Creating A Color Mix Chart
Color mix charts not only help you get comfortable with the amount of water to use, but they also serve as a handy reference guide to mixing up the right colors when you are working on a project.
To make a watercolor mix chart:
- Measure out a 13” x 13” or 11” x 11” paper in class
- Mark off and draw in .50” margins all around the page
- Mark off tick marks at 1” in all sides around the square and connect them to make a grid
- Collect the basic paint colors you have (If you have a paper that is 13X13" you will have 12 paint colors. If you paper is 11x11", you will choose 10 paints).
- Use the top row (horizontally) and down the left side (vertically) to write in all of your paint names. Also sweep in a little example of each color underneath the name as your reference swatch.
Tip: whatever order you go in vertically, you will also need to follow that same order horizontally across the top.
- I would suggest using the following for your first mix chart; Cadmium red, Alizarin crimson, Burnt umber, Burnt sienna, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium yellow, Lemon yellow, Sap green, Ultramarine blue, Thalo blue and Payne’s gray.
- Start with your first paint color put it into 3 squares (First under the reference swatch across the top, then next to the reference swatch on the left side. Lastly in those places diagonally where your single same color intersects on the grid.)
- You begin the mixing fun, where two colors intersect on the grid. Try to use 50% of each color as your mix ratio. In other words, you will mix Thalo Blue + Cadmium red you will mix 50% of cadmium red + 50% of Thalo Blue.
- In order to maximize your variations of color. The first time you paint the mix, make it just as you normally would. The second time that you paint the color, you may want to add some water to the mix to lighten your new color up a bit. In this way, your upper right side of the chart will be dark, and the lower left will be lighter colors.
- Make sure that you go back and rinse your brush each time you take from a color puddle to keep your colors clean. I'll keep rinsing and repeating by adding in a new color like this ...
Cadmium Red + Burnt Umber (rinse)
Cadmium Red + Burnt Sienna (rinse)
Check out the video lesson below.