Watercolor Basics - Split Primary Palette
Split Primary Palette (+ two neutrals)
A Cool yellow -- bias to green -- such as Hansa (med PY97); Windsor
Yellow(PY175, PY154, PY97); Aureolin (PY40), Lemon Yellow (PY3 -not

Warm yellow -- bias to orange -- such as New Gamboge (PY153) or
Indian Yellow (PY108)

Warm red -- bias to orange -- such as Vermilion (PR188;
PR254+PY154) Pyrrol Scarlet ( PR255 ) Pyrrol Orange (PO73 )
Perinone orange (PO43) Cadmium Red hue (PR  )

Cool red -- bias to purple -- such as Permanent Rose,
Quinacridone Rose, (PV19)  

Warm blue -- bias to purple -- such as Cobalt blue (PB28 )
French  Ultramarine or Ultramarine  (PB29)

Cool blue -- bias to green -- such as Phthalo blue, Windsor blue,
Intense blue (PB15 or PB15:3)

Warm neutral (brown)--bias to orange -- such as Burnt Sienna (PBr7,
PR101) or Quinacridone Burnt Orange (PO48)
This is called a split primary palette consisting of six (6) colors; a warm and a cool of each
primary color; Yellow, Red, and Blue.

I also include a warm neutral and a cool neutral for mixing neutrals and convenience.
Eight (8) colors total

Glossary of Watercolor Terms

Mixing Color
  • In the Palette
  • On the Paper

Pigment  Properties

Color Values
  • High Key
  • Low Key
  • Full Contrast

Alternate Color Wheels
More to come!
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A Cool neutral (cool gray) such as Neutral Tint
available from Daniel Smith or Winsor Newton