On my pallette I only have one blue - Thalo Blue (also spelled Pthalocyanine and Pthalo). It is a very intense and extremely bright blue. Why would I have that blue on my pallette you might ask? The answer is - if I ever need to make a bright blue - Thalo blue is the blue for the job. AND, most importantly, I can make all other blues from it. I can make Ultramarine, Cerrulean, Prussian - all blues.
I could never make anything "bright" with plain ol' tubes of Cerrulean, Prussian, etc. It really makes life so simple to just have one tube of blue. I used to own every tube that there was and paint can be really heavy to carry around.
Also, Thalo Blue mixes really well with the other colors of my pallette. It is transparent and doesn't obliterate the color that its mixed with. And, you don't need a lot! Just a bitty dab will do the trick.
Thalo Blue is a cool color - as opposed to a warm color. Did you know that sky is a "warm" blue? Anything in our world is warm colored because it is hit by the sun. So, if you are going to do sky - make sure that your blue is warmed up. You can put a tiny bit of Cadmium Orange into it (don't use too much because it will become green when mixed with the Thalo Blue).
Any time that you want to dull down a color - always use its opposite. Cadmium Orange is the opposite/complimentary color of Thalo Blue - so it takes the intensity out of the Thalo and makes it more appealing. Warm colors draw people in, cool colors push them away.
In the little painting that I did above, called "Lake Champlain Winter 3," I used Thalo Blue and its complimentary oranges: Cadmium Orange, Raw Sienna and Burnt Sienna. I just loved doing this painting. Lake Champlain is always a symphony of color any time of the year. It was really cold and everything was frozen solid.
Let's see what my art student's come up with tonight. You'll be reading about it! - Kathy