In the vast realm of artistry, we often find ourselves enamored by the final masterpieces, the strokes of genius, and the seamless blending of colors on canvas. Yet, behind every mesmerizing painting lies a foundation built upon diligent practice, honing our hard skills to perfection.

Today, let’s delve into the realm of color mixing—a fundamental hard skill that can elevate our artwork to new heights.

Color mixing is more than just combining pigments; it’s about understanding the nuances of hues, mastering the subtleties of saturation, and creating a symphony of tones that dance harmoniously together.

As artists, our journey towards mastery begins with embracing the essence of color mixing.

Picture this: a blank canvas before you, brimming with possibilities. But where do you begin? The answer lies in the humble color chart—a tool often overlooked but indispensable in the artist’s arsenal.

Creating Color Charts – Boring or Rewarding?

Personally, I absolutely love creating color charts, I find them relaxing to create. Concentrating on mixing one color, at a time, allows me to slow way down and really think about the color, it’s hue and value. I think of each color block as a new vocabulary word and I’m building an extensive language of colors.

From Students to Masters Many Create Color Charts

Last year I participated in Chelsea Lang’s “Alla Prima Bootcamp” and one of the bootcamp modules was on creating color charts. The module was built based on Richard Schmidt’s book “Alla Prima II” * And Richard Schmidt credits his teacher Bill Mosby for introducing him to this systematic approach to color mixing. “The purpose was to see, understand and remember what they looked like when they interacted.”

Why do we emphasize color charts? Because they simplify the complex. In the words of Daniel Coyle, author of “The Little Book of Talents,” * mastering a skill begins with understanding its essence. Color mixing is no exception. By breaking down the process into a series of deliberate decisions, we unravel the mysteries of pigments and unveil the true potential of our palettes.

Let’s consider the practicality of color charts. Imagine you’re painting a landscape, capturing the serene beauty of nature. In the midst of strokes and shadows, wouldn’t it be invaluable to possess a repertoire of harmonious colors at your fingertips? This is where color charts shine—they become our compass, guiding us through the labyrinth of hues with confidence and finesse.

Start with the Basics

But how do we embark on this journey of color exploration? Start with the basics. Create a simple chart showcasing primary colors and their myriad combinations. Experiment with different ratios, observe how colors interact, and document your discoveries along the way. Treat each chart as a voyage of self-discovery—a testament to your evolving palette and artistic vision.

Last year I did a whole series of color charts using my acrylic paints. I created my own charts using Canson Canva Artboards, 12 x 16″. These boards are perfect for painting oil or acrylic paints. I used a ruler and measured out 12 1 inch columns and 8 rows.

This year I purchased set of Color Frontier pre-made color charts. Using a primed stiff board as the backing with a dye-cut peel off stencil, this definitely was an easier way to jump right into color mixing without having to do all the measuring of the blocks.

As we immerse ourselves in the realm of color mixing, let’s not forget the transformative power of perspective. Building hard skills isn’t just about technique; it’s about cultivating a mindset of curiosity and growth. Embrace the process, relish the challenges, and celebrate the triumphs—each brushstroke a testament to your dedication and passion.

In the grand tapestry of artistry, color mixing is more than just a skill—it’s a gateway to boundless creativity. So, fellow artists, let us embark on this journey together, armed with brushes and palettes, as we unveil the kaleidoscope of possibilities that lie within.

As we continue our exploration of hard skills, remember: every stroke, every hue, is a testament to the artist within. Let’s paint our world with vibrant strokes of imagination and breathe life into our canvases with the art of color mixing.

“As we blend colors on the palette of possibility, remember: every stroke of practice is a brushstroke towards mastery. Let the canvas of your journey be painted with the vibrant hues of dedication and growth.”

My question for you is… what do you think of color charts to improve color mixing skills? Have you ever tried creating them? Let me know, leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you…

Until next time, keep creating, Linda

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Quick Pause: If you are new here and would like to receive my Canvas Chronicles – a Weekly newsletter which will include this Artist to Artist Challenge right in your inbox – just fill out the form below – I’m excited you’ll be joining me on this journey!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *