Mixing Colors

Color mixing is the first stumbling block for the novice-painting artist – the crawl space if you will. It is not an exact science. Artists have different formulas and methods for mixing and applying paint if you asked ten artists various questions about mixing colors, you would likely get many different answers. So you have to keep painting and practicing until you develop your formulas and techniques that you are comfortable.

If you want better-looking color in your paintings, then you need to learn how to mix colors effectively. The trick is knowing how to get the exact color that you need. I’ll go over some tips for mixing colors so you can get an idea of how it works.

The first thing you want to do is figure out the base of the color you are going to mix. Is it going to be a brown, blue, green, or red color? It can be anything, but the point is that you put it into a category. If it is neutral, then only call it a neutral color. However, if it is neutral but leans more toward gray, then you can do it a neutral gray, for example. I do this, so I have a starting point. If I am going to mix a particular shade of gray, I might mix up a big swatch of neutral gray and then add other colors into that to change it slightly. Most color-mixing problems come from over mixing and result in muddy-looking canvas. Mix very lightly on the palette or directly on the support to prevent this, and once the color is down, leave it alone

You need to understand how each color affects one another. What happens when you mix a little bit of blue into red? What happens when you mix a large amount of blue into a small amount of red? You must keep the quantity in mind. For example, mixing a small amount of white into black will get you a dark gray. If you mix a lot of white into black, you can get a medium gray or even light gray. As I mentioned before, you should decide on your base color first. If you are mixing light gray, you should start with white as your base since it is closer to the color that you need. If you start with black and mix white into it, you will find that you must use a lot of white to get it light enough. The only exception here is with very strong colors that you might use sparingly as these colors will overpower other colors if used too much. This colors that come up after mixing the primary color are chosen as they are wanted to be used and function.
Knowing how to mix colors will make painting a lot easier. I recommend that you just spend some time mixing your colors. See what happens with different combinations. Try to mix a particular color. This will get you ready for your next painting. By all these theories of color mix everything will be fine.