Mixing Paints and Color Theory

One painting at a time, I got better with every new painting I made. I was so excited with my work. I decided to splurge. I went ahead and bought a whole bunch of oil paints. I was like a kid in a candy store. I went crazy and bought the 120 ml tubes of oil paints because I thought they were economical. Hmm, not such a good idea.

Well, given the way oil paints work, even a peanut size bit is enough to finish a small painting but in my excitement I bought a whole lot which I haven’t used. So, I’m going to help aspiring young artists with this problem. You can create different shades with just a few basic colors.

I had the idea of making a whole collection of underwater themed paintings so I bought a large tube of turquoise colored paint. Turns out I didn’t really need that much. Now I have a big tube of paint which I don’t use much and just so you now, you can mix Viridian Hue, Cobalt Blue and White to get Turquoise.

Here is what will make the learning process easier, Color Theory. Of course you can experiment and learn by mixing colors, but learning color theory makes the task easier and speeds up your learning process. I found some videos online which really helped me. You can also download a color wheel and print it and hang it on your wall where you paint which will help you with mixing colors.

Here is a picture of the color wheel.

color-wheel-300

The primary colors are Red, Yellow and Blue. There are three secondary colors, Green, Orange and Purple. You can create six tertiary colors by mixing primary and secondary colors.

You can divide the circle into warm and cool colors.

warm-cool

The painting below shows cool colors. You see that cool tones are soothing.

SD_Coralia

The painting below shows warm colors. You see that warm tones are vivid and energetic.

SD_ThunderheadWM

More things you should know are Tints, Shades and Tones.

Tints are created by adding white to a pure hue.

Tints

Shades are created by adding black to a pure hue.

Shades

Tones are created by adding gray to a pure hue.

Tones

Below you can see a painting that is only in gray scale, made using only black and white.

1q

I think that’s enough information to help you get started. Don’t go too much into the theory. This is just to help you mix colors. Use your judgment on what color goes well with what and you’ll create beautiful art.

If you have any questions, leave a comment below and I’ll answer them as best as I can. Don’t forget to subscribe. Have fun painting.