Stop Making Mud With Your Paints
Want to know the number 1 secret to avoiding mud when you're mixing colors? Watch the video below or keep reading to find out.
I’ll bet that when you try to mix purple out of your blue and your red, you get a color somewhat like this:
It’s a muddy, muted maroon or burgundy color. Now, the brighter purple below is NOT out of a tube. I actually mixed this bright purple with red and blue, too.
So how did I do it? By using a DIFFERENT type of red and blue than I used in the first mixture.
I’ll explain what I mean in just a second, but let me give you one more example.
If you’ve ever tried to mix green out of your blue and your yellow, you may have gotten a muddy olive green like the one below:
Once again, the bright green below is ALSO not out of a tube. I mixed it using a DIFFERENT type of blue and yellow than I did with the first green:
So you may be thinking, well, how are there different types of red and blue and yellow? Aren’t there just the primary colors, and that’s it?
That’s probably what you learned in grade school…. but the key to success in color mixing is to first understand that there are actually TWO sets of primary colors.
Maybe you’ve never heard that before, but I’ll prove it to you by asking you to look in your color printer, if you have one at home.
You’ll notice the inks look a little different than the primary paint colors that you’re probably using. Those inks in your printer are actually called cyan, magenta, and yellow, or “CMY” for short.
And THAT is the alternate set of primary colors that you probably never knew about, unless you have a background in printing or graphic design.
This is ALSO the key to FINALLY understanding warm and cool colors, and how to tell them apart.
Once you understand that there are two sets of primary colors, and you understand how they work TOGETHER, you can mix any color you want, bright or muted, with just a small handful of paints, and you’ll be able to instantly tell if a color is warm or cool.
The secret to color mixing is simple to understand if you have a good teacher. And while the framework is simple, it takes a bit more time than I have in this short article to thoroughly explain it.
That’s probably why you haven’t been able to figure out color mixing on your own from YouTube videos or articles online.
I know it took me months of dedicated research and time to figure out how this whole color mixing thing worked, and even longer to synthesize it into a simple framework that makes sense.
But the amazing thing is, once you learn color mixing the correct (and shall I say, “scientific”) way, it starts to become second-nature. Now it seems totally easy to me -- but I understand how it feels to be confused and frustrated by it, because I definitely was not that long ago.
So if you’ve ever felt defeated after an artist or a teacher told you that color mixing is just “intuitive,” don’t worry. If someone tells you “It’s simple, just google xyz,” and you still don’t understand, don’t worry.
Chances are, you’re more of a left-brained artist like me, and you just need a more organized, analytical method to approach color mixing. There’s no problem with that at all. Click the image below to learn more about the three secrets to successful color mixing AND learn the specific brand names of the only 6 paints you need to mix any color you want!