We have all experienced the frustration of mixing the wrong colors, colors that are too dark, too murky, or just too ugly. Like mixing blue and yellow together to get that perfect green, only to realize we just made sludge. Same for purple and orange.
We have all heard blue and yellow make green. But when we buy blue and yellow paint, there are many different ones to choose from. Paint is not made to be a perfect blue or yellow. So we get a variety of blues and
yellows that are perfect for different situations. To know which ones to use for the color you need, you must practice and play with how all the colors interact.
For more information than this small tutorial can offer, I highly suggest reading the web site handprint, an exhaustive resource for painters and watercolorists.
But before you can finish reading that web site, I’ll show you great paint combos for the richest and widest variety of colors from specific paints. I highly recommend that when you do your paint mix tests, to keep a record and take notes. This way you can refer back and mix the right color each time. Keep mixing more paints together than this tutorial covers. You may discover other colors you like to use better.
These will work with any paint, but you will be most successful if you are using artist quality paints. For this exercise I am using my artist quality watercolors, from brands like Winsor&Newton, da Vinci, and Sennelier.
NOTE: Please note that different manufacturers call their paint a little different for the same paint. I have tried to use the most common name for the paints.
Let’s Mix Some Paint
For the brightest and clearest mixed colors, the following paints work great.
What’s in a Name?
companies have named the same colors different names.
Here are some
different names for the same colors.
• Phthalo Red
• Red Rose Deep
• Lemon Yellow
• Azo Yellow
That’s Too Few Colors, Can I Make More?
You sure can, and even with the same colors we used earlier. Sometimes the brightest color is not the best color to use for your painting. More muted/duller colors are necessary in a complete work. You can get these muted colors, with using the same colors above. Once again, I recommend you take notes of how the mixing is going and your results.