how to mix paint colors

your paintings will sing with color

how to mix paint colors

your paintings will sing
with color

what makes a painting sing?

  • Color is what makes a painting sing!

With a bit of knowledge you can mix paint colors and make your paintings sing with color.

Color mixing will be second nature to you. Painting will be a fun adventure!


Learn how to mix paint colors with artist Carol May"Mister Pelican"

The use of color and value contrast make "Mister Pelican" sing.

As an affiliate of Amazon and Blick Art Materials I earn from purchases. There is no additional cost to you. Learn More

mix paint colors and make your paintings sing!

can you mix primary colors?

The primary colors, yellow, blue and red are equally spaced around the Color Wheel.

  • Primary colors cannot be mixed from other colors.

All the other colors are a combination of the primary colors.

  • We can mix the other colors on the color wheel from the three primaries.

Mix clean colors with single pigment, professional paints.

What paint colors are on my palette?

The color wheel is the artist's basis of mixing colorsThe Primary Colors
  • We don't have to spend a lot at the paint store. Mix paint colors and you will save money.

mix the secondary colors

Two primary colors mixed together will give you a secondary color.

  • Get your paint colors out and mix the secondary colors of orange, green and violet.

It's fun and you will be surprised how easy it is.

  • You will save paint when you mix paint colors with your palette knife.

Also, when the colors are not thoroughly mixed, they add more interest to your paintings.

Learn how to make variations of green.

Mix two primary colors together to get a secondary color.Mix the secondary colors

shades

  • Add black to any color to make a shade that is darker and duller than the original color.

tones

  • Mixing grey with any color will create tones.

tints

Mix white with any color to get tints of the original color.

However, adding white to a color will give it a chalky appearance.

  • The artistic way to lighten a color is to add the lighter color next to it on the color wheel.

For example, add yellow to orange to lighten it or add orange to red, etc. The colors will remain bright and lively without a chalky appearance.






why spend money on paint colors you can mix?

  • Do it like the professionals. Mix your own paint colors.

Some top-notch painting artists use a limited palette of the primary colors plus white. They mix their other colors from their limited palette.


how to mix warm paint colors

  • Any color containing yellow is considered a warm color.

We mix warm colors with the primary color yellow or the secondary color orange, which contains yellow.

painting with warm colors

  • Use warm colors in the foreground and middle ground of a painting.

Warm colors are known to "advance" toward us. They make areas of an object look closer.

For example when painting an orange, the center of the orange that is bulging toward us would be painted warmer.

The sides of the orange would be painted cooler to make them turn away from us.

Warm colors contain yellow, how to mix warm colors.Warm colors contain yellow.

how to mix cool paint colors

  • Colors containing blue are considered cool colors.

When you want a cool color, mix paint colors with the primary color blue.

You may also mix a color with the secondary colors green or purple because they contain blue.

painting with cool colors

Cool colors recede in the painting and look farther away.

Create distance in landscapes by mixing a bit of blue into the background areas.

Make the edge of an object turn away by adding cool colors.

We may also use cool colors to set one object behind another.

How to mix cool colors containing blue.Cool colors contain blue.


mix your own dark colors - black, brown or grey

There two ways to mix your own dark colors.

  • Mix together the three primary colors; blue, yellow and red.
  • Or mix two complimentary colors because two compliments contain the three primaries.

what are complimentary colors?

Complimentary colors are any colors directly across from each other on the color wheel.

The compliment of any primary color is always a secondary color that is a combination of two primaries.

So when we mix a primary with its compliment, we are actually mixing the three primary colors together.

  • Example - Mix primary red with green.

Green is a combination of blue and yellow, so mixing red and green combines the 3 primaries.

How to mix dark paint colors from your artist palette.Look across the color wheel to find the compliment of any color.
  • Professional Tip - Mix your dark colors from the colors you are currently using in an individual painting. Then the mixed colors will harmonize with the rest of the painting.

my favorite dark mixtures

Viridian Green and Alizarin Crimson easily make a black.

Add additional Viridian or Alizarin to slant the black toward green or red.

  • Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue is my go-to dark mixture. I often use this combination in tree trunks.

Add more Ultramarine to make a cool black. Use more Burnt Sienna for a warm brown.


Mixing dark paint colors from your artist's palette.Mix your dark colors


how to mix greens

Blue and yellow mixed together make green.

Thalo Blue is a very strong color. Use just a touch of it with your primary yellow to mix a beautiful green.

  • When you are mixing paint colors always add the dark color to the lighter color, not the other way around.

They you may adjust your green;

  • Add more yellow to the green for a spring green.
  • Add more blue to the green for a blue-green.
  • Add red to green for a darker, more subdued green.

Get more variations of green by mixing other blues and yellows.

How to mix green colors by artist Carol MayMixing green colors


  • Learning to mix paint colors is one of the joys being of an artist. Practice mixing colors and make your painting sing with color.

may you have many successful paintings!

  1. Home
  2. Learn Painting
  3. Mix Paint Colors


You might like these

  • Color Schemes for the Painting Artist

    Master your art painting color schemes with the secrets of color selection. Artists can take the stress out of choosing the paint colors for their paintings.

  • Choose Paint Colors for each painting

    How do professionals choose colors for paintings? Learn how to choose paint colors and create beautiful, harmonious paintings with only three or four colors.

  • Choosing Paint Colors for your Artist's Palette

    Choosing paint colors for your artist’s palette. A warm and cool version of the six rainbow colors are an excellent choice of paint colors for your art palette.

  • Color Wheel - The Artists' Best Friend

    The color wheel is the artists’ best friend and favorite tool. Use primary, secondary, tertiary, warm, cool and complimentary colors for successful paintings.

  • Art Prints for Sale

    Bring the beauty of nature into your home with beautiful fine art prints for sale by the artist Carol May



Recent Articles

  1. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

    Nov 28, 19 10:35 AM

    Joy a rose painting by artist Carol May I have been working on doing more flower paintings. Roses are one of my favorite flowers and this painting of oranges roses was such a "Joy" to do. Since orange is associated with fall and Thanksgi…

    Read More

  2. Nature Painting of Bearded Iris

    Oct 18, 19 10:40 AM

    Nature Paintings by artist Carol May One of my favorite pass-times is working in the garden, especially the flowers. I have been working on some flower paintings with oils. Years ago I did an oil painting of three purple iris. I had t…

    Read More

  3. Painting Daily by Carol May

    Sep 23, 19 01:11 PM

    Can painting daily really make you a better artist? You don’t have to paint perfect. Just paint more often. Regular painting will put your art into overdrive!

    Read More

Recent Articles

  1. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

    Nov 28, 19 10:35 AM

    Joy a rose painting by artist Carol May I have been working on doing more flower paintings. Roses are one of my favorite flowers and this painting of oranges roses was such a "Joy" to do. Since orange is associated with fall and Thanksgi…

    Read More

  2. Nature Painting of Bearded Iris

    Oct 18, 19 10:40 AM

    Nature Paintings by artist Carol May One of my favorite pass-times is working in the garden, especially the flowers. I have been working on some flower paintings with oils. Years ago I did an oil painting of three purple iris. I had t…

    Read More

  3. Painting Daily by Carol May

    Sep 23, 19 01:11 PM

    Can painting daily really make you a better artist? You don’t have to paint perfect. Just paint more often. Regular painting will put your art into overdrive!

    Read More