Color Quest: How to Mix Any Color in Acrylics | Jennifer Keller | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Color Quest: How to Mix Any Color in Acrylics

teacher avatar Jennifer Keller, Express Yourself with Creative Confidence!

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (2h 19m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Primary Colors

    • 4. Secondary Colors

    • 5. Tertiary Colors

    • 6. Complimentary and Analogous Colors

    • 7. Tinting

    • 8. Tones and Shades

    • 9. Earth Tones

    • 10. Tinted Earth Tones

    • 11. Skin Tones

    • 12. Greys and Neutrals

    • 13. Hues

    • 14. Abstract Color Play

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

We all want to create artwork that’s fun to make and connects with our audience, but it can be frustrating when you can’t get the right colors.  

Imagine being able to

  • Match any color from the world around you.
  • Pick out the right paints and shop at the art store with confidence.
  • Save money on paint that you could mix yourself.  
  • Pair colors to create a feeling or mood in your work.
  • Mix vibrant colors that you can use in all genres of work, from abstract to landscape and portraits.
  • Bring amazing light and shadow into your artwork.
  • Have so much more fun mixing colors that you’ll be proud of. 
  • Create beauty that will connect more with your audience and lead to sales.

This acrylic class is right for:

  • novice and beginning artists who aren’t sure where to start
  • Intermediate artists who might have missed the big picture of color mixing and theory.
  • Anyone who wants to brush up on their acrylic paint mixing.
  • Artists who want to make professional artwork, but don’t want to pay college tuition to learn color theory.

Are you ready to up your color mixing game?  Let's go! 


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jennifer Keller

Express Yourself with Creative Confidence!


I believe that art is magic.  By creating, we mix our inner souls with the outer world to make beauty.  

My name is Jennifer Laurel Keller.  I’m an artist and an instructor, but what I really do is help people release their blocks and express themselves with creative confidence.  

I've worked in the arts for over 20 years as a frame designer, art gallery manager, vintage furniture and home decor dealer, art supply sales associate, and finally as an art instructor.

I love teaching so much.  Seeing students light up when they begin to gain confidence in their abilities is so incredibly rewarding and I'm so lucky to be a part of that process.  I'm really happy to be able to connect with people all over the world who love be... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Art is magic. It reveals to us the emotions and beauty in our surroundings and within our souls. It can inspire and relax us, make us laugh and cry, and is worth 1,000 words. Every artist wants to capture the essence of the scenes in our work. But when it comes to color mixing in your art, it might seem like something's missing. Maybe you seem to be running into muddy colors. Or perhaps your paintings seem to lack dimension and end up feeling flat. Or possibly, you're not quite sure how to start or which paints to buy. The paint aisle at the art store is a big place and there are so many choices which can be a little intimidating. If this sounds familiar, it's likely that you need more information and practice with color theory and mixing. The good news is that I can help. My name is Jennifer Laurel Keller. I've worked in the arts for over 20 years as a painter, teacher, a frame designer, and I've also worked in art supply sales and art galleries. What I've noticed from talking with artists, as well as in my own career, is that things can get out of control pretty quickly when you don't know how to get the right colors. Some people think that they need to buy all of the colors because they're afraid to mix at all. Other artists try and save money, but the colors aren't very compatible and they end up wasting paint in the end. In my online class, Color Quest, I share all of my secrets to color mixing, given how to pick the right paints from the art store. Save money on paint that you could mix yourself. Mix vibrant colors that you can use an all genres of work from abstract to landscapes and portraits. Bring amazing light and shadow into your work. Create beauty that will connect more with your audience and possibly lead to sales if that's what you want. Your painting sessions will be so much more fun because you'll be mixing colors that make more sense and that you'll be proud of. In this class, you'll get video lessons where we create studies covering the color wheel, complimentary colors, analogous colors, earth tones, tinting, shading, the grayscale, hues, and how to pick your own unique palette for what you want to achieve. In the end, we make some abstract art to loosen up and play with everything you've learned. Anyone can take this class. You'll be able to follow along just like if you're right there with me looking over my shoulder as I talk you through every decision and move I make. Come with me on a color quest and I promise you breakthrough after breakthrough. We'll get you on the course for mixing colors with more joy and ease. I'll see you there. 2. Materials: Hello. Welcome to Color Quest. I'm so excited to have you here. Thank you so much for joining me. This is going to open a lot of doors for you when it comes to capturing colors in your environment, or your reference photographs. You'll be able to make your work more dynamic, and therefore, more impressive to your viewers. Each lesson is a baby step to a much larger understanding of color. By creating these studies, you will gently create a personal toolkit of references that you can return to anytime you get stuck in your painting, and want to refresh your memory. Also, please open up the PDF that I've included. Download that, and you'll find the materials lists that we're about to go over, as well as close up images of the studies that I created for this course. Let's get into the materials list. The first thing you're going to need, is acrylic paint. The paints that I'm using are the Golden brand, and they're called the fluid line of acrylics. It's a little bit different than your regular heavy body acrylic that you're used to seeing probably out of the tube. These come in these containers, and they are a little bit more fluid, hence the name then heavy body acrylics. Now, it does not mean that they have less pigment in them, they have really strong pigment, they just flow a little bit better. It's a paint that I love, and it's a paint that I own so I use it. But if you already have heavy body acrylics, please go ahead and use those. The colors I'm using in this class are cadmium red medium hue, cadmium yellow medium hue, phthalo blue, the p is silent, and titanium white. Later on in the class, I will be using some more earthy colors, and I'll be using yellow ocher, burnt sienna, and Payne's gray. Now, these are optional, and I'll show you how to get around buying extra paints later on in the class. If you want to save money, please just go ahead and get these four colors, but if you want to spring for three more that are a little bit more friendly when you're painting skin tones and earth tones, feel free to get the optional three. The next thing you're going to want to get is, some water color paper. I'm using the Canson XL watercolor pad. This is a lightly-textured paper, and it's a pad for paint, pencil, ink, charcoal, pastel, and acrylic. It's great for any wet medium. I got to fold over cover, spiral bound is okay as well. This happens to be 140-pound paper that indicates how thick it is, and the weight of the paper. The pad that I'm using is 11 by 15 inches. There are 30 sheets in it. We won't be using all 30, but it just happens to. The XL in watercolor paper in this Canson brand indicates that it's a student grade papers, so it's a little bit more affordable. Next, you're going to want a paper palette pad, or any palette that you feel comfortable using already. I like these mixing pads because they are really easy for clean up. I'm using the Art Alternatives brand. It has disposable sheets, 40 pages, and it is a 12 by 16 inch pad, and it's a white. Sometimes you can find them with a gray sheet, there's nothing wrong with that, but I just happened to have white pages in my palette pad. Next, you're going to want a paintbrush. I only use one paint brush for this whole class. I wanted to make it simple. When you're shopping, you want to get a paintbrush that has a bristle shape that's either called a bright, a flat or a stroke. Bright brushes, flat brushes and stroke brushes all are flats. They are wide, one-way, and narrow the other. I'm going to recommend about a half inch wide brush. You can find this either in a six or an eight, either one will work. When you paint with acrylics, you're going to want to a synthetic Taklon bristle brush. Synthetic bristles are made for acrylic, and they are going to work really well with this paint. It does not matter if it has a long or a short handle, mine happens to have a short handle, but for you, if you have a long-handled brush, it makes absolutely no difference. You're also going to want a pencil with an eraser, and a ruler. I'm using a 2 by 12 inch graph ruler with a see-through plastic, which comes in handy when I'm drawing gridlines for our different studies. But if you don't have one that's clear, no big deal, any ruler will work. We are also going to be drawing circles for our color wheels, so you can either use a compass or something round. You're going to want to at least two circles sizes, so you could use something larger for the outside of all our color wheel, and something smaller for the inside of our color wheel. However, I don't use the compass in this class, I just use a bowl. I want to make it as simple as possible for you guys. But if you have a compass, and you're comfortable with it, go ahead and use that. You can also eyeball our color wheel circle, if you don't want to bother with either of these. You just want to make sure that whatever you're tracing around for the circle fits within the paper size that you're using. Next, you're going to want some water, 1-2 pints, and you're going to want a container that you can get paint on because it will quickly get dirty, and stained. That goes from the rag, we're going to use as well, not your nice towels your going to get paint on it. We're going to use this for cleanup, as well as keeping our brush free of extra water. Some other optional supplies are palette knives. If you are used to mixing paint already with palette knives, feel free to use that. I don't use them. I rarely ever use palette knives. I mix with my brush, so that's what I will be demonstrating in this class. The other optional supply is, artist's tape. We're going to be using this to secure the page to your surface, whether you're painting at a table, or a desk or whatever. I find that it's helpful to have tape just to keep the page straight, but also keep it for rippling. Here is everything together. I encourage you to round these up, and we will get started in the next lesson. 3. Primary Colors: Knowing about primary colors is essential to color theory and mixing. They are the fundamental building blocks of every other color that we're going to mix. You may have heard about primary colors before, so do you know what they are? The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. Here we have the color wheel. We're going to create this over the next three lessons. I've broken down the color wheel intersections. Our first section is the primaries. After that will be the secondaries and then finally, the tertiaries. There won't be any mixing in this first primary lesson, we'll be drawing the structure of the wheel with our pencil and ruler, and then painting in the red, yellow, and blue swatches. I'm going to take a piece of watercolor paper and we're going to tear it out. If you're working in a journal and you want to keep these all in your journal, that's fine too. Next I'm going to take my artist's tape and cut off a length that is a little bit longer than the size of my page. I'm going to secure down one end to the table covering about a quarter inch. Then I'm going to position the rest, and do that all the way around. Next, I'm going to take a large circle. I'm using a mixing bowl, and I'm going to center it on my page. Take my pencil, and trace it. We're not going for perfection here. We just want to have something that's round and that fits nicely on the page that you're going to work on. Then I'm going to take a smaller circle, center that and trace around that. You want to enough space in the center for a few notes. We're going to be writing in the middle just a few words about the colors that we're using. Next, I'm going to take a ruler and find the center of my page. Then vertically align the ruler with that center mark and divide my circle in half, up and down. Next, I'm going to divide my circle in half again, dividing it all into quarters. We're going half, and then half again. Then with each quarter we're going to divide that into thirds. Don't go and divide it in half once more, we're going to divide it in thirds, so aligning it with the center and following it all the way through so that each quarter turns into thirds. Again in the other quadrants I can mark it with my finger and then make sure it's aligned with the center and follow it through and then find the center of that last little bit, align it up and follow that through. In the end, you should have 12 sections. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Next, fill up your water about three-quarters full. You want that on the side of your workstation that you are dominant in. I'm right handed, so all of my tools are on the right hand side so I can reach them nicely. I'm going to put my paints in a triangle. Then eventually for other lessons, we'll have the white in the center, but we're not going to use the white right now. Then rag and water next to that. I'm going to squeeze out some cadmium red medium hue, about a quarter size dollop. Cadmium yellow medium hue, and the phthalo blue. This is a red shade of phthalo blue, it's also sold in a green shade. Next we're going to do our primary red swatch. We're going to paint a color swatch. Load the brush up about 100 percent. You want it fully covered, flip your brush over to get both sides. Then you can use the corner of the brush to get into the corners of that little pie piece. You don't have to paint the center just up to that small circle in the middle. The more pressure you use on your brush the more paint's going to come out of it. Light pressure when you're doing details like in the corner and along the sides, and full pressure when you're getting all that good paint out of the bristles. Then I just clean up any really obvious brush strokes, and that is our red. Then wash your brush nice and thoroughly. We don't want any red left in the brush, I'm really stamping it in. I'm moving that over so you can see. You want to vigorously swish it around and agitate the water getting it all nicely cleaned up. It does stain the brush bristles. Then I use my rag to get any stray drips out of the bristles and also off of the handle of the brush because we don't want that dripping in. Next, we are going to paint our primary yellow. I'm going to tap in to the side of the yellow. I always go off of the side, and now just plunge into the middle of my paint. I'm going to skip three sections and then paint my yellow swatch on the fourth pie piece. Be sure and skip three because we're going to do those later. Again, just filling that in I want to use good pressure when I want to get a lot of paint out of my brush. Using the corner of the brush bristles in the corner of the pie piece, really getting in there for the detail. You can go side to side for the narrow end of the brush and have a little bit more control with your line work on the outside line just like that. Then filling it in with more pressure on the bristles, squeezing that paint out. Once again, we're going to clean our brush up nicely in the water, really vigorously cleaning that up and wiping off any excess drips onto the rag. Next we are going to go into the blue section. I'm just making sure all the drips are out of my bristles and we're going to skip three sections again and paint on the fourth, tapping into the edge, flipping the brush over, getting 100 percent of the bristles coded, and then applying the paint. I also want you to notice that this blue is much darker than the other two colors. That's going to come into play later when we mix because the pigment is much stronger and darker, it goes further a little bit, goes a long way when mixing. Just keep that in mind for later, but I want you to notice for now that it is quite dark. If you go over the edge, you can cover it up when you paint the adjacent colors, so don't worry, if you're not making perfectly straight lines, mine are not straight. It's more about the mixing experience and making a perfectly drafted color wheel. So don't worry too much about getting your lines perfect. I'm washing my brush and that is the primaries. You've done it. [inaudible] mixing yet, but I want you to understand how important these colors are. We're going to mix with them in the next lesson. I'll see you there. 4. Secondary Colors: Welcome back. In this lesson, we're going to start mixing colors, exciting. We're beginning to round out the color wheel with more of a rainbow of colors. Here we have our primary colors and when we mix together two primary colors, we get a secondary color. When we mix together red and yellow, what do we get? We get orange. How about when we mix together yellow and blue, we get green. Finally, what happens when we mix together blue and red? We get violet or purple, you can say either. It's important to practice this in real life instead of just watching me do it as with all of the mixing exercises because the proportions of mixing are really about feeling the paint on the brush, seeing what happens as you mix together certain amounts of paint and comparing them to the color that they're next to on the wheel. We're exercising our hand-eye coordination here. I want you to notice subtle changes that happen when we mix along the color spectrum, it's not so much about knowing the exact measurements, but rather testing the mixing process visually. By going through this process, you'll gain the muscle memory for how strong the pigments are and how they react to other colors when we mix them together. We're going to begin with mixing orange, our first secondary color. I'm going to take some red and some yellow and I put the yellow to the side of the red so that I can have control in mixing a little bit of red in at a time because it's stronger than the yellow. I always say start with the lighter color and mix the darker color in slowly, so that you can see how much it's affecting your mix and that's the measurement is visually paying attention. We're skipping one spot and painting right in the middle of the red and the yellow. Same as ever, we're using the corner of the brush to get into the corner of our little pie pieces on the wheel. The more pressure you use, the more paint will come out. Filling my brush backup and coming in on the other side with a nice straight line or as straight as you can get it and then filling in the rest and getting any of the stray brushstrokes smoothed out as best as you can and wash that brush up. The next secondary color is green, how do we get green? We're going to mix cadmium yellow, medium hue with a little bit of phthalo blue, just a tiny bit to start. Start with your lighter color and mix in the darker color more slowly little bits at a time, a little goes a long way and you can see how much it affected that yellow mix. Getting it all nicely incorporated, any stray bits of yellow that are at the middle bit of your brush, just wipe it off and pick it back up again. Skipping one space and we're going to paint the green swatch right in the middle of the yellow and the blue. Letting it really cover nicely, I didn't mix up very much green I realize. I'm really intentional about getting the outline done first and then pushing that green into the paper. Because I just don't have as much of it mixed, I could've used a little bit more paint as I was mixing it and I can always go back and mix it again. But I just have enough to last me, and it's going to finish off with just the right amount. Smoothing that out and moving on, washing the brush, drawing it off and we're going to do our last secondary color, which is violet. If you say purple that's fine too, and remember we've got this dark blue out of the tube. The red is also quite dark and when you mix them together, they become extremely dark, it's like they multiply how dark it is. When you're mixing this, it's going to be hard to see if you have it mixed with enough red or enough blue. If you thin it out on the palette, you'll be able to see through and see the white of the palette coming through and that's how you can see. We're going for an eggplant, purple or violet and we're again going to skip one spot and put that right in the middle of the blue and the red. It's even still really dark when you paint it on the color wheel, you might be wondering, well, why don't we mix in sum white to make it lighter so we can actually see that it's purple and we will be, we're going to do that in a future lesson but for the wheel, I want you to work with what comes straight out of the two because we're just mixing the pure primaries together at this point. Going back in for some more paint, getting my edges nicely cleaned up with the narrow side of the brush. Sorry, my hand is blocking it. Then we're going to fill in everything and smooth it out. Great. Those are the secondary colors and next we are going to paint the tertiary colors. I will see you in the next lesson. 5. Tertiary Colors: Hello and welcome back. In this lesson, we'll fill in all of the finals watches on our color wheel with tertiary colors. Tertiary colors are what we get when we mix together a primary color and a secondary color. The names of tertiary colors are easy to remember because they're just a hyphenation of the two colors that you are mixing. Red plus orange equal red-orange, yellow plus orange equal yellow-orange, yellow plus green equal yellow-green, blue plus green equal blue-green, blue plus violet equal blue-violet, and red plus violet equal red-violet. Again, it's all about training your eye to recognize the color you're mixing and where it falls on the spectrum. The drying time of your paint will vary depending on the temperature and humidity of your space so you might have to go back and remix some of your secondary colors, which is normal, this happens all the time when I'm painting my own artwork. It's something that you'll want to get used to when it comes to your painting practice. Don't be afraid to reload your palette if you use up a paint. It's tempting sometimes to push through and try and use up every single last drop, but it's okay to pour more paint out and avoid trying to skimp on your mixing. Let's get started with the demonstration. The first tertiary we're going to paint is red-violet. That is going to look like a berry red. I already had some violet mixed and on my brush from the last lesson so I'm just adding more red to the violet area of my palette. Like a mix between a blackberry and a raspberry color. Nice and rich. You really want about halfway between that really dark violet and that lovely vibrant red color. We're starting to come out of that dark area of the color wheel, we're starting to see the color more. This is a beautiful color when we lighten it with white as well, but we're not going to worry about that just yet. Next is tertiary red-orange. I want you to clean your brush because there's purple in your brush, got to get that off. Next, I'm going to take some yellow. My orange was drying up so I mix some more and I'm just putting more red in at this time. Getting it visually between the orange and the red swatch. You can hold your brush up to your red and your orange that you mix before and make sure that it's in-between. You don't want it to be lighter than the orange or too close to red. We want to be able to see the difference when they're next to each other on the color wheel. We're just getting that all nicely filled in. It's up to you whether you want to leave a gap in-between colors or just have them meet completely. Next, we're going to paint yellow-orange. We already have red-orange in our brush. It's fine. You can leave it because it's essentially the two colors that are in the yellow-orange, but we're just going to add more yellow. Again, we want to have that visual balance between yellow and orange. We want it to be lighter than the orange and darker than the yellow. I add had little too much paint on my brush so I just squeegeed it off, roll it back onto the palette, and then picked it up with the end of my brush. Because if it's all built up towards the metal part of your brush, it's going to be harder to control so I just roll it back off onto the palette and then pick it up with the end. Now we're going to wash our brush because we don't want any red in our yellow-green mixtures. That's the next one. We're going to put this in-between the green and the yellow and I'm going to pick up some yellow on my palette, a good amount, and I'm going to go straight into the blue because my green is all dried up. Even now, it's really dark and it's too close to the green that I painted before so I'm going to pick up a lot more yellow. I'm just going to shovel it in there, really go for it. You want that Granny Smith apple yellow. Then just make sure that it's all nicely blended. You might need to roll some of that paint off of your brush. Now, we're going to fill in the space between the green and the yellow. You can see that it's a nice medium yellow-green, a nice halfway point between those two colors. It's a beautiful color. Getting that all nicely filled in. We're good. Next, we're going to do blue-green. This is like a peacock, turquoise color. Because I already have yellow green on my brush and both of those colors are in blue-green. It's fine if you don't wash your brush. I'm just going to use the yellow that's in my brush from the yellow-green mixture, mix in some blue and make sure that it's visually in between green and blue. Here we go. Just going to pop that in. I want to see that there is a difference, and it looked like it was a little too green still so I'm bringing in a bit more blue. Now we have that nice cool greenish blue color. Lots of water in lakes and the ocean, have a mix of blue and green. Got to load my brush up a little bit more. It's not quite getting the coverage that I needed, and now I'm just going to use a lot of pressure as I apply the paint in the center. Less pressure around the edges when you're going for that detail, and then lots of pressure when you fill in. If you happen to have not mixed quite enough, you can always go back and make some more. Just match it to what you already did. You can go back and forth. We're going to wash the brush because we can't have any yellow in our blue-violet. I'm going to take some blue and a tiny bit of red and we are going for that deep blue plum color. It's like an indigo looking through the color as it becomes transparent on the pallet so I can see what's actually happening. You want just a touch of that purple in there, that violet, but mostly it's towards the blue side of violet and it's also very dark. But when you're close up with this in person, it's going to be a little bit more obvious. Just remember to thin it out on the palette to see how your mixes coming along and the white will shine through the paint as it's thin and you'll be able to see what hue it is. That's it, folks. We've got a full color wheel with our primary, secondaries, and tertiaries. Remember, don't let your brush dry out. Afterwards, we're going to do a few notes so stay tuned, I'll show you about that. Here is our completed color wheel. I just wanted to talk a little bit about the difference between warm and cool colors. We hear this a lot when it comes to art, but also interior design and other types of design. I've drawn a line halfway through this color wheel. What is on the left-hand side is the cool area. What's on the right hand side for the most part is the warm area. There are a couple of colors that are right on the cusp and those are red, violet, and yellow, green. Depending on which paints you're using and what things are next to in your painting, it might make one seem cool or warm in comparison to what's around it. Take those with a grain of salt. The colors that are on the cusp could be either or depending on what it's next to. Throughout this course, I will be discussing warm and cool colors so just keep it in mind that the warmer colors actually look warmer. They're more fiery, they're warmer visually, and the cooler tones are green, blue, and violet. The other thing to keep in mind about warm and cool colors is that it's always nice to have a little bit of a balance in your painting and to have a little bit of both going in one painting. Even if you're painting water or something that's really warm, it helps to just put a tiny bit of a cool color in with the warm colors or warm color in with the cool colors because it will create a relationship that seems more well-rounded and a little be so little that the viewer will barely notice, but it just helps balance your painting out. Keep that in mind as we move forward. We're going to be talking about complimentary colors and how those work later but I just like to cover that now. 6. Complimentary and Analogous Colors: Hello and welcome back. First, let's do a little vocabulary. Complimentary colors are colors that are opposite from each other on the color wheel. When we pair complimentary colors next to each other, they react very boldly. So what are the complimentary colors? We have red and green, red-orange and blue-green, orange and blue, yellow-orange and blue-violet, yellow and violet, and yellow-green and red-violet. So it's just what's across the color wheel. Those two colors are going to react very boldly to each other when painted adjacent to each other in a composition. Now that you're aware of what complimentary colors are, you're going to see it in signage, advertisements, they're in a lot of flags. You'll notice country flags have a lot of complimentary colors in them and you can also think of Christmas, wreath green. They really pop, flowers on a bush. A red flower backed up by green foliage, is going to make that flower pop a lot. So it happens in nature as well. Let's move on to analogous colors. Analogous colors are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. They transition into each other in a lovely smooth way, as we've already seen on the color wheel. When we have analogous colors next to each other in a composition, we get a nice calming feeling, like a sunset or water, things like that. Well, complimentary colors have a very bold reaction. Analogous colors create a soothing effect. We're going to draw a grid. First off, this is what it looks like in the end and it's two squares by six squares. So we're going to have 12 total. First, what I'm going to do is find the center of the page. I'm going to mark that with a little dot. Then I'm going to make a line that's 12 inches long, that goes vertically. From the center I'm going up six inches and then I'm going to go down six inches. That's because I know that my paper is 11 by 15. So 12 inches total, I'm going to go over two inches and I know that my ruler is two inches wide, so I just moved the ruler over and make a 12 inch line total. Then I'm going to do that one more time on right-hand side, so I'm going to move over two inches and make a 12 inch line that way. Then, I'm going to make 12 boxes, six on each side, and I'm just going to draw across the bottom, and then move my ruler up to the top, and draw a line across the top. Then move down two inches and make a line there. Make a line there. So 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 in the middle, including the end too line so, I have 12 total. Next I'm going to take my red, and I'm going to put a dollop on my palette, my blue, and then my yellow. What we're going to do is mix up the same colors that we mixed before, except that it's going to be in a little bit of a different configuration. I'm getting my station in order here, getting my rag ready to catch any drips from my water container. I have a fresh brush. So we're going to start with the red, and then we're going to go along the color wheel down. But you'll see here, I'm going to mix a red or I don't have to mix a red, it comes out of the tube that way. You guys have seen me do enough swatches that I'm going to speed them up a little bit because it's just painting squares. Pretty simple. I'm going to take that red and I'm going to add some yellow to make a red-orange. You want to get it closer to red then a middle orange. If it helps you to paint an orange first and then do a red-orange in the center, you can do that, just get a square, paint the orange, and then go back and paint a red-orange. But you just want to make sure that there's a little bit of a change from the red. Not drastic, but enough to make a red-orange. Now I'm going to make my orange, orange, my secondary orange. Mixing more yellow. Rolling around, rolling off any excess paint and then doing a nice swatch. Next, you guessed it. We're going to do a yellow-orange. A beautiful, sunny orange. Rolling off any excess paint that's by the ferrule that's not mixing up. I'm going to incorporate that in. I'm going to go a little bit more yellow, and paint my nice swatch here. Oh, little more yellow still. It look good to me. But I guess at the time I thought I needed it lighter. That's really pretty. That's perfect. Wonderful. Now I'm going to wash my brush because there's red in it and I want a yellow swatch. On this side, we're doing warm tones. I am going to do a yellow-green on this side. Yellow-green is one of those colors that's on the cusp of warm tones and cool tones. For this exercise, I'm going to do the yellow-green on the warm side. It's all relative to what it's next to. That's looking really good. A little bit more yellow, then bringing that through. All of these colors on the left side of this chart are analogous. Next we're going to continue on and mix a green. We're still cruising around the color wheel. That's a little bit of a blue-green so I'm going to bring in some yellow. I should've started with more yellow because now I'm going to have to really bring it back to center. There we go. That is looking pretty nice. That's it. That's the one. That's good. Stop there, Jenny. I'm going to paint that right next to my red swatch. What that is going to do is give a vibrant effect. It's going to really pop. You see this in Christmas and its nature. Pairing these colors together is not on accident, because they're across the color wheel from each other. They just vibrate next to each other and it really attracts attention. Now we've got our blue green going next to our red-orange. It's going to do a very similar thing. Washing the brush out. I'm going to add a little bit of white to my blue just to show you what it's going to look like when it really appears blue instead of just out of the tube because it does really pop next to the orange and we want to bring it up a little. I'm just going to add a little bit of white to make it more of a obvious blue color instead of that dark color that comes out of the container. Painting that in next to the Orange. This is just going to really come together and pop. If you're ever working on a piece and you have something that's just not standing out enough and it's orange or blue, you can paint the opposite color, that complimentary color next to it and then it's just going to make it go pale. Next, we're going to do a blue violet and we're going to add a little bit of white to it so that it shows up just a little bit more. It's not quite so dark again. You can see this shaping up on the two sides of this grid. Up at the top, things are really vibrant. A little bit more red there. That's like a blueberry color. Painting that in and there we have it. Next we're doing yellow and violet. We're going to do a small amount of light again, a little bit more. That is looking good, getting it nicely incorporated on my brush. I'm going to take that down by the yellow. A little bit more red. That sounds alright. I just want to get it to a comfortable place. Sometimes I see things in person, they're a little bit different than on the screen. This is still a pretty dark violet, but it really is very nice next to the yellow. It's not quite as electric as the red and green or the orange and the blue, but it is still complimentary. You can see that as you're walking around town, just pay attention to the color palettes that you're seeing out there and see if you can find any yellow and violet signage or things in stores or packaging. I bet you, it won't be hard to find. Now we've got a red-violet next to this yellow-green. Those are just fun, don't you think? Yeah, those are looking great. Now you can see what it is like when you pair together these complimentary colors and also put the analogous colors next to each other. I would recommend taking some notes here. I am writing out these colors. I've got green, blue-green, blue, blue-violet, violet, red-violet, yellow-green, yellow, yellow-orange, orange, red-orange and red. Then I'm just going to make some notes about complimentary colors. Complimentary colors are going from left to right. The ones next to each other horizontally are complimentary, and the ones that are vertically next to each other are analogous. One is going to make the other pop, the other is going to make the other more calming and blended and smooth. I hope you enjoyed that and try it out on your own. In the next lesson we're going to be adding white to these colors so that we can see what happens when light hits them. It's going to be a lot of fun so join me there. 7. Tinting: Okeydoke. We're going to get into some tinting. There are so many beautiful colors, but when the light hits it, it's really going to pick up a lot of white. We're going to be mixing white into these. We're going to make another grid. It's going to be four by six. I'm going to make a grid with 24 squares total. The overall dimensions of my grid are eight by 12, and I'm using 11 by 15 paper. There are four squares across and six down. We've got 1, 2, 3, four by six. I'm going to add the primary colors in their little triangle, and then I'm going to add white to the center of my palette. I love adding white to the center of my palette because I can tap into it and pull it in different directions. As you can see, red when mixed with white is going to make a pink. There are lots of different levels of pink that you can make. We're going to do three. I'm going to take the red that's on my brush and I'm going to mix a little bit of white into it. It's just going to be one little jump lighter than the pure red out of the tube. I'm just going to add a little bit more white. I went a little too close to the red. I want to be able to stretch this across three squares. I'm going to pop that in, and then I'm going to jump up to the next level of tinting. I'm going to do that off to the side. You'll notice with these gradual changes, I start off to the side and then I bring in as much of the other color as is needed. Here, we're going for a bubblegum pink. I compare it to the square next to it to make sure there's enough change before I start painting sometimes just to get a visual reference. Next, we're going to go super light, but not even all the way. Honestly, with three squares going lighter, it's not even going to take you across the full spectrum. Here, I'm going for this light blush of pink. I'm going to pop that in, and there we go. I've got four different tints of red. Next, we're going to go for orange. Here's my friend. You can see how many oranges and how light everything is. Same in these butterfly wings, there's a real difference of the oranges. It's not all just one solid orange. The light hits it and it becomes lighter compared to the shadows. I'm going to mix myself up a nice orange here. Remember, start with your lighter color. I went in for the red right away. I should have gone for the yellow. I'm just mixing in bit by bit, keeping my yellow off to the side and then bringing the red in gradually. Okay. So painting my orange swatch. Then I'm going to paint the next level up, just a subtle change. I'm going to add the white off to the side, and then as I bring in that orange to the white, I can judge how much I want to include and come back for more. We're starting to get a little bit of a peach color now. Going up to the next lightness of tinting, we're going to grab more white, put it right in there. I needed all of that to make this the right tint. There we have it. Next, we're going to go for this light peachy color that you see in these flowers. It's just an example from my own personal photographs of things that are this color. I'm mixing in more white. Here's another example. I took this picture when I lived in Oakland. Cool. There we have it. It's getting lighter, it's more peachy, almost a skin tone like my own skin tone. Next, let's go for a tinted yellow. I'm going to do one swatch that is completely yellow just out of the container, and again, bringing white to the side, and then bringing the yellow behind it because I'm starting with the lighter color. All right. Getting it nicely incorporated. You can see very subtly on the squash that there is a highlight. It takes a little bit of a trained eye, but even on these flowers, there's a subtle change in those yellows. You're going to have to look for that when you're doing your own artwork, where is the light hitting your object and where are you going to have to mix in white to create the illusion of light hitting an object. Lightning that up even more, giving that yellow more of a tint and bringing it in to my grid. Then here's a really light yellow, lighter than a buttery yellow. Removing some of the yellow on my brush, I had too much. We're going to go in for the lightest light yellow. It's almost turning into a cream color at this point. There we have that. That's where the most light is hitting that flower. We're going for a nice light yellow. Next, let's do green. We see this all the time in bushes and trees and leaves. The light comes down and hits the form of a leaf or a plant. We're going to need to be able to lighten that green up to give it more of a three-dimensional lit look. I am going to add a little bit more yellow to my green, just getting a nice medium green going. Getting it all nicely incorporated, mixing enough. There we have that. Looks good. Then we're going to take it up a notch, adding more white, just like we've been doing. Grabbing a little bit, pulling it to the side, and then judging from there, do we want to go darker? Do we want to go lighter? Getting it nicely incorporated and then popping it into the grid there. You can see in this photograph that the mist is bringing all of the foliage up to a really light light green. I'm going to do this again, and I'm just continuing on on the edge so I could go back and I can grab a color. I don't want to mix everything and then not have access to the colors that I mix before. Then we're going to go up one more notch to that really, really light green. A fourth level of light. Really, really soft. All of these colors at the end are pastels, pastel palette. Next, let's do blue. You can see in the water there that the foam is churning up and there's lots of light hitting the surface of the waves, and there's white in there. We're going to get blue. Here's a painting I did of the surface of some water and different levels of tinting. Another swatch off to the side, mixing it up with a bit of blue, and getting that ready to go down onto my grid. I think I'll do a little bit more white just to make sure it's standing out and going right over that little test brushstroke. It's just going to mix up. You can see in them, there's a next level of blue before I put down really light blue or even just straight white onto the water surface. I'm mixing up more white. Looking good. Awesome. That lightest light blue on this turbulent day on the ocean turns up a lot of bubbles. Base is all over the place. Light blue, it's in the sky. It's all around us. Even if you're painting a shirt that's that color, light blue, you're going to be using some of the darker colors of blue to add in the shadows. Let's do purple now. We'll do some violet. Purple, violet, tomato, tomato. I'm going to mix up that deep dark violet color after washing my brush. I don't want any white in my first violet swatch. There we go. This purple in the flowers has a little bit of red in it, little bit more. Off to the side, we're going to paint our first violet swatch that has white in it. It certainly become a little bit lavender. That's still pretty dark, actually. Next step, more white. Now, we're getting a nice lavender happening. There we go. Looks good. Finally, our lightest light purple or violet. I lost the video of it. That's what it looks like. I'm sure you can imagine how it was when I painted it. Sorry about that little missing square, but there's our nice grid, and you can see how things progress as we tint these colors, which is a lot of fun. It's just our secondary and primary palette. I didn't bother with doing the tertiaries because after a while, it becomes a little bit tedious to do so many swatches and I want to get through all the lessons. But you can imagine that doing this with any color or paint is just going to make it lighter. That's what I want you to realize. I want you to keep an eye out for how to gain control over tinting so that you know how much white to add. If you add too much, you can go back and add the color again. You can always take your brush and hold it up to whatever you had painted before and make sure that it is indeed lighter and then it's showing up to the eye. That's the main thing that I want you to get out of this lesson is that visual control. I hope you enjoyed that. There's more in store. 8. Tones and Shades: Hello and welcome back. In this lesson, I just wanted to briefly go over tones and shading and why I actually don't mix with black. Let's get into it. I just wanted to let you know that you don't need to mix with black. The reason why is that it does make my colors a little bit muddy. There are other ways to make colors earthy without having them look sody. I just wanted to use these samples that are already completed. What these are is just like how we tinted our primary colors before with increments of white. These are also mixed with increments and tones. The real vocabulary, terminology of tones, is to mix in gray. I mixed in increments of the gray color into all of my primaries and secondaries here. You can see, and I'll bring this up closer, here they're fairly muted. That's because there's white and black in this mixture. I do enjoy the red with the gray a little bit, but as we move down, the orange becomes a little bit sody. The yellow has a slight dinginess to it. It almost looks green in some of these areas. The green becomes murky. This is actually an ultramarine blue instead of a phthalo blue. I used to do this with ultramarine blue. That's a nice blue color. Then here's the purple. I'm going to show you a way to achieve this with more of an earth tone palette. Now, with the shading, so we've got tones, that's mixing gray. Shading is just black, so white, gray, black; tinting, tones, shading. Here with the black, and it gets really, really dark really quickly, I prefer to use color with shadows. The thing about mixing with black is that it's not much of a pigment. Actually carbon black is made with carbon, like coal, so it's not a color pigment. I like to paint my shadows with pure color, and then the contrast of a tinted color next to it is going to give it the shaded look, and also it will have more of a vibrancy to it. I really find that more appealing to look at. It's also a little bit more of a professional way to do it. When I see a painting that has been mixed with black, I can tell right away. I can't think of any other way to say it except a sody look. When painting is seen, and I'll pop some images over the top of this video where I'm using this technique, I really like to use dark pigments that are dark purples, dark blues, dark greens as my shadow color. This is something that you may decide that you want to play with. There is a better way, in my opinion. We'll get into that as we move forward into the earth tones, and you'll see what I mean. All right. 9. Earth Tones: Hello and welcome back. In this lesson, we are going to mix up some earthy colors by combining our complimentary colors. As you remember from the complimentary lesson, when we put complimentary colors together next to each other, they pop and are very bold. In this lesson, we're going see what happens when we mix complimentary colors together. Remember how red and green are complimentary colors. In this lesson, we'll see a spectrum of what happens when you add incremental amounts of green to red. Then we'll do the same with orange and blue, and finally, yellow and violet. Then remember that the secondary colors are essentially two primary colors mixed together. As we combine our complimentary colors we're really combining all of three primary colors, because two primary colors are present in the secondary and the other is just the opposite primary color. I hope that makes sense. If doesn't, rewind that and listen to it again. Mixing complimentary colors gets a bad rap sometimes when it's done unintentionally. Sometimes you'll be painting along and you want to have a really vibrant color with a lot of saturation, but because your brush isn't washed or because you paint through something that isn't dry yet you'll wind up with muddy colors. Think of it as if you make an earth tone intentionally it's beautiful and correct for your painting, but if it's done unintentionally it's muddy. That usually means that you're overworking you're painting and it's time to wash your brush, and let your paint dry. Then you can come back over the top of your painting with the color that you meant to mix that has more color saturation and you can paint over the top of your muddy mistake. Let's get a closer look at this process in the demonstration. In this lesson, we are going to be making another grid. First, I guess I put my paints out. There's red, yellow and blue, and we're going to draw three horizontal rectangles. Mine are 2 by 6 inches, but yours can be any dimensions as long as there's three. Next, I'm going to mix up a green. Green is yellow and blue of course. I'm getting a nice even green and I'm going make one brush stroke on the end. Next I'm going to add a tiny bit of red, because remember red is the opposite color on the color wheel. It's the complimentary color, so we're going to mix up into the browns. Now, adding little bits of red as I go. I want to come to a nice even brown by the middle. So that's happening. things are getting a nice even mix between red and green. It's almost like a burnt sienna color. We're getting more into the reds. I'm mixing a little bit more green in there, I want it to be an even transition. So this paint swatch here has a little bit more red, it's looking like a rusty red. Up the scale, we go up the spectrum, more red. Next. This is about as close to pure red as we're going to get, I think. It's looking rosy. I'm going wash my brush because I don't want any green in the brush for my final swatch on this red and green spectrum, so I'm going for all red. As you can see when you mix these complimentary colors, they really do become very earthy, especially towards the middle it becomes brown. Next we're going to do blue and orange. I'm going to mix up an orange. I already had red in my brush and I want to get a nice even orange, and I'm going to give myself a paint swatch of that right there. In this one I'm a little bit more successful, why do you think that is? Because I started with the lighter color. Here is my earthy orange, it's still very orange. Adding a little bit more blue. Remember it's such a vibrant pigment, so it's going to affect my mix quite a bit. Here we go. It's still an orange, but it's becoming quite brown at this point, it's an orange-brown. You would never guess at this point that there's blue in these mixtures. Right about here, you start to notice actually. Right in that center point, there's a lot of blue and orange in there. Orange is essentially yellow and red, so all the colors are represented in the middle. Here is a lovely blue-brown. We just have an earthy blue, a muted blue. On the ends of the spectrum not including the pure color out of the tube things are still in this case quite blue, but it's just a bit muted and not as vibrant. Here I'm going to wash my brush, I did it off-camera. Here is my pure phthalo blue, nice and vibrant. If you're working with blue and you don't want it to be so bright all you do is add the opposite color, add that complimentary color, and you're going to just mute that just a bit so it's not so vibrant because those colors are not usually quite as bright in nature. I have blue and red mixing that up, looking through the paint to see what my mix is like because it's so dark looking at the white coming through. I'm just going to paint this swatch now, because the paint was already on my brush. I'm all over the place with this one; the yellow and purple because I had my head up into the clouds. I should have painted a yellow swatch and started from the end but instead I started mixing, so I'm putting it in the second spot. That's a really nice yellow. If you have a yellow flower and there's a shadow under the pedals, you can mix in some purple and get a really nice shadow color. There's my pure yellow. I'm mixing an even more violet. We have something like a yellow ocher, a really earthy yellow. Once again, I call this color rotten banana peel. Here is a nice medium brown between yellow and purple, but it has everything in it red, yellow, and blue. Checking to see if I've made enough of the change, and there is a nice brown color. It's still part of my rotten banana spectrum, but in the right place next to the right colors it won't seem so muddy. Continuing on. We have some muted purples, and finalizing that spectrum. I'm just titling this chart, Mixing Complimentary Colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. Everything except for the end, all the colors in the middle are earth chunks because you've mixed complimentary colors; the opposite color on the color wheel. I hope this opened your eyes to how you can mix a lot of beautiful earthy colors with our same primary colors. Now it's time for you to try this out, and I'll see you in the next lesson. 10. Tinted Earth Tones: Hello, and welcome back. In this lesson, we are going to be tinting the earth tones that we mixed from the last lesson. We're going to be taking an earthy red, an earthy orange, earthy yellow, earthy green, earthy blue, and earthy violet, and then tint them. Because when you're out in the field painting landscapes or using reference photos, we want to be able to lighten our earth tones so that you can paint things that are earthy that the light is hitting. In this lesson, we are going to make a color wheel, but everything's going to be earthy, and then we're going to tint it towards the center. So we're going to make this circle here. I'm going to trace the same bowl that I traced before for my first color wheel. So tracing around that bowl, getting an eye circle that fits on the page. You'll notice now I'm just taping the corners of my page because I'm just more relaxed about it towards the end of this class. Next, find the center and divide in half vertically. We're going to make six pie wedges in this lesson instead of 12. So the next move is to divide these halves into thirds to make six total. I'm just eyeballing these pie pieces here. All right. So we're going to make three smaller circles inside. So I'm using my painter's tape as one. You can also use a compass. You can also eyeball it. It's okay if it's wonky. It doesn't matter how far apart these are. You just want to be able to fit some paint into each of the spaces so there's going to be four spaces on each pie wedge. Okay. So I want one right about there. So I went and just grabbed a lid from my kitchen. That's going to work. There we go. So now, I'm going to set out my primaries plus white. So I've got my red, yellow, and blue, all my primaries, and white. So I'm going to start on this top segment. I'm going to mix green first because I'm going to make my red pie section earthy. So if you remember in the last lesson, when you mix complimentary colors, it's going to make them more earthy. So I'm taking this green here, and I totally screw up this red pie. I'm just going to say it now, I screw it up, because look at my green, it's way too blue, it's a blue-green. So my red came out extremely violet. It's like a red violet, and I go back and I fix it. But I was hoping it would just work out at this point, and incorrect, totally wrong. It looks like a lavender, which is interesting because there's even some yellow in it. But it's earthy so it doesn't matter. I'm just going through this really quickly because I want to show you how I fix my mistake. So here I am at the very end fixing my red. But for now, it's just going to hang out until I do the whole thing, and it's a laugh. It's a lark. So I'm mixing orange now because that first one was supposed to be red and now I want to make an earthy orange because I'm going around the color wheel. Too much blue, so I'm going to add more yellow and red until I get it like a nice rusty orange. That's looking a little bit closer. Okay. So here we go. I'm going to pop in that rusty orange color, my earthy orange. It's orange plus blue. Now, we're going to start tinting and I'm going pretty fast. I've sped this video up because you guys have done quite a bit of swatch painting and I think you know how to fill in a shape by now and how to tint. But I want you to see these colors and I want you to try it because doing it creates the muscle memory. When you're in the middle of a painting and you want a certain color, you're going to know right where to go. I need blue, yellow, red, and white to be able to mix this color here. So little hint, a little bit of some foreshadowing for the next lesson. We're in the zone for skin tones right now with these warmer, earthy tones and tinting. But we're going to do a whole skin tone lesson later, so don't worry. Now, I'm going to make an earthy blue. I'm taking my blue and just adding a tad bit of orange to it. I already made my orange. So I'm just grabbing it from right there until I get something just muted but still resembles blue. So right across from the orange, I'm going to pop in my earthy blue. That's just going to be a little bit more toned down. Then just a tailor blue. Tinting it. That's a really nice color right there. Gorgeous. Taking it up. I definitely see these colors working with water, lakes, oceans, somebody's eyes. We could use a nice earthy blue. I'm going wash my brush because I'm no longer using the orange to blue spectrum. I'm going to mix a better green, something with more yellow in it. I'm going to put just a tad bit of red in it. I'm going to place it on the side of the blue pie piece. It's like an army green. Nice, earthy forest color. Very nice. Now, I'm going to tint it up three times. So this is going to be your friend when you're working with florals or nature scenes, landscapes, grassy meadows, trees, any kind of leaves. It's looking really nice. That's a beautiful green, that's a nice sage green there. Getting that lightened one more time and popping it into that center space. Very nice. Awesome. Okay. Now, I'm going to make purple. I might as well just use what I already did for the first one, but we want to do it right. So now, I'm making up an earthy yellow. I want lots of yellow in it. I had some purple on my brush from when I mixed my purple. Here we go. This is like a color that I actually really like and buy. It's called yellow ocher, and I use it a lot in seascapes for the sand and the rocks, and now I'm going to tint it. So lots of yellow, a little bit of violet, and now, we're adding more and more white to tint. Sweet. One more time. We've tint it before. Now that we have our earth tone mix, it's just adding light. Now, I'm going wash my brush really nicely because I want to take the white out before I paint in my violet, my earthy violet swatch. So I'm just adding some yellow and you can see how much that is lightning the violet. I decided it needed a little bit more blue in there because it was a little too close to the red end of the violet spectrum. There we go. Okay. Now, we've got some white added and it's really showing how violet turns into a nice lavender and that's a lot more earthy than the one we painted in the previous lesson where we were tinting lavender. More white. Bada boom, more white again, bada bing. Now, we're going to fix that sucker. I'm going to mix up a better earthy red. So what do I do? I make a better green. That green was still a little bit wet, so I was able to just work some yellow into it, and now, I have a nice earthy red tone and I'm just going to paint it right over the top. The paper has dried by now, so that's nice. I can just go right over. So I wanted to keep this on here so you can see how to fix mistakes. We're all human. I think I might have just been rushing with my filming. I should know better, but I'm glad that I make mistakes in my classes because we all make mistakes and it'll show you how to troubleshoot. So it's a cool bonus for you. You're welcome. All right. Now, quite tinted. The orange is looking a little dark in the center compared to that earthy pink. I'm actually going to fix my earthy tinted orange a little bit. So I'm going to take some white, and I'll be darned, that's still wet. So I'm just going to attend that a little bit more and pop it in so that I have a similar value in the center. There we go. Ta-da. Okay. So thank you so much for sticking that mistake out with me. Before I go, let's just take some notes. This is the tinted earth tones wheel, and I am going to write in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. All right. So I hope you enjoyed that. I think that it is crucial to understand how to get these tinted earth tones for your landscapes and pretty much any environment where things are not really, really bright because you're going to have these muted colors with light hitting them and we need to lighten them, and now you know what to expect. So thank you so much and I'll see you in the next lesson. 11. Skin Tones: Hello and welcome back. I've just finished this earth tone color wheel. Now I want to get into painting skin tones. Now, you might already notice on here that the warmer side of the earth tone color wheel is going to have more skin colors in it. I am right in this area here but of course there're so many different colors of skin tones, so really we're looking at this area here. But when people paint portraits, it's interesting because in the shadows of a portrait or figure drawing, you're going to see more cool tones. You can introduce some different paint colors or you can mix your own. I have this earthy palette. These colors are standing in for my primaries. I've got a yellow ocher. This would just substitute for cadmium yellow medium hue. I have a burnt sienna and that would sub in for my red. Then I have a Payne's gray. Payne's gray is very much a navy blue, it's not extremely gray. That is going to substitute in for my fellow blue. If you don't want to mix all of your earth tones first before you take the next step into skin tones, you can absolutely go with the palette like a yellow ocher, a burnt sienna and a Payne's gray. I was going back and forth about whether I should do this exercise with the substitutes or the colors I've been already using. I get to tell you, I am still torn. I think I'm going use my more earthy paints, my new palette. But just understand that if you mix a little bit of purple into this cadmium yellow medium hue, you'll end up with something like yellow ocher. If you mix a little bit of green into the cadmium red medium hue, you will wind up with something like burnt sienna. Burnt sienna is in the middle of what I mix for the red and orange. It's right there in the middle. If you mix a little bit of orange into a blue, you're going to wind up with something like a Payne's gray. I am going to put this off to the side. Keep yours handy for this exercise because it's great to look at it and remember how we mixed the earth tones. Then you can use your primary palette or your earthy palette. Let's get started. In this lesson, we're not going to do a chart, we're just going to free form it because, hey, why not? I'm going to use my burnt sienna, my yellow ocher, and my Payne's gray. We're just going to do some mixing and tinting. Really, you got your really free form mixing session. I'm going to first paint the outside portion of this little wheel that I'm going to do. I am mixing some yellow ocher into the burnt sienna there. I'm just playing as I go here, to be honest, I haven't done this style of earthy skin tone mixing as far as how I organize it on the page. I'm just playing around with how I'm mixing together some of these earth tones that are coming right out of the tube. Here is a Payne's gray mix with some yellow ocher. Here is one that has some burnt sienna in it. Since the Payne's gray is my blue and the burnt sienna is my red, when I mix them together, they're going to be on the purple side. Here, I do that again. It's mixing up a really deep, almost black color. It looks a lot like carbon black art right out of the tube. I rarely mix with black out of the tube because I know that I can mix it up. Now I'm just showing you how that tints up and it's pretty gray. I'm going to wash my brush. I went around and pick some colors that could be some shadow colors for my skin tones. Here's a Payne's gray and a burnt sienna. I'm leaning towards the burnt sienna here. I'm going to do one more swatch. This is a cool earth tone. That one it's tinted, it's going to be a nice skin tone for somebody who has darker skin and also someone who has lighter-skin, who has shadow happening. It's all just looking at the portrait and finding where the highlights are, how warm or cool they are and how much shadow is there and all of that. The darker areas, but the cooler tones are going to be in the shadows. There are greens and blues and violets in portraits there under the chin, under the nose, in the bags, under the eyes, in the ears, in the shadows, under the hair. Then some highlights are on the cooler side and some are on the warmer side. It depends on the tones. If somebody has more olive skin or more rosy skin. I have a lot of blue showing through my skin from my veins. It's really just about mixing up earth tones and then adding white. That's really what you need to know some times, every once in a while. I'll add a little bit of cadmium red medium hue for somebody who's cheeks are blushing or if they have a rosy nose like Santa. You would want to add a little bit of a lighter, more bright red to the mix. But for this purpose of just doing a typical portrait, you want your earth tones leaning towards a warmer side and then tinting. Here's a burnt sienna. I think this is straight burnt sienna that we're doing right now. One more tinted level because that's a common one. Burnt sienna is the savior when it comes to mixing skin tones. Now we're adding a little bit of yellow because maybe someone's standing next to something that is yellow and it's casting a warmer light. The Sun could be casting a warmer light if it's sunset or an individual might have more yellow tones in their skin tone. It's a nice tone color. A little bit more burnt sienna and then tinting with white. I'm just making a little spectrum, a gradient, if you will. Washing my brush. Here's much more yellow. That could go with any color. Somebody could be sitting under a purple neon light, and you're going to want a lot of purple in the mix, could go for all of the cool tones. Now we're getting more into some shadow skin tones. I could see these being in a really cool light that has a green cast to it, but also maybe under the eye, under the chin. If there is someone who has a five o'clock shadow with their stubble, the beard stubble, a lot of times that'll be painted with green and so forth. This one has more blue, but it's coming off as quite gray. But there is a blue cast to it. Again, this is going to be your shadow. When you're painting portraits, the whole pallet ends up looking very neutral, very tinted. It's all just like a blend of these tones. I hope you enjoyed that skin tone exercise and you can start to imagine how you can achieve some shadows and highlights and different tones within these skin colors. That was a lot of fun and I'm going to see you in the next lesson where we start to talk about gray. How to mix grays and mix as close to black as we can. You've got a little taste of it here and we're going to get into it in the next lesson. 12. Greys and Neutrals: Hello and welcome to our next exercise, which I called 50 Tints of Gray. In this lesson, I want to show you just how many colors of gray I can achieve without even washing my brush. We achieve grays when we mix all of the primary colors close to the center of the spectrum of all three. It's like a tripod of all three primary colors and then I add different levels of white to those. I also like to do this exercise in a very relaxed way. We're going to do something that I call color riffing. I first create a dark gray and then just riff or play from there. Some of my gray will lean more towards pink, some towards khaki, some towards green. When that happens, I'll add the complementary color to even it back up and keep it from getting too close to one primary color. You'll see what I mean in the demonstration, so away we go. I've got my red, blue, and yellow out. I'm going to grab some blue, red, and yellow, and then I'm going to mix all of those up altogether. Because that blue is so strong, I'm adding a little bit more of the other two so that I get a really nice dark, dark gray. A little bit more yellow. I'm going for as close to black as I can get. I'm just going to put a little swatch down, and that's like a charcoal gray. Now, I'm just going to mix around adding a little white, a little bit more white, and I'm never washing my brush. More white still. There's my first few swatches of gray. Now, I'm going to show you how you can have more of a pink gray, a little bit more of an orange gray, just by adding a small amount of my primaries going around. Here's more of a yellow gray. I'm keeping everything really mixed up, not washing my brush, and playing with how many hues of gray that I can get. I'm playing with white because I want to figure out how light I can get this. Taking it up in value on the gray-scale, but never am I mixing with black. That's a blue gray. I've added some red for more of a lavender gray. All of these colors have all three primaries plus white. The goal here is to get as many colors of gray as I can without getting so far into the colors that don't look right. Now, I'm adding more of my primaries and I'm just trying to keep it as close to center as I can with tinting with more color. More white. Just working my way around. It's a playful exercise. That was getting a little too close to pink, so I added some more of my gray to it. This has a little bit more blue in it. Bringing in more yellow. Going pretty light there. Need a little bit more white on my palette, taking it up a notch even more. Again, here's a little bit of blue. That's really blue, so I'm going to add some of the other two primaries to it to bring it back to center. Now it's looking pretty violet, so I added some yellow and a little bit of red. That's a khaki. Blue, mixing it with some grays that are already there. I'm trying to get every single swatch to be unique. Wiping some of that blue off of my brush and seeing what happens there. That's pretty blue, so I added some of the more khaki color to it to get it back to center. More white. I'm getting a little close to what was already mixed, so I'm just taking it back over towards the yellow and starting a new area over here with what was on my brush plus white. A little bit of yellow. Just counting how many were there. Making that lighter. Really, I'm looking at how light and dark things are getting and how much I can play with the color within this gray realm. That one's almost white. Let's get darker again. A mid-tone. Let's mix the whole thing up; see what I come up with. There we go. That's a full page of a lot of different grays. It's just for fun to see how much we can get out of those four paints. I came across this one, and this one's much more purply. It has more pinks and yellow in it, and a few more brownish grays. A lot of these are on the side of the blue tones, then on this one I had been more on the purple side. I just want to show you it keeps going and going and going. I hope you enjoyed that. The takeaway from this lesson is just how many variations of gray you can get without even washing your brush, which comes in handy when you're painting subjects that have a really neutral color palette and you want some subtle differences. Thank you so much. I'll see you in the next lesson, where we're going to talk about hues and how you might start to introduce some new pigments into your paint collection. 13. Hues: Hello, and welcome. In this lesson, I won't be painting any swatches, but I am going to give you a little tour of some paint colors that I have owned over the years and some of their properties, so that when you're ready to test out some new paints, you'll be able to make an educated purchase. Welcome back. In this lesson, I wanted to talk about the term hues. Now, this is one of those words that people use incorrectly. Hues really just mean a color. If you have a red hue, it's a red color. If you have a blue hue, it's a blue color. Everything in these little areas would qualify as red hues, orange hues, yellow hues, green hues, blue hues, and purple or violet hues. None of these are mixed. These are all out of tubes. I wanted to share with you a few of the colors that I have had in my collection. This is the point where I probably had the most colors. Since then I don't have all of these, but I wanted to go through and share with you what you could buy. There are so many more, but for the sake of what I can share with you, here we go. On the outside of this page, I have more bright hues and on the inside, they are a little bit more earthy. I have a cadmium red medium hue. You're familiar with that one. This is the red that we've been using as a primary. Next, I have cadmium red light hue. Light hue has a little bit more of a brightness to it, a little bit more yellow. It is a fiery red and it does have a slight amount of orange to it. We have burnt sienna, which is on the cusp between red and orange, and it's more earthy. The white areas that you see here is a little bit of tinting so that you can see the color more clearly. Transparent red iron oxide, this one is very glossy and it's also very transparent. Here we go. It's pretty orange. Next we have Indian yellow hue. This one is yellow, but it has some orange in it. Yellow ocher, we use that with the skin tones. Sepia is an earthy brown, yellowish color. Here's the cadmium yellow medium hue. This is what we used from the beginning as our yellow. Hansa yellow, this one is much more vibrant, it's brighter. Then finally, at the lightest and brightest is hansa yellow light. Here we have green gold. This is very transparent. It would work really well with this as a fun transparent layer, and it is yellow green. Here we have chromium oxide green. This is a wonderful green for doing landscapes. It is earthy. I use it all the time when I paint foliage and go plenaire painting. Perminent green light, this is an acid green, the type of green you would expect to see in an elementary school classroom, a kindergarten classroom. It's loud, it's bright, it's more cartoonish green. Here is phthalo green. Phthalo green has a little bit of a turquoise bluish hue, and it is a little bit more on the cool side of the green spectrum. Next, moving into the blues, we have teal. This is a gorgeous color, and it is often used in seascapes and things that have more jewel tones. Manganese blue is more transparent, and it is a nice bright straightforward blue. Cobalt blue hue is a nice primary blue. Cobalt is a rare pigment, so they make a hue of it, which means that it doesn't have actual cobalt in it because that would be really expensive. Next, we have the Paynes gray, which we used in the skin tone exercise. Paynes gray is very earthy and dark, and when you mix it with white, it makes a really lovely dark sky color. This is wonderful for night scenes, shadows and plenaire, earthy landscapes, ocean scenes, I use it all the time. Phthalo blue, we've been using all along. They do make a phthalo with a red shade and a phthalo with a green shade. I believe this is actually the green shade because this is a new bottle and I had to use something else here. So these two are slightly different. Ultramarine blue is a common blue that is used as a primary. I learned using ultramarine blue, but it is just a little bit more transparent than the phthalo. So that's why I like the phthalo because it's a little bit easier for a straightforward color mixing. But this is a really nice blue. Then over to the violet section, I have a burnt umber. This should really be in the middle. This is also a nice brown to use for mixing skin tones and landscapes. It's often used in tandem with the burnt sienna. As far as browns goes, these are the most popular. This just has a little bit less red, it's more of a cool brown. Dioxazine purple, this is a straightforward purple. This is your barney purple. It's a little bit more towards the center of the violet section. Up here we have quinochridone violet. It's more of leaning towards the magenta, although there is also a quinochridone magenta which has a little bit more red in it, and is also slightly transparent. Alizarin chrimson hue. This is a lovely, earthy red, violet color. It's a little bit magenta, it's a little bit red, a little bit purple. It's, I think a really pretty color. It's a really pretty berry color. This is just something you can do if you own other paint colors, I'm not going to make you do this. Of course, you could do what you want because this is a video. I encourage you to test out other paints that you have in your kit already or if you're curious about buying other paint colors. Any of these colors can be used in substitution for the primary colors and secondary colors that we've mixed. You can make a color wheel with quinochridone magenta, hansa yellow, and manganese. You could do it with ultra marine, Indian yellow hue and a cadmium red light hue. You could do a color wheel with payne's gray, Alizarin, and yellow ocher. All of these are here for you to play with and try. There is no right or wrong way to make a color wheel as long as you have something standing in for the three primaries, and they should be out of the zones of the yellow, the blue, and the red. It would be tricky, actually impossible to do a color wheel with purple, orange, and green because you would just get mud. That's okay if you want to get into some earthy mixing, but just know that if you mix anything from the secondary areas that you're going to get mud. I hope you enjoyed that little tour of some new colors. In the next lesson, we are going to paint a fun abstract painting where we put some of our new skills to work and you can play with the techniques that you've been learning about. I'll see you in the next lesson. 14. Abstract Color Play: Hello and welcome back. In this lesson, I want to show you how to test out new colors that you might want to experiment with. Remember from the hues lesson that as long as you have a hue for each primary and also titanium white, you'll be able to create a balanced color palette. There are a lot of color theory, palette combinations out there where they say, it's a split composition, blah blah palette. Well, here is a whole list of paint squashes that'll go nicely together. I say, throw all of that out the window, honestly, and what you want to do is always have three paints that are standing in for your primary colors and white, and you're good to go. From there on, it just really matters what your painting and what you're looking at, and how you're feeling. I think that takes a lot of the pressure off. I just want you to have fun and be able to go shop the art store with confidence. We're going to introduce some new pigments now. It is a brighter palette than we've been working with. It would be appropriate if you wanted to jazz up your artwork and make it more lively. Let's see the colors we're going to use and how this goes. I didn't ask you to buy these, so you can just watch the next lesson and decide if you want to pick these up for yourself. In this lesson, I have new paints. I have brighter colors that you can't really get with a regular primary palette. I have quinacridone Magenta, teal, gorgeous teal, I love it and Hansa yellow, and of course titanium white for tinting. I'm just going to tap right into this magenta, get my brush nice and loaded and start painting. I noticed right away that this magenta is a little bit more transparent than what we've been using so far. I'm going to balance out my composition by adding a little bit more magenta to other areas. Next, I'll add a little bit of white and see what happens when I just mix it straight on the page. Then just playing around with different brush strokes, doing what I feel in the moment. I don't have a grand plan right now. Next, some of that yellow. You can see there's a little white and magenta mixing in. Now, I'll try combining those on the palette first. I'm just balancing that out with this neat orange color. Here's some drips from water, spreading that around, seeing what happens when it's diluted. I'm just testing, but it's all a big test. Here's white going straight on with what's already on my brush. Let's try it again over here. Everything so far is really warm. We want to balance that out a little bit eventually with adding some of that teal. I'm just going to grab some white now and lighten things up up top. Sometimes it's nice to have the top of your painting be a little bit lighter than the bottom so it seems like light is happening. Now here I've got the teal and I put it right next to that orange. Why do I do this? Complimentary colors. See how bright that is? Yeah. Now, what happens when I combine them together? Here's some white lightening up that teal, bringing more light to the top. Trying out some wacky brush strokes, just having some fun. Things got a little gray there because I had some orange on my brush and teal at the same time and white. Now, I'm going to start mixing more on my palette. Let's try magenta and teal together. Now those are standing in for my red and blue, so I get, and really lovely lavender color. Just check it out. What happens? That's an interesting one. I just mix. I had a lavender and I decided to go with the yellow to see what that would do. It created almost like a greenish-gray. A warm greenish-gray here it is with more white. Really interesting. Then what happens when I put it over other colors? Layering is encouraged. Acrylic paint is made to be layered, folks. More teal. Now I've got a really cool green happening. You don't want everything bunched up on one side of the abstract. It's nice to move things around so that it makes the eye move around the painting. What next? Let's do some white. Oh, I like that. It's a nice sage green. Then how does that work with that magenta? I like it. Now, we get this muted warm color here, popping in some dashes. It really does react with different colors in a different way. It's all an optical illusion. Now I am mixing with some wet paint that was on the page. Bringing in more yellow for an orange, unmuted orange color. Let's bring that close to the teal that's tinted and see how that looks. Take this as an opportunity to just loosen up. Working with some water in the brush now, some analogous colors there. Let's put a lot more of the teal in there. Now it's a muted teal color, that is gorgeous. I love it. Now I am enjoying this branch line work. Analogous. Let's tint that and see what happens. It's minty, isn't it? Circle. Now I'm just filling in a lot of the white from the page. I guess I have been already except if I was layering, and let's tint it some more. Bring light in, and some leaf patterns to my branches, it's fun. It gives us a little bit of a pattern. A pattern's always eye-catching. Reinforcing that circle I did earlier with some repetition. Repetition again, a pattern always breaks things up and makes them more interesting. You'll notice I've had something close to all of these colors before, but not quite the same because I haven't washed my brush at all, and each mixture is just a little bit different. That one was a little bit more gray, but still leaning towards that teal and magenta. Just messing around, playing around. Here's a lot of tinting. A lot of abstract painting is rough little swatches. I'm making some contrast with those lighter colors. Then how does it work when it's laying over other colors? Here comes more yellow and more magenta, for a nice, warm, orangy color. There's definitely some teal in there, so it's a little bit more muted and earthy. That would make a beautiful color for a red dirt desert scene, like the national parks in the Southwest of the United States, Bryce Canyon and Arches. I'm working with some water now, again, a little target happening up there. More white. White is used the most, always. When I worked at the art supply store, it was always on everyone's shopping list, and we sold way more titanium white than any other pink color, and a lot of people buy bigger amounts of it. What next? Let's tint with some magenta as well. That's a nice rosy color, and we're just going to fill in the final middle gaps here. Boom, boom, boom, and I think that's it. I'm just going to wash my brush up, and that was a lot of fun to play with these brighter colors and to see what happened when they mixed together. I hope that you try this when you get to painting, you can start with the primary colors that you've been working with since the beginning of the class, or you can go out and shop, which can be a lot of fun. But I just want you to know that you don't have to buy everything that's out there. Look at the prices, save some money, and just mix around and have fun. If you have something in mind for what you want to paint, I hope that you now have a little bit of an idea of how to approach the art store. I really hope that you share with me some of your finished abstracts, I look forward to seeing them. Thank you so much for joining me for this class. I had an absolute blast creating this for you. If you enjoyed this class, please consider following me for future updates on new class offers, and I also have several other painting classes which you can view on my main class page, which is linked below. Remember art is meant to be fun. If you show up in practice with an open mind, you'll learn something new every time. Happy painting. Much love.