Mix your way to better colour!


Artists! Do you find it difficult to bring out the Van Gogh in you when it comes to colours? Worry not, we have got you covered!


Colours bring out the life in an artwork and make it complete. A few artists get the colouring technique right on the first go while a few others struggle throughout their lifetime. Beginners, however, shy away from experimenting with their sources to get the right mix. We are here to help you get over your fear, guide you through the world of colouring and help you get the right shade after mixing.

Simply follow these tips and tricks for your next painting and we’re sure you’ll create nothing less than a masterpiece:

1. The 3 primaries are your best friends

When it comes to mixing and matching, start with the 3 primary colours – Red, Green and Blue. These are the only ones that can’t be created by mixing other colours. However, you can mix them in various ratios to form a new colour. Take the help of white to lighten the value of the mix and create a whole new range of shades. Try creating a palette full of red, green and blue shades mixed with varied amounts of whites and create a painting using just these to understand the application of these shades.

2. Understand colour relationships

A good painting is not defined by the usage of right or wrong colours; it is defined by the usage of colours in relationship to its surrounding colours. The beauty of every colour is affected by the one adjacent to it, which is then affected by the colours surrounding it, and so on. Hence, the harmony of colours thus created, though made using a limited palette, makes a painting look marvelous even if the painting might not resonate with the colours of the real world.

3. Add dark to light

Instead of trying to add white to a shade you want to lighten up, add the colour in question to white. This way, you will need less of white as compared to what you’ll have to if you do it the other way around.

4. Add opaque to transparent

The same rule as above applies when it comes to transparent and opaque colours. Opaque colours have more power over transparent ones so transparent colours go first, followed by opaque, when it comes to mixing.

5. Use single pigments

Mixing two colours? Make sure you use the colours made out of one pigment only. That way you are mixing only two pigments so you end up getting bright, intense colours. Artists’ quality paints usually mention the pigment(s) in a colour on the back label of each paint container.

6. Get the perfect Greys and Browns

The trick to get the right shade of grey or brown to go with your painting lies on your palette. Instead of picking new colours from your paint box, pick the existing red/green, yellow/purple, blue/orange to create a varied range of greys and browns.

7. Overmixing is a big NO-NO!

While you mix two colours, make sure you don’t completely mix the two hues. Stop right when they are about to completely merge into one another. That way you have varied shades of the same colour and you end up enhancing your painting with the different shades thus created.

Pro-tip: Use Camlin Artists’ Water Colour 18 Assorted Colours Set to try your hand at mixing for your next painting.

Do let us know if these tips helped you understand colour usage and inspired you to make a better painting.

Related posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *