When I first started to paint I got really frustrated when I couldn't mix and make the exact color I wanted. I wasted money and time either by having to buy the perfect colors or mixing my paint to the point that it was ruined. So I came up with a system, a color chart that I have kept and used (A LOT) and a few added secrets to getting the right colors every time.
I would love to share my secrets with you so you can also get the colors you want every time you create art. Knowing how to mix colors is an essential skill to becoming a successful painter and artist. This lesson is perfect for beginner artists and is part of my online art courses. If you want to learn more art skills then click the button below.
First of all I am a visual learner which means I have to see what I need to do before I can do it. I know that most artists and art lovers out there are also visual learners and so I have made a fun video for you to watch that walks you through every step that I take to get the right colors. You can also read about each step below the video so that you can follow the steps there as well.
This is very important to understand before we begin, you can make your color charts using watercolor, acrylic, oil paints and even pastels...whatever colored medium you use or want to try out. I make color charts for every color medium I have and because I am an art teacher (lol) that means I have a lot.
I use my color charts ALL THE TIME because you can't always tell what a color looks like by the outside wrapper or even the pigment. It really matters how that color will look on paper, canvas, or whatever you use and how it interacts with other colors.
Watch The Video: Mixing Paint Colors
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1) The first thing you need is a Color Wheel. We all learned the color wheel at some point in childhood but it is easily forgotten when we don't use it. Refresh your memory and use your color wheel as reference until it is memorized. You can print the one above for FREE here. You are also welcome to right click and print if you prefer for your personal and/or classroom or other educational use.
2) Make a Color Chart. In the video I show you, step by step, how to make your own color chart but you can also follow the steps below. Use your color chart as a reference to for learning the colors, seeing to how colors mix, and finding the colors you want. Here are the steps to making your own color chart.
3) Using color references can help you get the correct colors you want. In the video I show you how to find the closest color on your color chart to your reference. If you can't find the right color on your chart no worries, I show you how to find the next closest color and mix it in until you have matched the color you need perfectly.
4) All you need are the Primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) and black and white and you will discover you can make any color you want, even brown! So if you are new to painting make sure you have your primary colors and if it is a mix of 2 paints in a kit this could be a problem if you are using your primary colors all the time.
5) Any colors that you find you are using a lot of, buy them as pure colors (no mixing needed) so you don't have to mix it all the time. That is why there are more colors than the primary to choose from. You don't need all the colors! Just get the ones you use the most. For example I use a dark green (called sap green) a lot in my landscapes. I can mix this color but because I use it so much I buy it in a hug tube.
I showed you how to make colors with an acrylic kit that did not have all of the primary colors and how I was able to make my primary colors. So whatever you have as far as any paint colors will give you a lot of options, including earthy colors, pastel colors, flesh tones, and grays.
You can find my acrylic paint kit here (affiliated link): http://amzn.to/2lmsbIC
Have fun mixing colors!
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
11/7/2018 09:17:19 am
awsome loved this video this has certainly helped me
9/14/2019 02:21:40 am
Hi ! This was really cool and helped me a lot. I bought an old school bus and decided to paint it in the 60's style....I'm on a very tight budget and wanted to use oil based Rust-Oleum from Walmart. I would get so frustrated until I found this site😀 thank you so much! One must also learn the types of brush's...to obtain the proper results.
1/21/2020 07:32:00 am
This is a Hex color code #CF9A70 and I want paint with it my doors and window.
Brenda Kaye Bishop
2/8/2020 12:28:57 pm
What colors would I need to buy separate instead of mixing for using alot: Sap Green for Landscapes, what other ones? Also, what colors I need to buy separate for flowers, animals, birds, sky, sand??? I know what the primary colors are and how to mix but sometimes alot of mixing the same color is kind of crazy---Right?
5/2/2020 10:24:42 am
Sap green is a good one for landscapes. I recommend looking at the colors for your brand and look at your paintings. What colors do you see a lot of in your work? Get those colors already premixed.
10/9/2020 04:50:34 pm
I perused the internet for this type of tutorial and this one is by far thee most straight forward and understandable. thank you so much. T
4/10/2021 02:53:57 am
Hello I signed up for your free lessons :) and I am on No2 making my colour chart. I have a kit of 18 colours which include vandyke brown, burnt umber, burnt sienna, sienna and yellow ocher. No sure where to place them, before/after the lemon yellow? Or leave them out and strip the kit back using only some of the colours? Thank you
4/26/2021 07:49:43 am
It does not matter where you place your colors. You can organize them in a way that you feel best.
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