create a rich golden hue.

Paynes Gray

I usually prefer paints that contain only one pigment. Paynes gray is a mix of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna (a brown pigment). I use it because its a great alternative to black pigments – providing nice juicy darks that hold a blue/brown hue

Loughrigg Tarn Painting by Lake District artist David Pott

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