I bought my gouache paints haphazardly, first a small mixing set, then a few individual tubes and finally a set of 18 small tubes. In all I ended up with 37 different tubes, some so similar to each other that I have to read the label to tell the colors apart. Thirty-seven is too many to use, so many stay unused inside my desk.
Today I got to wondering just what I have and decided to organize them into a chart that can be posted above my desk. I work on both black and white paper so the color samples are on both. The labels that are either above or below the sample give the color name and its pigment code. It also shows its permanency rating, and I was sad to see that a few of my favorite colors have low permanence.
I often mix colors and I wanted to show some of my common mixes on this chart as well. The labels to the left of each row indicate these mixes. All the basic color blotches show a range from the out-of-tube color to about half white. The row beneath the reds has both white and cobalt blue mixed in. The row beneath the blues has white and raw umber. The row above the greens has white and raw umber as well and the row just above that has white and permanent yellow.
The chart is inconsistent because I made changes to my plan as I went along. There are some misspellings and other oddities as well, but it is good enough to help me work towards selecting a smaller set of reliable paints for my everyday palette.