Paint Basket Art Forum

Oil Painting => Oil Painting General Chat => Topic started by: dennis on December 29, 2010, 03:34:26 AM

Title: Color Mixing Helps
Post by: dennis on December 29, 2010, 03:34:26 AM
Color mixing seems to be a serious problem with a lot of artists. I have decided to start this post where I can every now and then add something about color mixing as a help in learning this skill - because this is what it really is - You have to make the time if you want to progress properly. I have a lot in mind  but I do not want to overwhelm you with too much at a time - that would be counter-productive. So let's begin at the beginning.

If you want to play the piano then you have to learn the notes first :heeha:

This is a chart that I made up of all the Paint Basket colors that was available to our franchisees. The most important part of painting is to get to know the tonal ranges in the painting even BEFORE color is added.  Think about it! Here you can see the tonal range of each separate color.

Make yourself a similar chart with all the tube paints you have in your paint box. Group similar colors together for easy comparison. The chroma color straight out of the tube is added to the top block and the lower three have white added to them progressively.

This is a close-up of a portion of the above chart. See how much easier it is to see the comparison between the adjacent colors!

This is a sample chart of what you can learn by the methodical approach of mixing colors. Here Viridian (Pthalo Green) is my main color and the various colors that can be obtained by mixing other colors with it. If you want to learn to mix quickly then don't neglect this exercise. I have many sheets similar to this in my file for reference.

Explanation: Let's look at the bottom section of this chart for convenience sake. I have used Viridian and Raw Umber in the first set of vertical columns. Make a 50:50 mix of these colors and place it in the middle of the second set of vertical columns.

Add a small portion of Raw Umber to Viridian  and put this in the block above the 50:50m mix.
Add a small portion of Viridian to the Raw Umber and put it in the lower block.

For each of these second mix of colors add white progressively to the last  two sets of vertical blocks as shown.

This can now be done between various tube colors until you have exhausted all the  combinations you can get out of you paint box.

Make this a fun lesson(s). Enjoy. "Don't take life too seriously, you will never get out of it alive :heeha:"
Title: Re: Color Mixing Helps
Post by: nolan on December 29, 2010, 05:24:35 AM
Great post thanks O0
Title: Re: Color Mixing Helps
Post by: annamaria on December 29, 2010, 07:16:23 PM
Thanks. This is a great help for us newbies. ;)
Title: Re: Color Mixing Helps
Post by: nolan on December 29, 2010, 07:23:56 PM
:bigwelcome: to the site Annamaria :clap:

How about telling us a bit more about yourself in the About Me (,28.0.html) section. Feel free to start yourself a Gallery for your paintings too.

What medium do you paint in?
Title: Re: Color Mixing Helps
Post by: Val on December 30, 2010, 11:00:38 AM
Dennis...bless you, you have no idea how much this helps.  O0 Of course I'm not sure how Lloyd will feel about the boat being 'decorated' with patchwork paintings!  :2funny:
Title: Re: Color Mixing Helps
Post by: dennis on December 30, 2010, 11:55:38 PM
 :) I have a good idea. Why not pin them to the rigging - that would be excellent advertising for you  :2funny: :2funny:
Title: Re: Color Mixing Helps
Post by: nolan on December 31, 2010, 02:17:54 AM
or the other sailors would read it as a distress signal  :2funny:
Title: Re: Color Mixing Helps
Post by: dennis on December 31, 2010, 02:53:23 AM
Eish! :eek:
Title: Re: Color Mixing Helps
Post by: Kelley on December 31, 2010, 06:57:27 AM
 :2funny:... oh um...  :whistle:

Actually, I have a large piece of cardboard I was thinking of covering with gesso then doing this exercise.  I think I want to purchase more tubes of paint to add more variety.  I don't have crimson or umber or pthalo blue amongst a few.  Before I was used to mixing primary colours (and white) myself to get what I thought I wanted that it didn't occur to me that there were so many variables of the primary colours to create cooler or warmer colours.  Colour theory can be complex and yet simple.  It fascinates me.
Title: Re: Color Mixing Helps
Post by: dennis on December 31, 2010, 08:24:34 AM
Kelley, I have painted many pictures with just the primary colors and very effectively. Strictly speaking, with only 2 reds, 2 blues and 2 yellows one can mix any color you want to. Each color must be a warm and a cold color.  In my teaching studio we use only cad red, alizarin crimson, Cad orange, Ultramarine blue, raw  umber, viridian, yellow ochre and cad yellow. Obviously there is the white(titanium) to lighten the colors with. Do you want sap green? Mix orange into the viridian and you will get it. You want Paynes Gray? Mix some raw umber into the ultramarine blue, and so one can go on! For quite a few years I taught the students to paint with only 4 colors and white - cad red, yellow ochre, ultramarine blue and raw umber as it is a neutral brown.

Here is the original 9x12" acrylic painting that started my teaching career 25 yrs ago. My very first demo painting :)

Old cardboard coated with cheap white acrylic will do to practice on. Gesso is too expensive to practice with. A friend of mine in South Africa used the backings of old calendars and coated them with a sealer to do his pastel paintings on.
Title: Re: Color Mixing Helps
Post by: bottleman on December 31, 2010, 08:33:46 AM
Another substitute for acrylic gesso, when preparing surfaces for practice work, is cheap latex house paint.  Chances are, you might have half a can kicking around right now; preferably white.
Title: Re: Color Mixing Helps
Post by: Val on December 31, 2010, 01:27:00 PM
I'm only now just beginning to see the full scope of colour mixing....infinite! Talk about an eye opener. Since acrylic is (at the moment) available here, I'll go and buy some of the afore mentioned colours. I'm waiting on a new paintbox to arrive (w/c), very excited about that one. Always used to like mudpies!  :2funny:
Title: Re: Color Mixing Helps
Post by: Kelley on December 31, 2010, 04:11:53 PM
So purchasing secondary or even tertiary colours is just a matter of convenience?  Dennis, nice painting and great demo.  bottleman, I appreciate the tip.  I do have some white paint we were going to use for touch up but it was glossy instead of satin.  I'll give it a try.