Ryan Brown’s Premixing Theory and a Visit With His Family

By  |  1 Comment

imagesA few years after the Florence Academy Ryan Brown received the very prestigious Hudson River Fellowship. That fellowship allowed him to attend The Hudson River School for a month.  The school has great speakers who talk about different aspects of painting. The curriculum includes field studies, theory and studio painting.  Ryan said it was a lot of hard work, but it’s a great way to learn and be with other great painters.

All the artist I know have their own special way of setting up their palette.  Ryan is no exception.  “I first learned to set up my palette from William Whitaker; but, since then, all my colors have evolved into my current palette, which is completely different. The only thing that is the same is where I put my white.  Ryan has used the same palette for the last 3 years.  His colors are:

Lead White #2 (Natural Pigments)
Cadmium Yellow Light (Gamblin)
Cadmium Orange (Gamblin)
Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre (Natural Pigments)
Orange Molybdate (Natural Pigments)
Genuine Vermillion (Natural Pigments)
Madder Lake (Natural Pigments)
Nicosia Green Earth (Natural Pigments)
Sap Green (Gamblin)
Cobalt Blue (Gamblin)
Lazurite (Natural Pigments)
Ultramarine Blue Deep (Old Holland)
Ashpaltum (Gamblin)

Ryan's Premixing Palette

Ryan’s Premixing Palette

Ryan is a big believer in premixing.  Premixing is the practice of mixing large batches of the paintings principal colors before you actually start a painting.  For example, if you were painting a portrait, you would premix a large quantity of the basic flesh tone and maybe the hair color before anything else.  Then at the end of the day, when you were done painting you would freeze your leftover paint.  When you were ready to paint again, you will have the exact color match in the freezer.  This saves a lot of time and just makes the process easier.

The last night of the workshop, Ryan and his wife Courtney invited me over for dinner at their home, even though Courtney had just had her 5th child. (Courtney is a lot of fun and very unflappable!)

Me holding Ryan and Courtney’s youngest, Aiden. She is so adorable!  Photo courtesy of Cloe Brown.


Brody Brown, Ryan and Courtney's son, just being his adorable self.

Brody Brown, Ryan and Courtney’s son, just being his adorable self.  Photo courtesy of Cloe Brown.

I had a great time with the whole family and was happy to have a chance to hang out with the kids, who are unbelievably adorable, gracious, and polite!


Shelli Alford is an artist and author, who enjoys learning from master oil painters from around the world and reviewing their classes, workshops and demonstrations.

Get great posts like these in your inbox!

Enter your email and we'll send you new posts when they are published. It's that simple!

We promise to never sell or distribute your email addresses. Your privacy is safe with us.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *