Get back to basics with Liquitex. An art school essential, colour theory is a skill that you will use again and again in every painting for years to come. Learn how to mix your colours properly and you'll save time, energy and paint when trying to acheive that perfect hue. Follow these steps and let us guide you through the basics of colour mixing with acrylic.
- Acrylic paint in mars black, titanium white, primary red, primary blue and primary yellow and neutral grey 5
- Container for water
- Watercolour paper or mixed media paper
How to create your own colour wheel
There are 12 colours in a colour wheel. 3 primary colours, 3 secondary colours and 3 tertiary colours. Turn your pallette over and trace a circle with your pencil. Find the center of the circle and, using a ruler, divide the circle into 12 equal sections. Draw 3 smaller circles inside of your wheel. When you complete this wheel you will have a reference for the hue, tint, tone and shade of each of the colours.
Label the sections of your colour wheel 1-12 clockwise from the top. Paint the top most section of the wheel primary red (just the outer most circle), the 5th section primary yellow and the 9th section primary blue. Using your palette, mix equal parts primary red and primary yellow to make orange and paint that colour in section 3. Follow the chart below to complete the outer most ring of your colour wheel. Be sure to wash your brush well between each colour mix!
- 1 = red
- 2= 2 red + 1 yellow
- 3 = 1 red + 1 yellow
- 4 = 1 red + 2 yellow
- 5 = yellow
- 6 = 2 yellow + 1 blue
- 7 = 1 yellow + 1 blue
- 8 = 1 yellow + 2 blue
- 9 = blue
- 10 = 1 blue + 2 red
- 11 = 1 blue + 1 red
- 12 = 1 blue + 2 red
The next circle in will be the tints. To create the tints mix the hue in the outer most circle of the ring with a drop of white and paint in their appropriate spots underneath the hues. To create the tones in the next inner ring, mix the hue in the outmost circle of the ring with a drop of grey and paint it underneath the tints. And finally, to create the shades mix the hue in the outmost circle of the ring with a drop of black and paint it underneath the tones in the center. And there you have it, you are now a pro at mixing hues, tints, tones and shades of any colour you want. What's your favouite colour?
- Tint = hue + white
- Tone = hue + grey
- Shade = hue + black
Wash and dry your brush well between each colour mix.