The topic of how to mix colors for painting or, more specifically, how to mix colors to make other colors is not as hard as it sounds. It comes down to two things:
- a handy little gadget called a color wheel
- and remembering the three primary colors, red, yellow and blue.
Ok so maybe there is a little more to mix colors than that.
Here I will show you how to mix colors to make other colors that you can later use for landscape painting. Once you start, with a little practice you will find that mixing colors to make other colors is relatively easy.
We have all seen the acronym “CMYK”, it stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and blacK. This acronym will make it easier for you to remember the primary colors. Cyan representing Blue, Magenta for Red and of course Yellow. There is also Black which is not really a color but it is used to alter the intensity or value of the other colors; that is, make them lighter or darker.
Primary Oil Paint Colors used to Mix Colors
Now that you know this trick of remembering the primary colors, forget about those colors and let’s use the oil paint colors that we will be using to make other oil paint colors. In the diagram below we use the three primary colors:
- Red – Alizarin Crimson
- Yellow – Cadmium Yellow Light
- Blue – Ultramarine
With these three colors we can theoretically mix them in various combinations to produce all the colors of the rainbow. But since we are not painting a rainbow, the task at hand will be
Two More Oil Paint Colors
I added two more oil paint colors, Viridian and Vermilion, a green and a red-orange respectively. These two oil paint colors, when mixed will give you grey.
When you mix Ultramarine with Vermilion (blue with red-orange) you get the oil paint color Burnt Sienna. Mix the oil paint colors Ultramarine with Alizarin Crimson (blue with red) you get Mauve.
Now here is where it gets interesting. Add Mauve to Cadmium Yellow Light and you get the oil paint color called Yellow Ochre. Add more mauve to the mix and you get the oil paint color Raw Sienna, then add more mauve to get the oil paint color Raw Umber.
5 Tubes of Oil Paint Color = 10 Colors and a Grey
How do you like that? You get 10 oil paint colors out of 5 tubes of oil paint. Not only did you learn how to mix colors to make other colors you saved money by not having to buy the other 5 oil paint colors. A bonus for your hard work.
If you have any questions relating to this topic, please use the comments section below.