Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mixing Colors with a Limited Palette



Today's video can also be viewed on my YouTube Channel

It's really amazing how many colors you can mix from just the three primaries (red, yellow, blue) or a variation of them like transparent red oxide, yellow ochre, and ultramarine blue.

Working with a limited palette has two main benefits. First, you will learn a lot about color, how colors react with one another and how to mix colors of various hues, intensities and temperatures. Second, you are guaranteed to have harmonious color in your painting. Something else you can also achiebe by using a triad of colors based on the primaries is mood or emotional content, this will be driven by the characteristics of the colors in your triad.

Here are just a few of the colors I mixed from my palette:


There are a variety of earthy terracotta reds, a number of olive-y greens a russet/orange and a midnight blue/purple.  These are mostly transparent mixes. I haven't added any white to these mixes. When I introduce white and begin making tints many, many more possibilities open up.

If you're interested in this way of working let me redcommend to you this excellent article by Nita Leland Painting with Three Colors I am certain you will learn a lot and get inspired to try this way of working.

2 comments:

Perissinotti Claudio said...

Good job! Very interesting.
Ciao from Italy

AutumnLeaves said...

Hah! I just watched similar instruction for my art course! I love color mixing!