This is part 2 of my color mixing guide, and how to make a color chart. If you got here directly from the web, congratulations, you've found an excellent source of information for beginning up to intermediate level training in classical oil painting.
If you like to see the first half of this lesson click here Color guide.
You can always return here. Below is also the quick navigation box for all of the color pages.
There's lot's of information here on color, so take your time, and be like a sponge!
Soak it up!
Make your grid boxes large enough to mix the stated colors, then, if you want to get fancy, lighten the top half of each box, then darken the bottom half of each box. This will establish full color range, color swatch using your brand of paint.
(And yes, each brand may start out with the same color on the label, but each will have it's own proprietary blend which will make it react differently with tints and shades) This big chart then becomes your own Color Mixing Guide.
Now once you’ve done this exercise, what did you find? What happened to your mixtures?
Some should appear bright, and others will appear dulled down a bit.
This is because one color LEANS towards another on the color wheel. (refer to the color graphic above again)
Because each of your paints has a touch of another color in it, your mixtures will really be a blend of 4 colors when you mix 2 paints together. One of the colors will have a complement, which will gray the resulting mix, the other will tend to brighten the mix.
No wonder you get mud and introducing a third or forth color to a mixture. We’re talking about 6 and 8 colors now by this time! Because of this, take the time to create your own color chart using your particular colors and brands. This chart then becomes your own color mixing guide!
Speaking of compliments, mixing 2 colors that are opposite to one
another (it's compliment)on the color wheel will result in a gray
color. Try it, red + green, or blue + orange, or yellow + violet will
result in a gray. Cool uh! Remember this in doing your landscape
Once you have your chart, when you mix a color that you are attempting to match, it will be very easy to hold the palette knife against the swatch to see how close you are in matching what your looking for.
Did you notice anything missing in your color chart (besides the greys)?
You should have a full range or reds, oranges, violets, blues and green. But this chart will not produce a satisfactory set of dark to light yellows. The yellows on your chart will have too much red and oranges in them.
Color Mixing Guide Special instructions for Yellows
I add yellow ochre and burnt umber to my palette as these are the additional colors I must add to my yellows to get a full range to darken them.
If you use black to darken your yellows (because of the blue in ivory black)(or red in the mars black) will come out a dark dull green (using ivory black) or a tinge of orange brown (if using a mars black). The same will apply to most of your oranges and cadmium reds. Burnt umber should be used to darken them instead of black.
I use a palette knife as much as possible to mix my colors on the palette, but I also mix them on the canvas quite frequently. (See my demonstrations, especially the Peonies Demonstration color mixing on canvas ) (This opens into a new window so you don't lose your place)
Back to top of my mixing part 2.
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