Mixing colors

Table of Contents

When it comes to painting, color mixing is a crucial skill to master. The ability to create new colors and shades can greatly enhance your artwork and make it stand out. In this guide, we will explore the different techniques and methods for mixing colors, as well as tips and tricks for achieving the desired results. Start today with Paint by numbers!

Kleuren mengen

Color Wheel Basics

To understand color mixing, it's important to first understand the color wheel. The color wheel is a visual representation of the colors of the spectrum arranged in a circle. It is divided into three main categories: primary colors, secondary colors, and tertiary colors.

Primary colors are the colors that cannot be made by mixing other colors together. These colors are red, blue, and yellow. Secondary colors are made by mixing two primary colors together. These colors are orange, purple, and green. Tertiary colors are made by mixing a primary color with a secondary color. These colors are yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green, and yellow-green.

Color circle

There are several important aspects to consider when creating a painting, such as design and the application of colours.

The emotion the artist wants to convey to the audience can be reflected by the choice of colours used in the painting.

A good example of this is the artist Pablo Picasso's "blue period". This period lasted from 1901 to 1904, and was named after the common blue colours used in his paintings during this period. These colours suited the emotions Picasso wanted to express in his work, and contributed to the gloom and melancholy that prevailed in his work during this period.

Source: Pablo Picasso Online

Mixing Techniques

There are several techniques for mixing colors, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Direct Mixing

Direct mixing is the simplest and most straightforward technique. It involves mixing two or more colors directly on the palette or canvas. This technique is best for creating clean, crisp colors and is often used for detailed work.

Indirect Mixing

Indirect mixing involves layering colors on top of each other. This technique is best for creating soft, blended colors and is often used for backgrounds and landscapes.

Color Blocking

Color blocking is a technique where large blocks of color are placed side by side, creating a contrast and depth. This technique is best for creating bold and striking artwork.


Tips and tricks

Here are some tips and tricks for color mixing when painting:

  • Start with a small amount of paint and gradually add more as needed to prevent over saturation of the colors.
  • Keep a color wheel handy to reference when mixing colors, it will help you to understand which colors complement each other.
  • Mix colors on a clean palette to prevent contamination and maintain the purity of the colors.
  • Use a limited color palette to create a cohesive and harmonious artwork.
  • Experiment with different mixing techniques, like direct mixing, indirect mixing, and color blocking, to find what works best for you.
  • Practice and experimentation are key to mastering color mixing, so don't be afraid to experiment and try new things.
  • Be mindful of the amount of paint you use when mixing, as it can affect the consistency and saturation of the final color.
  • Don't be afraid to make mistakes, they can often lead to unexpected and interesting results.
  • Always clean your brushes and palette thoroughly after painting to keep your colors fresh and vibrant.

These tips and tricks will help you to become more confident and skilled at color mixing, and to create more beautiful, dynamic and professional artwork.


Color mixing is a fundamental skill in painting and can greatly enhance the quality of your artwork. By understanding the color wheel and experimenting with different mixing techniques, you can achieve the desired results and take your painting to the next level.

As you can see, color mixing is essential for any painter and the more you understand about the color wheel and the different techniques for mixing colors, the more successful you will be in creating beautiful and dynamic paintings. With practice and experimentation, you'll soon become a master at mixing colors and taking your artwork to the next level.

My cart
🎁 Only £50.00 away from a free gift
Your cart is empty.

Looks like you haven't made a choice yet.