Paints and Mixing

Did you know that by mixing your paints you could create other colors?  Of course you did.  You’ve done it, whether by design or accident, you’ve done it.  If we paint, we mix colors together to get another color.  It’s just what we do.  But the really great thing about this mixing paint thing is you can create formulas by which you can then duplicate that color again.  So it’s not an accidental thing, it’s deliberate.

Tonight I played with three colors and white.  I used:

Southern Ocean Blue by Matisse

Liquitex Cadmium Yellow Light

and Cadmium Orange

By combining these three colors and adding Titanium White, I was able to create 29 different color combinations.  Now, had I wanted to I could have created many, many more, but I just wanted to fill the one page in my color recipe book.


While there are artists who guard their recipe books with their lives, as you can see I’m not that concerned about it. I will continue to add to this recipe book, using paints I have on hand.  When I have a new color, I’ll add that to the mix.

The reason for this, of course, is to save you money.  By creating recipes for colors, using the colors you have on hand, you can vastly increase your paint options.  I very rarely use black in my paintings.  I won’t say never, because I’m sure I have used black in some paintings, but I prefer to create a chromatic black by combining other colors.  With my paint recipe book, I can find the chromatic black I want and whip it up.  I don’t have to try to find a paint that suits my needs in the store.

By mixing your colors in various ways, you can go from a basic 6 color palette (a warm and cool of yellow, blue and red) to an infinite palette, just based on the mixture and amount of colors used.  Your colorful world has expanded beyond your wildest imagination!  Then there is always the different brands of paints which can combine into unique and spectacular new colors too.  Just because you have Golden’s Cadmium Red Light but WhoKnowsWhat Phthalocyanine Blue it doesn’t mean you can’t mix them with each other.  Just be sure to make a note in your recipe about the brands you combined.  Your goal here is to create colors you can duplicate.  Whether that is next week or 20 years from now.  If you are using off brand paints, you can’t expect to be able to duplicate the colors later if the company disappears.

Speaking of which:  Venus is the gouache’ paint I told you about in an earlier post.  I have searched everywhere on line to see if it is still available.  I have not found it anywhere.  If anyone has heard of this brand and knows where to purchase more of it, would you please leave it in the comments?  I am thoroughly enjoying the gouache’ and would like to find more if possible.

This is just one more idea for overcoming that fear of using your supplies.  Paint mix recipes are a wonderful way to jump in and have some fun.

Edited to add:

Here are some warm and cool colors in paint, should you want to set up an expanded primary palette.  There are others, obviously, and not everyone will agree with these.  Artists will debate anything and everything.  Warmth and Coolness of colors can be subjective.

Cadmium Red Light or Vermillion

Quinacridone Magenta or Alizarine Crimson (any Crimson should fall in the cool range)

Cadmium Yellow Medium or Gamboge

Lemon Yellow

Phthalocyanne Blue

Ultramarine Blue

Just for funsies:

Viridian or Chrome Oxide Green

Emerald or Phthalocyanne Green Blue shade

Then throw in some earthy colors, which will expand your possibilities tremendously:

Yellow Ochre, Australian Sienna (by Matisse, is one of my absolute favorites!), Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Red Iron Oxide

Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber and Raw Sienna are also wonderful for use in toning your colors down.  Makes for a more realistic color, rather than the overly bright, circus-y colors.  There are times you want those very bright colors, but for a more realistic look you’ll want to tone them.

This entry was posted in Challenge, DIY, Frugal Ideas, Make Your Own Supplies, Organization, Stash Busters, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Paints and Mixing

  1. Pingback: Get To Know Your Supplies: Acrylic Paint, Part 1 | purplewhimsie

  2. Pingback: Color Mixing and Why It’s Important | purplewhimsie

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