Color Mixing Chart Tutorial

How to create a color mixing chart
Creating a color mixing chart is a great way to gain a better understanding of color mixing. It will also provide you with a great reference tool for finding the perfect color as you work through future paintings. There are many ways to layout your color chart. I have demonstrated one below. I use all colors on both axes of the chart. One set of pairs is devoted to opaque color. The other set contains the same mixtures applied as a wash. (The order of colors I used: Alizarin, Cad Red Lt., Cad Yellow Med., Cad Yellow Lt., Hooker’s Green, Thalo Blue, Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna)
On a piece of 9×12 watercolor paper (you can use a canvas board or canvas) lay out a grid with all of your colors along the top and along the side. I have divided the horizontal rows in half so that I can apply pure color and the tint of the color.
Arrange your colors around your palette and on your paper in order (warm red, cool red, warm yellow, cool yellow, warm green, cool green (not present in my example), warm blue, cool blue, warm brown, cool brown)
For each pair (e.g. Alizarin + Cad Yellow Light), mix the two and paint the top box with the pure mixture. I then add white to the mixture and paint the bottom box. Since I put all the colors along both the top and the side, I end up with two instances of each combo (e.g. Alizarin + Cad Yellow Light, and Cad Yellow Light + Alizarin). I used one set for opaque color, then I did a wash on the other set. You can see the line where the two types meet.



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7 Responses to Color Mixing Chart Tutorial

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow, that’s amazing. What a fantastic tool!

  2. Tótila says:

    It’s very useful!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am going to try and make one of these for my own use. Thanks for the quick tutorial.

  4. this would work just as well for watercolor, right? Sorta looks like watercolor already.

    • Christy says:

      Absolutely. I did half of my mixes very watered down to resemble watercolor washes. You could do this with watercolor or oil. If you wanted to, you could take your two color mixes and chart them with a third color, but seriously, who has that kind of time?

  5. Becky Brown says:

    I am going to try to make one of these myself. I’m a new artist and need all the help I can get!

  6. Ági Horváthné-Makrai says:

    Thank you very much for this! It was really useful for me, it is realy help me to mix the right colour! Thanx for sharing!!! 🙂

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