|8/4/22 University Village
As I concluded in my review of Caran d’Ache Neocolor II,
the water-soluble waxed pastels will unlikely become a go-to urban sketching
material. However, illustrator Beya Rebaï’s palette, the basis for the
limited-edition sets, is so far off from my usual palette that I became
intrigued trying to use it. It’s worth further exploration – but with my
beloved Cd’A Museum Aquarelle pencils!
I had never compared the Neocolor color line with Museum Aquarelles, but since they are both made by Caran d’Ache, I assumed I’d find most colors to overlap. I was surprised that this was not the case. Of the 20 colors in Rebaï’s warm and cool sets, I could find only seven overlapping with Museum Aquarelles (and several of those are significantly different in hue or intensity, though they share the same numbers).
On the swatch page below, I picked out all the Museum Aquarelles that matched Rebaï’s Neocolor palette (marked with *) and added others that are not part of the palette but look like they could be. Then I chose four warms and four cools to use (circled). My selections are the lower-key hues that are closer to the way I use color while still staying true to her palette.
|Four warms and four cools inspired by Rebaï’s palette
On the first drizzly day in weeks, I found a great sheltered area at U Village from which to sketch umbrella’d tables. The palette worked well for the umbrellas and large tree trunk, which required mixing several colors into a dark, interesting neutral. But then it was time to mix colors for the foliage, and the only green was the minty, non-natural-looking Beryl Green (214) (which was perfect for the umbrellas). I tried mixing Prussian Blue (159) with Apricot (041), the closest I had to yellow, but the result was still too close to the synthetic green of the umbrellas. I might have to pull in a yellow from my normal palette.
It’s going to take some practice to use this palette, but I like it for summer. I’m also happy that it keeps me from using my comfortable default colors. We’ll see how long I stay with it before I start drifting back to my own palette.
Even more than favorite tools or media, I think we all have a color comfort zone that’s difficult to push out of. Learning to use a new tool or media is a matter of practice, but favorite colors are much more idiosyncratic and emotional. When I found the Museum Aquarelle pencils in Rebaï’s palette, several had not yet been sharpened past the factory sharpening, which shows how little I had used those colors. It’s a fascinating exercise to deliberately use colors I’m not typically attracted to!