Color Mixing Tips for Artists

Article about Color Mixing Tips for Artists

Feb 22, 2021

In this article, Dudi Berkowitz, a versatile artist from Chicago, will show you six different ways to mix colors. You must take advantage of color theory to mix colors. You can buy many paints, but with a few basic colors, you can mix many variations and, therefore, have more control over the entire work. Unlike other paints, oils do not change color when they dry: the mixture will present the exact same color in the end. Acrylics darken when drying.

Six ways to mix colors that you should know

Temperature and color trend: Reds, oranges, and yellows are considered warm, while purples, blues, and greens are considered cool. The choice of warm or cool tones will affect the balance and feeling of the work. Each color also has its cool and warm variation. For example, blue with a tendency to red (purplish blue) is considered warm, while blue with a tendency to yellow (blue-green) is considered cold. Since this trend will affect mixes with other colors, Dudi Berkowitz Chicago recommends including a warm and cool version of each primary color or in the palette for more flexibility.

Mix Vivid Secondary Colors: Mixing the primary colors creates a secondary color. If you mix two primaries close to the same secondary color in the color wheel, you will create a rich secondary color. For example, French ultramarine and alizarin crimson give a vivid violet because they both approach purple.

Mixing muted secondary colors: If you mix two primary colors close to different secondary colors on the color wheel, you will create a muted secondary color. For example, cerulean blue and cadmium red make a dull violet because in the color circle they approach green and orange respectively.

Mix the three primary colors to create dark: Create a whole range of dark and muted colors by mixing the three primary colors. Depending on the proportion of each primary, you will create different blacks and browns, usually deeper and more subtle than commercial versions. This is especially useful for landscape painting, adds the Chicago-based painter.

Mix complementary colors to create grays: Complementary colors are on opposite sides of the color wheel, for example, red and green or yellow and purple. When you put complementary colors together, they intensify each other. However, if you mix them you get the opposite effect and create gray. Vary the mix to get warm, cool or colored grays, which will add subtlety and depth to your artwork. If you add white, you will expand the variety even more. Mix your own grays to give your work subtlety and depth.

Mixing clear: By instinct, we add white to lighten a color and this is often a good solution. However, adding white to the mixture desaturates and takes on a pastel appearance. The color of objects in direct light intensifies rather than fades; that is why painting in light implies a rational use of saturated color and white.

Articles authored by Dudi BerkowitzChicago

Published: Apr 23, 2021

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