My Favourite Colour

My Favourite Colour: Tropical Phthalo Blue

24th April 2024 Estimated reading time: 2 mins

Every artist has a favourite colour – a shade they use all the time, and which features strongly in their work at a
given moment. Anita Pounder tells us why she likes the SAA’s Tropical Phthalo Blue. “Deciding on a favourite colour
is not as easy as you might think. I tend to switch mediums regularly but, while thinking about this, I was drawn to my watercolour colours. I love working with this sometimes unpredictable and free-flowing, yet controlled and delicate medium.

“I deliberated over some of the other beautiful colours I like to use, but my selection is one of the main colours I use as a staple on my pale­tte. I tend to use a limited pale­tte of three primary colours, red, yellow and blue – with maybe
one or two others. These primary colours mean I can mix almost all the colours I need, and I don’t get overwhelmed with too many. So, my favourite colour is chosen from this limited pale­tte and is the SAA Tropical Phthalo Blue. It’s not a traditionally used blue, like French Ultramarine, but this this is a bright single-pigment, transparent blue, which mixes to create equally bright colours.”

“It is a rich dark colour in its mass tone (full colour straight from the tube) and becomes bright and cool with a slight bias towards the green in its undertone when diluted with water. Particles of pigment can be seen if the paint is straight from the tube but as it gets diluted with more water it becomes a flatter colour and creates a cool flat wash, the colour of a clear sunlight sky. As the pigment used is Phthalocyanine Blue, it is a staining colour, so if you want to lift it out you have to do this quickly – once it has dried it will leave a stain, as my hands will show after using it!”

“I love bright colours and I know that SAA Tropical Phthalo Blue is a single pigment, which means it’s less likely to make the colours muddy and can make bright colour mixes. You can see these colour combinations give a lovely range of greens and reds/purples.”

Single pigment colours create bright mixes. 1. Tropical Phthalo Blue (110). 2.
Scarlet Lake (507). 3. Burnt Sienna (202).
4. Quinacridone Magenta Hue (403) 5. Cadmium Lemon Yellow Hue (607).


What’s your favourite colour, and why? Do let us know, either via email to [email protected] or on our social media: @SupportingAllArtists (On Instagram, Facebook and X)

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