Color Mixing
Here's how to make a helpful color reference chart you can refer to as you mix
paint. Helps you remember how to get that certain color you want in your painting.

Create a chart of color mixing to learn the
characteristics of each paint color.
This chart was made using Winsor & Newton watercolors from tube paints, but this chart activity
works great with any paints.  The point is to learn how your particular paints react to one another
when they are mixed. This also gives you a reference guide for finding the color you want to mix
while you are painting.

Here's how to go about this:

Section off your watercolor paper like a graph paper, with square areas for each color.

Use a flat paintbrush. This gives you a nice square color box, and helps you keep the colors
separate and distinct.

With the 8-color paintbox, you will have each of the eight paint colors across the top, and also
down the left-hand side of your watercolor paper. It helps to put them in the same order, left to
right, as you have them in order from top to bottom for a systematic look at how your paints look
when you mix them.

Mix each color with the every other color, placing them in the chart where the two colors
intersect.  Example:

Start with a square of pure yellow. As you move across the chart, mix the yellow with orange,
then with red, then with blue, then with green, then with purple, then with brown, then with
 (Be sure to rinse your brush thoroughly between each mix.)
Then do the same with every other color, moving down the colors on the left hand side of the

When you have mixed every color with every other color, you will have a color reference chart
somewhat like the one pictured on this page.

The black line you see (in the example above ) down the side is there to show me how a color
may cover (or not cover) darker paint. I painted it first, then layered each color over it as I
worked my way down the chart. It shows how transparent or opaque the pure paint color is,
straight out of the tube. For example, Naples Yellow, straight out of the tube actually showed up
over black.

I labeled the paint colors according to their names on the tubes. This color chart also shows
some notes I made to myself on characteristics of certain colors. Sometimes I found it was very
staining, or grainy, and I jotted a note next to the color.
"You Can Do It! ART"--Watercolor
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"You Can Do It! ART"
Click on this small image to get a good
up-close view with labels. It will make a
lot more sense!