a lot of you have been asking for tips + tricks to watercoloring, so i’ve decided to share some color knowledge with you!
color mixing has always been my favorite part of art. it’s so amazing how many colors you can make… with so few colors. i personally like to stick with mostly primary colors to create my palette. i think using too many ‘straight from the tube’ colors gives your work a flat look. plus, you can save lots of money by mixing your own colors from the basics.
p.s.let me know what you think of my tutorial… maybe this will become a regular post!
SECRET TO MIXING BLACK. ULTRAMARINE BLUE + BURNT AMBER = BLACK
this is my number one trick. most people just buy a black tube, and yes that can create a deep true black, but I prefer to mix. you can create blacks with a hint of any color, which adds more depth. Just use the mix above and add a tiny amount of a color of your choice.
MIXING GRAY. CADMIUM RED + CERULEAN BLUE = GRAY
gray is another color i see people confused on how to create… and it’s one of the easiest. just mix a little orangey red and light blue, and there you have it! it takes some experimenting to figure out how much to use of each color, but do a few tests and you’ll get it in no time.
MIXING DARKER SHADES. RED + GREEN = DARK GREEN
this is more of an overall rule to creating deeper shades of a color. once you have a color you want to use, but you need it in a darker shade, just add its contrast color. i used a simple example above to demonstrate. red is the opposite of green, so in order to create a deeper shade of that green, just add a tiny bit of red. if you want a deeper red, use more red and a tiny bit of green.
MIXING PEACHY SKIN TONES. CADMIUM RED + CADMIUM YELLOW + CERULEAN BLUE= PEACHY SKIN TONE
mixing skin tones can be tricky with watercolor. i like to use these colors as a base to create a peachy tone, and then adjust it accordingly. you can experiment with using more of less of each color to create different shades. add more blue to get a deeper shade. i’ll do a later post focusing on skin tones alone- so you can see how i mix lots of different ones.
and my number one tip for watercolor… NEVER USE WHITE! there really isn’t a need for using white watercolor. to make colors lighter, just add water. the white should always be the paper shade, and you layer colors on top of the white. this can be tricky, because you have to think about what’s white before you start. but you’ll get the hang of it.
if you’re interested in learning more you can check out my two online classes available now:
want to know what paint i use? look here.