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Colour Mixing Fun

Every so often my students ask me, how do I mix a specific colour for my project. So for our first lesson in 2018 I offered them a lesson in acrylic colour mixing.

I asked everyone to bring all their primary colours to the lesson as they need to see how their paint reacts when mixed with the paint they have at their disposal. We started to look at the colour wheel and worked out the difference between cool and warm colours.

An easy way to remember is that the warm yellow is closer to the red and the cool yellow is closer to the green. The warm red is closer to to the yellow/orange and the cool red tends to be closer to the blues. And the warm blue is more on the red spectrum while the cool blue tends to lean towards the green.

But we also noticed  that for example a Ultramarine from one brand doesn’t always look like the Ultramarine from another supplier. Und to be on the sure side everyone marked their paint tubes either warm or cold, after making sure why it was warm or cold.


Complementary Colours are the colours directly opposite each other as seen on this colour wheel by Chromacryl, like red – green, yellow – purple, and blue – orange

The other important lesson we learnt was that we always should mix the darker colour into the lighter colour, Trying to lighten a darker paint with lighter paint would be an awful lot of paint wasted.

So todays exercise was to mix a primary colour with a secondary colour. It could be any primary. So red could be mixed with green, Yellow could be mixed with purple and blue with orange

The first surprise was for everyone what a different it made, mixing cool primaries compared to mixing warm primaries


As we also had to mix our secondary colours I was taken by surprise when someone asked me what kind of orange she should use to mix orange!


These are some of the colour results we achieved during our colour mixing lesson






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