There are many aspects to learning how to paint, including understanding proportion, balance, light, composition and design, just to name a few. Don’t leave out one of the most important aspects in your quest for knowledge: studying the color wheel and understanding basic theory will help you increase your color mixing techniques so that you can create the beautiful paintings that are within your mind and your reach.
By using proven color schemes and color mixing guides, you’ll get the results you want, and you’ll get them quicker than if you spend time (and valuable art supplies) trying to reinvent the wheel. Take advantage of this free guide to color for artists so that you can learn the basics and then begin to experiment on your own. You have nothing to lose!
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Discover the following in this free download on color theory:
Breaking the (Color) Code: Chromatic Color Theory and More
Learn the terms and principles of chromatic theory as the first step toward basic color theory in this “Color Corner” article by Nita Leland and The Artist’s Magazine. “Learning to use color effectively is one of the most challenging aspects of becoming an artist,” says Leland. “Mastering this process starts with understanding the terms and concepts of color theory. Then it’s a matter of applying these principles to your art.” Leland goes on to explain a bit of history and a few key terms such as spectrum, primary colors, secondary colors and tertiary colors, just to start. She goes on to explain the difference between chromatic and achromatic color theory, suggestions for mixing colors, and understanding color intensity and the variety of effects the variations can have.
Basic Color Theory: A Balanced Diet
Greg Albert explains in this “Color Corner” from The Artist’s Magazine that you don’t need a Ph.D. in color theory to achieve harmony in your paintings. His advice? “Try this simple formula: mostly, some and a bit.”
Albert goes on to explain, “Color theory is a fascinating subject, but it can be awfully complicated, hard to remember and even harder to successfully apply. Even though there are plenty of schemes for achieving harmonious color in a painting, the information is often not much good when you’re in the studio faced with a blank canvas and a daunting subject. As a result, many artists rely a little too much on luck.
“So here’s a formula that really works and is easy to use. I call it ‘mostly, some and a bit.’ This means that the distribution of color properties in a painting should roughly follow those proportions—most of the colors should share the same characteristics, some should differ from the first, and a very small bit of color should differ from the rest.”
Color Mixing Secrets for the Plein Air Painter
In this article from Drawing magazine, artist John Hulsey offers advice for mixing colors while painting outside, specifically. “Painting outdoors on location poses unique challenges compared to the well-controlled studio environment—no question about that! With the explosion of interest in plein air painting, there has been a commensurate increase of interest in educational workshops taught by experienced artists. Perhaps this is because upon beginning to paint outdoors, one quickly realizes how difficult and frustrating it can be to create even a small, pleasing picture from hours spent hard at work. This article shows a unique method to quickly analyze the local color and values, premix all the colors needed for the whole painting and develop a consistent color harmony among the premixed colors.”
Become the artist you’ve always wanted to be.
Take advantage of these free articles and excerpts from The Artist’s Magazine and Drawing to help you learn color theory and how to mix colors! Along with this free download, you’ll receive the free ArtistsNetwork.com newsletter with color tips, inspiration and more.