Mixing Colors

January 20, 2013

Mixing the colors for the commissioned painting I recently finished has been an interesting exercise.  I like the way the painting turned out, it just doesn’t look like it was painted by me, even though it is a landscape, which is what I usually paint.  That’s because I almost always paint with very vivid colors and this painting has soft, grayed tones.

I was given some of those paint cards you find where paint is sold to indiciate what colors the painting should be.  But how does one come up with those colors?  In this case it meant remembering very basic art instruction on color.  If you want to gray a basic primary or secondary color, you add its complement.  Remember the color wheel.  It is a circle divided into six wedges: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple.  To gray a color add the color directly across from it on the color wheel.  For instance, add a bit of green to red.  Then, since I’m using acrylics, white can be added to make the color lighter.

I’ve already started on the second of the commissioned paintings.  This time the challenge is imaginary flowers.


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