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How to mix clean colors

PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:21 pm
by marcib
We know its pretty easy to make mud when we paint .. but how do you get clean, clear secondary colors?
We were taught that red and blue makes purple.... but why does mixing certain reds and certain blues get you a dull , sad grey purple instead of a beautiful vibrant color ?
Heres the secret :
( I m posting this here from our PPIO members' only section )

We all learned the simple color rules as kids:" red and blue make purple, yellow and blue make green , red and yellow make orange. EASY, right? but if you ever mixed blue and red only to come out with a dull, muddy color instead of a nice vibrant purple, then you know there was something your kindergarden teacher didnt tell you ...

Another one of the basic rules of color is the complimentary colors grey each other . Ever wonder why? And how does this play into being able to mix pure vibrant secondary colors?

color2s.JPG


Let take two basic compliments: Red and green ( opposites on the color wheel ) We know that , mixed together, you will get a grey ...

Let 's break this down a bit: Red breaks down to red

Green breaks down to yellow plus blue

When you mix the two ( red and green ) , you are esentially mixing together all three primary colors. ( Red + yellow and blue )and whenever all three primaries are in the mix, you will get greying of the color...

The thing that complicates color mixing is the fact that there is no pure color.. Every color has a bias toward one side of the color wheel or another...and that bias is what can make mud.

Greyed color is very desirable. As a matter of fact, a painting with too much intense color can be overwhelming.. and small amounts of intense pure color will be all the more dramatic when used as accents against mostly greyed colors. Luckily , greyed colors are very easy to mix. You can combine just about any colors and come up with wonderful greyed options.... but in order to get those pure vibrant colors, you have to mix very specific combinations.

That is what this lesson is all about.
OK . I said that all colors have a bias toward one side of the color wheel or the other ...warm or cool

Let's look at what that means:

Let's start with REDS:

Red can lean toward the yellow side of the color wheel or the blue side.

Examples of a red with a bias toward the orange ( warm ) side of the color wheel are colors like blood red, yellow red, light red, pompadour..any of the orange-y iron reds ( with the exception of cadmium colors whiwch cannot be mixed with anything other than other cad colors)

Examples of a red with with a bias toward the purple ( cool ) side of the color wheel are any of the gold based medium or dark pinks like american beauty, ruby , dark pink,

YELLOWS

Yellow with a bias toward the ( cool ) green side of the color wheel is lemon yellow (lemon yellow)( or a very yellow chartreuse if it is more yellow than green )

Yellow with a bias toward the ( warm ) orange side of the color wheel is a good mixing yellow or a light yellow brown .(mixing yellow or light yellow brown )(If you use a mixing yellow, you will want to test fire it with the reds you plan to use . Not all paints marked mixing yellow will mix with reds. I personally have had good luck with Ann Cline's mixing yellow and Rynne's mixing yellow and there are others that also will work well.

BLUES

Blue with a bias toward the green ( warm) side of the color wheel is forget-me-not blue, flag blue, sky blue.

Blue with a bias toward the (Cool) purple side of the color wheel is cobalt,

Ive tried to give some examples of common chinapaint colors for all of the color biases but rather than try to find specific colors, the best way is to just look at what you already have and compare it to the color chart at the top of this page.Anything in that color family should work . The exception is mixing yellow. You will need a specific yellow in that color family that will work chemically with the iron based reds. Not all yellows that look the same will work so it is important to test fire them with the reds.

When it comes to mixing pure secondaries, its a matter of keeping only 2 primaries in the mixture. Adding even a trace of the 3rd primary will begin to grey down the color.

ORANGE

To mix a pure orange, choose a red with a leaning toward orange( RED + red + yellow) and yellow with a leaning toward orange. (YELLOW + yellow + red)...

no blue in the mixture... ( See what happens if you mix a red with a leaning toward orange( RED + red + yellow)with a yellow with a leaning toward green ( YELLOW + yellow+blue ) ...Suddenly , there is some blue in the mix and the result will be muddy ...

The same happens if you use a yellow with a leaning toward orange.( YELLOW + yellow + red) and a red with a leaning toward purple ( RED+ red+blue)

Again, there is no red in the mix. using a blue or yellow with a red in it will grey the mixture.

GREEN

To mix a pure green , you need to keep red out of the mix:

Yellow with a leaning toward green ( YELLOW + yellow+blue )

AND

Blue with a leaning toward green ( BLUE+ blue +yellow)

PURPLE

Blue with a leaning toward purple (BLUE+ red+blue)

AND

Red with a leaning toward purple ( RED+ red+blue)


Easiest way to remember this is to use a color wheel and use neighboring colors .


color wheel china.jpg

Re: How to mix clean colors

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:51 am
by lisamac
Wow, Marci, this is a terrific lesson! Thanks for sharing!