Every day I meet artists frustrated with colour mixing. It is a difficult concept to sum up quickly. Plus, I believe that no amount of speaking about colour is as effective as experimenting with colour mixing for yourself. Just do it. The main hurdle is getting started.
To help beginners and teachers discover the fun of colour mixing, I’ve gathered my favourite resources. At the end of this post, you will find a fun project using plasticine as a tool for teaching young kids about colour theory.
1 Take the workshop: Using Colour Expressively with artist Sharon Hazen. Learn the tricks for mixing the colours you want.
2 ‘Colour MXR’ by Golden Acrylics This is an interactive tool on Golden’s website that allows you to play with colour. There are three ways you can play. 1. Pick a colour from the colour chart on the left and then click on the tube on the right. Play + or – with each colour and see the resulting mixture change right before your eyes. 2. You can upload a photo, click on a colour and it will tell you how to mix it! It is really quick too. 3. Enter your CMYK from your computer or Pantone Selector and voila! it will mix your colour for you.
3 Robert Gamblin’s Navigating Color Space Here are links to my favourite videos on colour theory. Robert Gamblin keeps it simple and logical while adding historical relevance. Watch all three parts! Poof! Colour Theory will suddenly make sense.
4 Golden Acrylics 8 Color Mixing Guide is a handy little PDF from the makers of Golden Artist Colors. It is a little hard to understand, at first. Basically, the top row colours are numbered and all the other colours are mixed from them. You will see the horizontal bars indicating the ratio of each colour used . It is really cool how many common colours can easily be made from Golden’s 8 Basic Mixing Colors – order them .
5 Walter Foster’s 1500 Colour Mixing Recipes by William F Powell. A colour reference book is handy for those who prefer a studio hardcopy. Here is a comprehensive guide for colour mixing using oil, acrylic or watercolour.
6 Visit our Advice Library for Colour Theory Using Plasticine It features math ratios and percentages explained in modeling clay. And it has several fun projects and loads of visuals to help teachers motivate students.
7. More projects for teaching colour theory.
Kim Fjordbotten (June 2020) As owner of The Paint Spot, Kim Fjordbotten is passionate about helping artists use materials and make art. She is available as a speaker and educator for teachers and art associations. The Paint Spot offers exhibitions, workshops, and beautiful art materials to inspire your creativity.
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