Subtractive Theory of Color, Continued
You will seldom use color straight from the tube. It is important to develop
good color mixing habits to make sure that your colors are clean and not
Here are a few tips to help you in preparing color mixes:
Clean your brush before you pick up any color.
Prevent paint from seeping up to the metal ferrule when you use your
brush to mix paint. Residue paint rots brush bristles and may stain other
pigments you mix.
Use a clean palette knife to pick up yellow. Yellow is the most sensitive
color on the palette. Using a brush with residue from another color will
stain yellow pigment.
Keep mixtures simple. Use only two or three colors plus black and white.
More color will only muddy or grey your mixtures.
Use white carefully. White paint neutralizes other colors and may appear
chalky or washed out.
Mix dark colors into lighter colors to economize paint and effort. It takes
less paint to mix green by mixing a dab of blue into yellow than to mix a
quantity of yellow into blue.
Darken a color by using its compliment. Compliments mixed in the
correct proportions become neutralized greys. These greys may be warm
Dip a brush into two colors and, without mixing or palatting the brush,
apply the pigments directly to the painting. This technique is a form of
Keep two jars of water handy. Use one jar to rinse color from the brush
and the other jar of water will remain clear for mixing.