My Palette: Yellow

September 12, 2007 at 11:16 am 2 comments

I started out using two yellows on my palette: cadmium yellow and cadmium lemon. Recently I’ve only been using cadmium yellow, but I am considering returning cadmium lemon to my palette.


Cadmium Yellow

As I discussed in my post about my reds, cadmium colors are typically “warm”. In the case of cadmium yellow, that means it tends toward a slightly reddish tint, like goldenrod. I think of it as a “mellow” yellow, though it is pretty bright straight from the tube.

The particular cadmium yellow that I use is Golden Paints‘ Cadmium Yellow Medium. It’s the tube to the right in the photo above. You can see the warm golden tone of the paint, which contrasts nicely with the cooler lemony color of…

Cadmium Lemon Yellow

Even though this color is derived from cadmium as well, it is a much “cooler” yellow than “regular” cadmium yellow. The “lemon” designation means that it’s closer to chartreuse than amber. It is so intense, it looks like it’s glowing. As you can see in the photo above, the lemon yellow (on the left) looks almost fluorescent compared to the mellow golden color next to it.

The brand I use for cadmium lemon is Winsor & Newton, since Golden (my usual brand) doesn’t make a cad lemon. The one drawback to the Winsor & Newton brand is that I can only get it in small tubes.


Entry filed under: Color, Painting, Palette.

Using Blue Using Yellow


  • 1. Using Yellow « Barbara J Carter  |  September 21, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    […] I mentioned last time, right now I’m only using one yellow, cadmium yellow. I almost never use it straight from the […]

  • 2. Inspiration: Stephen Quiller « Barbara J Carter  |  December 17, 2012 at 11:30 am

    […] Armed with this understanding, I pared my palette down to just a few primaries: two reds, two yellows, and two blues (plus white, of course). Each primary color allows me to “extend” my […]

Barbara J Carter

I'm an artist. I make paintings with dots.

I work in acrylic paint, in a couple of distinct styles: landscapes and abstracts.

Native to California, I've lived elsewhere and only recently returned to my home state. I now live in Los Angeles.

I mostly show my art in outdoor festivals in California. I also occasionally show my work in art galleries or open studio events. You can see an up-to-date list of upcoming shows on my website (click here).

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