The Essentials Palette

Picture of Kate


Founder and chief colourwoman of Khannah's Honey Hues.

This is the second collaboration palette I have done, this time with Ilse is an artist who is known for her use of bright colours, harmonious mixes, and a stunning ‘candy’ series (see below). I fell in love with her art the moment I saw it, and I was thrilled when she agreed to become an ambassador for my brand, and collaborate on a palette with me.

When starting to design this palette, Ilse wanted to “fill all the needs of an artist’s basic palette, ground(ing it) in colour theory”. We both are true pigment nerds, and did thorough research into the pigments, ensuring that the palette was made up of trustworthy, non-toxic, lightfast pigments.

This truly is a natural starting point for mixing all the colours you could imagine!

I have been painting exclusively with this palette over the last month or so, and when it comes to your standard colours, you have everything you need!

Benzimidazalone Yellow, PY154

This is the perfect midtone yellow; bright and cheerful, without being too blinding, or leaning too orange or green. It’s a lovely hue to use on its own, as well as mixing, for vibrant oranges, greens, or midtones. You can neutralise it by using a mix of quin magenta and phthalo turquoise.

Pyrrole Scarlet

Pyrrole Scarlet is my favourite warm red, however Ilse had never tried it. It was love at first swatch though, and she felt that once she’d tried it, she /had/ to have it in the palette. This beautiful warm red fills in the gaps that mixes with quin magenta cannot make, giving us warm peaches, and standing out as a red on its own back.

This colour mixes perfectly with phthalo turquoise to give moody teals, and clear neutrals.

Quinacr Magenta, PR122

Ilse chose this quinacr, as opposed to its PV19 cousins, as it is a perfect “true” magenta. From this colour you can make muted oranges, rich, vibrant purples, and even some gorgeous moody greens and purples, when mixed with leaf green.

Phthalo Turquoise

Phthalo turquoise is a common love between Ilse and I; it is an in disposable colour in our palettes. It’s green bias omits the need for a phthalo green in our palette, and it is a stunning hue in its own right. Both pyrrole Scarlet and azo russet neutralise beautifully with this colour, giving a range of dark tones for the palette that are not apparent when looking at the base colours.

Leaf Green

This was the colour we struggled on for the longest; Ilse wanted to balance out the set with a convenience green, however we didn’t want to follow the ‘traditional’ route and go with a sap colour. The result is a beautiful rich, vibrant green, that works well on its own, and in mixes. It is easily turned into vibrant greens or teals by adding BY or PT respectively, and mixing it with azo russet gives us stunning earthy greens, suitable for nature painting.

Azo Russet

The piece de resistance is Azo Russet; this colour truly fills all your earth tone needs. It makes beautiful ochre tones when mixed with yellow, more muted raw umber if you add some turquoise to that mix, and rich earthy purples when mixed with quinacr magenta. I urge you to see all that this colour can do for you!!

As hinted throughout our work, this palette truly comes into its own when you consider its mixing potential. To date, I have been able to make every colour I desire, from bright vivid oranges to muted earthy teals, and everything in between. I am a portraiture artist predominately, and I have had no issues in creating skin tones for any ethnicity.

One of my other ambassadors, Carrie, is a nature journalist, and likewise, she has been able to use this palette exclusively, to create a range of images.

Image courtesy of @carrierogersart. All of these stunning nature pictures use The Essentials Palette, along with the sepia from her Midnight Forest palette.

And Maja, my newest ambassador, has created this beautiful flower, again with The Essentials Palette and a green mica.

Image courtesy of @majakooo.

What are your favourite mixes in this set? Have you bought it? If so, what subjects do you plan to paint with it?

Khannah x





      Hi Claudia – You’ve just missed on preorders however I am hoping to have some available in my shop in August. Follow me on @khannahshoneyhues on instagram for up-to-date info on my restocks.

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