The Magic of Color Mixing: Master modern color theory using watercolor | Natalie Martin | Skillshare

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The Magic of Color Mixing: Master modern color theory using watercolor

teacher avatar Natalie Martin, Australian Watercolour Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

9 Lessons (2h 6m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Let's Talk Materials

    • 3. The Colour Wheel

    • 4. Shades ...or 'Why to I keep accidentally making brown?'

    • 5. Colour Charts

    • 6. Colour Explorations

    • 7. Mixing It Up

    • 8. The Final Project

    • 9. The Wrap Up

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About This Class

Hi! I’m Nat Martin, a watercolor artist from Victoria, Australia. I’ve been captivated by this medium for as long as I can remember and while teaching is a more recent thing, there’s nothing more rewarding than helping someone explore or reconnect with their creative side. 

This new course, The Magic of Color Mixing follows on from Welcome to Watercolor and is for budding and established artists alike. In it, we’ll go deep into modern color theory and together, we’ll build up your skills and confidence so you too can create works bursting with life and begin to develop your own language with colour.

The course also covers why it’s important to understand color and how colour affects the mood, temperature and energy of your work. You’ll paint your own color mixing wheel, learn about color reference charts, how to create beautiful neutrals and earthy colors, AND, why you keep accidentally making brown (!)

Color is such a huge part of my own work, I love using vibrant, high energy watercolor and I’m so looking forward to seeing the magic you create with your finished piece.  

If you'd like to use the materials I use in the course, I have put together a handy Colour Mixing Paint Kit.

I have put together comprehensive course notes that you can download and review whenever you like.

To help you get into the painting mood I've also put together a fun Spotify playlist of songs I enjoy listening to while painting and get me in the right mindset.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Natalie Martin

Australian Watercolour Artist




Hi! My name is Natalie and I'm an artist based on the Surf Coast in Victoria, Australia. I've painted with watercolor for over 10 years and have been teaching it through workshops and online courses for the last few years now. I really enjoy teaching and sharing the magic of watercolor. 'Welcome to Watercolor' is my first online course, a beginner's guide to contemporary botanical watercolor. My second course is on my all time favorite subject COLOR called 'The Magic of Color Mixing' and I've just released my third, 'Lessons in Layering with Watercolor' - you guessed it! It's all about layering and exploring what this can bring to your work.

My practice explores the natural world with this joyous and free-flow... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello. My name is Natalie Martin, and I'm a watercolor artists from Australia. We may have painted together before in my first online course. Welcome toward a color. If so, hello again. If not, welcome aboard. This is going to be fun. Today we're going to explore the magical world of color. This is a comprehensive guide on color, in particular, using watercolor. I want to build up your skills and confidence so you can create works bursting with life. It's really important to understand color. It affects the whole outcome of your work. The mood, the temperature of the energy color is such a huge part of my own work. Of all creative elements, it is far and away my favorite. In this course. we're going to cover color theory and painting our own color mixing wheel, learning about color reference charts. We're going to look at harmonious colors. Versus energetic colors. Warm versus cool. Learn how to make beautiful neutral and earthy colors and why you keep accidentally making brown. We'll talk about how to use color in interesting ways and then apply all our new skills to a final piece and start to build your own language in color. I love working with vibrant high energy color. I'm so excited to be sharing this with you. 2. Let's Talk Materials: Okay, Now let's talk about materials and need throughout the course I have in front of me. Some watercolor paper. Of course. We're going to need watercolor paper. We're working with watercolor. It's important to use watercolor paper as opposed to your printer paper. Anything like that. It is built for the purpose of taking water on board. It's going to function a lot better. You'll get a lot better result. This particular one is a cellulose based paper. It's a lot cheaper than your cotton paper, which is what you traditionally used for our final project. I'd say I probably moved to a cotton sheet just because I really love the way that the color moves on that. But during the exercises, I'm just going to use this cellulose. Most importantly, are a watercolor paints you'll see here I have a whole array of tubes, and if you join me for welcome to watercolor, you'll be like, What's she doing? I thought we're gonna work with the discs again. Well, you can actually use these, and I have included in a pdf in the downloads to point out which colors I'm going to use. But for the purpose of this, for illustrating color mixing. I'm actually just going to use three colors. The primary colors. I am going to use these three here. There is a quinacridone rose, a camion light yellow and a theollo blue. I'll explain more about these and circle back to them in video number three, which, when we delve into the color wheel, you'll see here I have a whole array of colors and this is my own color pallet here where I have a whole selection of colors that I worked with on a regular basis. Um, the point of this course is, though, that we're gonna learn how to mix all those colors from what we have here. And it's actually just the three. It can be overwhelming in the art store when there's just so many yellows blues and magentas. But, uh, I will come back to that in in the third video when I can explain it more in detail why we chose these particular three. So from there, we also need some scraps of watercolor paper. They're really good for just doing little swatches on and testing your colors. I've got two brushes here. You can pretty much do it with any old brush. You can use a full but I've got two rounds. I've got a size 10 and a size four. These are really great versatile workhorse brushes so you can get everything done with just these two. I wouldn't worry about too much more than that. Um, paper towel. Also really handy. You'll need to blot off an awful lot of the color that's remaining on your brush, so you're probably use quite a bit of paper towel. I also have here a pencil an eraser. Uh, and what else? To water jars one's good two's better ones for rinsing all the pigment off. And the second one's for making sure you've got clean water to access, and it's got no impurities in it. Uh, and most importantly, today is our palate. You can see here I've got a very clean pallet. Not normally this clean, but I've got my three primaries, and that's all I'm going to work with today. So I wanted a nice, clean palette, so it's really nice and clear for you to see what I'm how I'm mixing in what I'm doing. I would typically work in a lot messy away like this. I squeeze out all my true paint into these wells here and allowed to dry overnight. It prevents me from collecting too much wet paint and just rinsing it down the drain and I love this big mixing surface like this. I love big, soupy, messy colors because you get all the beautiful, earthy accidents and mistakes. And if you try and keep the old pigment colors on the outsides really clean, it means that you not get picking up any mystery colors along the way. You can just go. I can confidently pick up that orange and know that that's the correct orange and you're mixing space, is a designated area. Uh, the last thing you'll need, and I say it in every course you need a pinch of courage because painting takes courage. Creating art takes courage and learning something new takes courage. So enjoy, set your scene, put on some music. Uh, find a perfect little space and enjoy yourself throughout this course from here. we are going to go and paint our color, mixing wheel. 3. The Colour Wheel: The very first thing we're going to do is paint our own color wheels. The color wheel is such an essential part of our understanding of how to create art and how to mix colors. And that's what we're here to do today. The very first thing, very first thing, is understanding our primary colors. And if you can see here, I shouldn't have grabbed those three. But I have a whole array of what would typically be called Primary Colors. In school, we might have learned that yellow, blue and red were at primary colors, where in fact, when we're talking about color mixing and pigments, magenta is a true primary color. Red is great, but is also able to be mixed from magenta and yellow. And that's what establishes a primary color as a primary color. A primary color cannot be mixed from any other two sources, so the most pure of what we've got are a magenta, a yellow and a blue. Similar to what you must have seen in your printer at home when you've got C M Y K you've got Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and K actually stands for black, they three colors, everything that you need to make the entire color wheel not just all our beautiful big bright colors, but also black, brown and all our neutrals as well. It's quite amazing what we're gonna be out of create today. Importantly, the colors that I've chosen here have very little influence from, so this quinacridone Rose has very little yellow or blue. It's actually incredibly difficult to find tube paint that has no other, that are pure primaries that have no other color in there. For example, this is phthalo blue, actually has green shade on it, which tells me that there's a tiny bit of yellow in there, so I know that this one is not going to be quite right, and the yellow is quite neutral, but it's still got a few imperfections, so we're going to do the best we can. And that's when I mean, when I'm talking about the discs is that the magenta in here is not a true magenta. It's got a quite a bit of blue in it, which means that you're not going to get exactly the same results as me. I've actually done a color wheel in advance using these discs so you can have that as a comparison. It's downloadable from the resources list. Um, from here we've got a blank sheet of paper and we're gonna start with the primaries. This color wheel is a little bit different to what we've done, what you might have typically seen in the past. But I've done it in a way that helps you work out the formulas to create all these colors. So get your pencil out and we're gonna draw circles, I know, scary, it's always the drawing that freaks people out more than the actual painting itself. Very first thing we're gonna do is draw a circle right in the center of the page and right above it draw a larger circle and to create a triangular kind of shape. I'm going to do another one of equal size over there and other one of equal size over there. Now, those three are going to be our primary colors in what we're going to build a color wheel diagram. I'm going to grab my paint and it doesn't matter what primary goes where this point, so long as you've got yellow, blue and magenta somewhere there. I'm gonna start with Magenta here. My paints need a little bit of a warm up and you want to not go too light. You want a really good indication of a really strong magenta. You want that really intense saturation because you want the strongest form of that color. Because within that, there's a whole tonal range as well, which we will also cover, alright. So, Magenta. Yeah, look at that. Not too worried about the outlines guys, don't do outlines, and then I'm going to rinse here, and then I'm going to collect clean water from here. Importantly, because we don't want any of that magenta influencing our yellow at that point because we want the purest form of yellow. And I'm gonna grab my yellow. Look at that saturation, Yes. Alright and same again. And you will need to turn these waters over pretty regularly, I'd say. Whilst We are just doing this initial round whilst we cover the entire wheel and going to grab the blue. Blue is typically really strong in pigment and quite dominant. So you may not. You might find it quite from dominates all the colors and you won't need as much pigment is what you think. And there is our blue. So there we have three primaries. If I can get them all. I'm just gonna ignore that circle shape altogether and paint my own circle over the top. Um, primaries. We're going to ignore that center one right to the very end. And from primaries we have our, that's our first tier of colors. They're the most pure of all colors. You cannot mix them from any other two. From there, we have secondary colors. Secondary colors are simplistic color mixtures. So secondary goes in here. In between the two primaries. Secondary is made made up, this is art, not science, roughly 50 50 of these two colors. But we're going to use that eyes rather than our maths to actually work this out. We're going to find the visual medium between these two points and you should end up with a really beautiful blood orange. So on my palette here, I'm going to grab the pigment here. Keep these as source clean colors and start a new well to mix up my orange. Okay, rinse that brush off nicely. Grab some yellow mix that'll around. Now, if you think you've got it pretty close on the first go, you can either do a little swatch on your card here and check. And what you can do is just pop it in there. Then you got a bit of a visual reference. If it has too much yellow in it, you'll find it actually leans this way. It will gravitate towards this way. And if it has too much magenta and it actually goes the other way for me, I'd say that's actually pretty good. I could deal with a little bit more pigment in their slightly washy. So I'm just gonna add a bit more pigment and try and get that balance back again. There's a lot of rinsing for this first section. Alright, grab a bit more yellow. Mix it all up. There we go. I'm gonna paint in this color here. Nice orange, and if you really think that you not super stoked with that color and you could change it up a little bit whilst it's still wet, don't let it dry whatsoever. You can just add in a bit more pigment and mix in over the top. There we go, alright. And now on to our what will be green, which is equal proportions of those two primaries. Alright, grab the yellow. Mix it up, now knowing that the blue is really strong. It's a very high value color, meaning it's quite dominant. I'm just gonna grab a little bit because we can always go too heavy with the blue. It's really easy to do, and that's going to heavy. So grab a little bit more yellow to counteract that. What tends to happen if you rinsing your brush this much is that you get so much water in all your pigments over here, they end up really washy as well. So I want to try and blot off a lot of that excess water as we go. Alright now. Got this beautiful emerald color that looks about accurate me, I'm going to pop it in there. It's not very strong though, I need a bit more color. Now rinse that off again, and then we've got a final one. And don't forget that your paper is not stuck to the table. We can spin it. It is going to be a violet. A nice big chunk of color, a little too blue, a bit more magenta to balance that out. It's so important to actually do this. It helps train your eye and your brain and your hand how to mix these colors. If you just watch this and you can say all that's how they do it. Oh cool, actually doing it is so effective for your learning. And there is our violet. Alright, Now from secondaries, What do we have? We have the next lot of colors are our tertiaries, tertiaries fall between secondaries and primaries. So, every tertiary is made up of one part primary, one part secondary. Like this, and we've got our primary and we've got our secondaries. So we're just gonna mix portions of those two together, grab some more magenta. I'll start with that one that I've already marked up. So I'll grab some of my purple. A tiny bit more blue. Too much. So this one, These ones are harder to find that purple perfect middle ground. It's a smaller range to deal with. When you going from here to here? You've got wide open range, whereas you got here to hear you need to have quite distinctly different colors between these two. But then it's, uh, it's smaller range to work with, so it's harder to spot any discrepancies. I'm going to mix up a bit more of that color. We may need it down the track? That's better. I got stuck talking and let it dry. Alright, and then we'll go on to this one over here. And this one will surprise you. Alright, grab some more of magenta, and I'm already contaminated my yellow. I am so hopeless. This is why, my pallet looks like this. If I got some of that green in my magenta, I would end up with, like, brown instantly. Alright, I should get, if I balance this correctly, a really good fire engine red. It's amazing how little pigment you can actually really shift to color. I always go a bit too heavy handed. Now, into this one will end up with a really beautiful golden yellow, yellow orange color. I'm might even just use this bit of yellow over here and mix in its existing. Yep. And the tertiary between yellow and green is a beautiful lime color, So oh, look, I've almost got it just here. Now, if I really have a mistake and I'm just completely contaminated my, um my yellow I might just mop that up because that's going to affect all my colors down the line. Qk, grab my yellow. Where am I going to put my line, over here. There we go, so it to my eye, I'd say that I might have a fraction too much blue in my line mixture because it's leaning towards the green, more so than the yellow. So whilst it's still wet, I might just paint in a little bit more yellow into that so that I can have a good representation. Alright. Now one of my favorites is this one. Here, you get a really nice aqua. Turquoise is kind of color. Get my very strong blue and add some yellow. When you're mixing up in your wells, it's important to mix the whole area into a mixture because otherwise you may end up with a bit more yellow over there in a bit more blue over there, and you'll have a really unbalanced color. So mix all your color in your little space there. Some turquoise, and the final one is here with a beautiful royal blue. Take over that one over there, I think a tiny bit of magenta because remember, all things come from the three primaries. No matter what, it's one of the other that's gonna go in there, Alright, There's our blue, and that we have there is a color wheel. What we'll do in the next video is talk about this central dot which will be really fun one. It's where everything starts to come into place for everyone and explains why you keep accidentally making brown. 4. Shades ...or 'Why to I keep accidentally making brown?': So we just painted out very and color wheels. But you must be wondering what goes there? Most people would say brown, but it's actually black if we mix equal proportions of all our primaries, we end up with black and black is the ultimate shade, I guess. So what we've got here all you might have noticed every single one of these colors is mixed from just two primaries. It's never a third, and any time that you mix three primaries together, you end up with shades, shades of those earthy, muted neutrals, greys, organic colors. You may notice you don't often see these ultra vibrant colors in nature, but when you're looking at a typical say Australian landscape, you're seeing a lot more of these in between colors. And that's what we're going to learn how to make first. Very first up is making black and for most people it does their head in, because you need to try and work out how to do this in a really effective way. Because if you are not going to buy a tube of black paint and you're going to mix it every single time, you don't want to spend hours there trying to mix it all the time. So to mix black, what you can do is make mix equal proportions of your straight primaries. Or, or, you can mix one primary and its opposite secondary, which is why we've got black in the centre here because we can use this as a tool to go. What is its opposite? So the opposite of magenta is green. The opposite of blue is orange, and the opposite of yellow is violet, and the opposite color is called a complementary color, which I know is a little bit confusing because it's on the opposite. So how's it possibly complimentary? But that's what it is called. So we can either mixed green and magenta to make out black, blue and orange or yellow and violet. I'm going to try and do it with all three colors, and then I'm going to show you how to troubleshoot with balancing off it through the use of these color wheel. Okay, so let's see if I can get this quickly done for us. Can take a little bit of patience. Sometimes patience is key in watercolor. I've got my blue going to rinse, so I'm going to start with the darkest color blue because it's the strongest and its the hardest to introduced more gently as you go along. And then I'm going to grab my magenta mix that all in. So I've essentially come out about here with this color that I've mixed here and probably closer to this one. So for me, to balance this well is that I grabbed my little pencil here and I drive through the center and I end up over here. So what is missing from my mixture? Here is largely, mostly yellow with a tiny bit of magenta. I didn't quite put enough magenta in that to make it perfectly balanced. So I'm going to try again. I'm going to add a tiny fraction more magenta. So now I'm kind of more here. So now I just have to add yellow to mix this into a nice, neutral black, and I don't want you to give up and go close enough. I want you to try and get the darkest, richest, most neutral charcoal black and then I'll tell you to never use it ever again. But it's really important to actually you know how to make it. I never use black in my own work. Mix that all up. I didn't quite get it too much yellow. I'm just going to keep fussing around here for a little bit. I'm in the more yellow spectrum now probably a little too orange. So I'm going to just bounce that out with a little more blue and around the circle we go until we get it looking pretty even. The more water you keep adding to your black mixture the more of a neutral grey you'll end up with because you'll keep diluting all that pigment. You want to keep that pigment nice and strong. Getting closer. And when you start to get really close, you want to just go even more gradually with your little additions into your paint mixture . All right. Getting closer again. Mix all those little outside edges in because they're going to be a nightmare when you think you've got it and then you give it one last mix and you have just collected a whole lot of blue. Um, all right, we're kind of a little touch purple. So if I'm looking over here, I've got the tiniest hint of purple in there, so I need to add a tiny, tiny bit of yellow to try and neutralize that. I think I need a tiny bit more blue, too. That's pretty close to neutral, but I have gone a little. Look what I've just done. Totally blue, but I wanted to try and get a stronger black so you can see what I'm trying to do here. Just contaminate my source colors exactly what I told you not to do. Tiny bit more blue tiny bit more blue Alright I think that's pretty good. It's got a tiny it's a little bit purple, but let's put that black in there, could go a bit stronger in color still, washing out today . You want really concentrated pigments to make this black, and that helps illustrate the rest. You've got to collect quite a bit, close. Get it everywhere. Ok, there we go, it's a bit stronger. So there we have a nice, neutral, neutral black, and that could take some time to practice. You can even say me, balancing and balancing balancing. It's all really good practice, and that's why I really wanted to try and achieve the most neutral color that you can find, because the next thing we're going to do is do a little tint chat of that color and reveal its tonal range, which helps create some of the neutrals that I was talking about. So you're just below here. I'm going to do, a whole series of little squares. However, many fit. What have I got? Eight Perfect. I'm going to grab my richest darkest black that I've got here and fill that first square. And then I was going to give that a little bit of a rinse, and then I'm going to start revealing this tonal range. Now, if I've got this perfectly balanced, I will have totally neutral greys as I start to reveal and dilute this color. If I've got it slightly off kilter of it's a little too blue. I'll have some steely blue greys or some really beautiful cold greys coming through and say , If I had too much red in there, I might actually end up with a few beiges as by the time we get to the lower tint range. But this is really good way of, uh, seeing how neutral were able to get it. Plus, it starts to reveal just how you create those neutrals. It's not like you have to mix neutrals on purpose. They will just they're all within the tonal ranges of these colors that we're making. And what I want to do is get down to basically no color by the end off my little tint here. And each one's going to be quite distinctly different. That one super duper, duper deep light, that's perfect. This one's a little bit in between. We need to get rid of him, take a little color out. There we go. So I actually managed to get this one quite. Neutral. If you see here, it's definitely not true blue or too red or too yellow. But what we're going to do from here is we've got this one neutral. But now we're going to actually explore all the things that sound like they're wrong. But it's all. The neutrals, the beige is the olives, all those colors that yes, you can squeeze them out of a tube. And, yes, that makes them easy access. But if you know how to make them, you can shift them to be the exact color that you're chasing to create your work. So from here, grab a fresh sheet of paper. I want you to mix all the colors from scratch, but they're all going to be shade. So every color that you mix is going to have all three primaries mixed into them. And you're going to start to see all these amazing colors that you can make and they don't have to squeeze out of a tube. So I'm just going to collect some of this yellow that actually made by accident and a lot of them are just happy accidents. But neutrals are so important to understand how you make them. And I'm just going to do a series of circles, get a bit of yellow in my purple there, and I'll get a really nice, dusky mauve. I'm just going to do a circles exercise similar to what we did and welcome to watercolor. Because even when you start to blend some of these, that's when you get some interesting results as well. I'm going to grab some more yellow mixing all in my purple. Remember, Not have my hands all over my page. The oils from your fingers really, really interrupt the paper. Now we'll go with some of that black and every single color. I just want you to try and chase something a little bit different about it. So I've got a lot of warm feeling ones this I might add a little more blue. Get some bluish colors going. You start to see how this is, how you would build some landscapes and things from the natural world, less so you're ultra vibrant. Pop colors, which I love to introduce, as, well, actually love marrying these two together on a page and having accents with the really pop colors. But largely if you look closely, they're all neutrals, all handmade. I mix all my colors from scratch because then I know exactly how I'm arriving to them. Make a bit of olive color by, oh look at that one, that's nice, bottle green. And if I add some more yellow to that, I'll end up with an olive. So any time that you're looking for like a really Australian green, you can neutralize any pop color. So if I've got a really bright green here, you simply just travel to the other side of the color wheel. I'm going to add magenta to my green to try and achieve a more natural world color, where you just take some of that saturation out and it becomes a lot more neutral. What have we got here? Let's go a little bit of a warm black. So just keep building, seeing some of these relationships form, add some more yellow in there, maybe a bit of blue. Can you say that I'm absolutely hopeless at keeping my source colors pure. I just get in the zone and forget what I'm even doing. Then I just dual things I tell you not to do. I'm working from left to right because I'm right handed, that way I'm not got my hand running through the paint. And, um, it means I'm working to the wettest areas each time. So I'm allowing that to bleed if it gets a chance to bleed. And don't forget that tonal range as well whilst painting along because you can go really strong with this one color. So let's go really strong here. And then I could do exactly the same color, but just diluted a little fraction, and I could do a lighter vision of that same one. Get some soft greens going too, and this is how you would make brown as well. So if you've got a really concentrated version of your, um there we go. There's a nice ochre. So you've got lots of pigment in there, so it's going to be nice and strong. Um, but so many people go all I ever do. I keep accidentally making brown. The reason you're making brown is because you're introducing those three primary concepts into one to one color mixture. But you can back. I've got ochres and sienna's and umbers in my tubes, but to mix them yourself. It's really important to understand because say, Oh, really, Oh, Ochrey, yellowy color is actually can be treated as a primary as well. It can be that yellow can be used. To compliment a violet. Um, what else are we going to do? We're going to do a few more blue ones it looks like, just keep going, mixing these colors up. Oh, that's very blue. That's one that's being trapped on the brush, just mix him in, talking and painting and making mistakes. Get a bit more of that color off, going to mix in some orange into that so that we can neutralize it a little bit because he looks a little too, blue for my liking. Good. That's nice. Dirty blue. Soft red and a pencil. It's wanting to get involved, just every single time. Just start experimenting and play like if you've got a little in a child going. Wonder what happens when I do this? This is the time to do it and just see what happens, because there's no one here criticizing and judging us. And learning and exploring is the best way. To get a grasp of this knowledge. I feel like I'd like some more strong greens in there. Oh, that one's good. Nice goldie green. All right. I could really just keep going forever, because I love these colors, and I just think that super beautiful and have your influence and creation of in the selection of them's just amazing. I can't wait to see what you do with this one. From here. We're going to delve into a little bit more technical color mixing and then move on to some more play again. So let's jump to the next class. 5. Colour Charts: Alright. So we've just had a look, at all thing shades and maybe have a better understanding on why you keep accidentally making brown now. And you've heard me talk about all this color terminology like hues and shades and tones. This next exercise is going to be explaining this a little more visually for you. So this is the perfect thing to do if you're a really visual person or if you are struggling with the color mixing itself, it's going to be a visual representation of all the mixing we've done so far. And you could honestly do this from every color to every color in your entire kit. And then you would have your entire range of color mixing options as a visual reference in charts. So we're actually going to draw up three charts. If you are a type A yes, she may use a ruler. I'm just going to scribble them out because I don't really care. But I know lots of people like to have it super neat. I'm gonna do three lots of chats along this A4 sheet here. I'm going to go three across and five down. I'm going to do three of those. I can just hear everyone having a heart attack! Ahh they're not straight! Like so, then the final one. If you were to do a ton of these and you put the effort in and popped them on your wall, I probably would actually measure them myself as well. But for this instance, scribbling out is just fine. So the very 1st 1 we're going do is we're actually going to do a primary color to a primary color. And what we'll do is we'll paint one primary here and mix our way to another primary here. So in this instance, I'm going to put yellow here. So, yellow, I'm going to mix my way to blue here. So that means this middle one. So we've got five spots. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. So yellow, blue. And this one is green and our tertiaries fall in these two holes here. So I'm going to grab some yellow, try and get my least uncontaminated pigment I can, because I have made a total mess of it. Now again, for you type A's, if you fill this box immaculately there were just going to bleed into one another, and that's also gonna drive you insane so you might want to just paint slightly on the inside of your line. That's just the nature of watercolor, it loves to get involved with itself. Alright, from here, we're going to rinse and I find the easiest thing to do is actually jump down to the bottom one. And I'm going to paint in my other pure primary pigment, which is blue. And you can do this one, uh, yellow to magenta, magenta to blue, what ever you want to do, all you can do all three if you're really feeling enthusiastic for if you just really love this kind of methodical color mixing, Put my blue in there. Now, from here, I'm going to paint the middle one next because I know what that is that's going to be my secondary color. It's green. And a lot of you will be going. Ahh, I just mixed all my colors together for my shades. I know, I did that on purpose because I'm going to force you to mix them all again because that's really important is keep practicing that hand. And it's not a once off occurrence. You're going to be color mixing all your paintings from here on in. Trust me, it's worth it. All right, go down here. Mix me some green. And you've always got this as your original reference point as well. So if you're not quite sure, you can always come back to this. This is the key. This is everything you need to know, here. All right, Rinse that off. And then the colors in between. Are our tertiary colors. So I've got lime. And I've got the aqua or turquoise. I'm going to mix each one of these in a different well, cause I do have to come back to them as well. This still needs a little bit more yellow. All right. In goes our lime. A fraction, too yellow. It's amazing. It never ceases to amaze me. How little pigment you can actually shift a whole color. And that's the value. And actually painting this all yourself, All right, And now I've got to do my aqua. Get some blue, pop this clean one over here. Get some yellow, mix it all. I need a bit more blue. All right, there's my aqua in there, so you can see right here. We have a really nice flow of colors. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 5 pillars down here. What we have here is what you call analogous colors, analogous colors, harmonious friendly colors. They really like to sit together. They are calming and soothing to the eye. So these guys are all on the same side of the color wheel that makes them analogous. If you go high contrast or complementary, that's the opposite. To analogous. That's high energy. It creates a lot of engagement on the page and excitement for your eyes. If you working analogous colors like this and that could be yellow through the magenta, all this you would have seen a lot of this kind of thing like a beautiful sunset. We like these pictures because they generate calmness. Um, so from here, I'm going to go. This is at 100% intensity. The next one, I'm going to 50% intensity. And then I'm going to go 20% intensity and other value of this as well as you could do 100 all the way down to one and literally have 100 squares across. And if you keep mixing this way as well, so you can challenge yourself to create as many colors is physically possible here. But what I want to remind you is that within every full saturation color is there there's a whole tonal range as well. And tonal range. I mean, by diluting the color you get the lighter tones. So that's why we want to get the strongest version of the color in here. And then I'm going to grab some yellow. Opps I got some green in that one. I've really mucked this one up. Some yellow, I'm going to give it a little rinse, to make a lighter version of this yellow. Then I'm going to go in here. There's about 50% off the intensity of number one, and then I was going to give it one more little rinse and wipe off all of that color and go down to 20% so you can see the tonal range that's starting to reveal here. It's one of the key things I want to try and get you to start utilizing straight away, because immediately people get so excited by a super vibrant, saturated color. They just turf the tonal range, and they turf all the neutrals as well. But that's where the magic lies you need to learn this stuff so that you can have really good interesting combinations of colors and sophisticated works. All right ,onto the lime green. Where's my lime green? I'm going to just grab a little bit of that with a little bit of water on my brush. I've got a diluted vision. Opps too light. I need a little bit more than that. 50% could even go a bit stronger still. There we go. Rinse a little bit more off. And take that down to 20%. That's probably more like 10. Alrighty, and then onto the green. A little bit of that one thrown in there. Rinse that off. Oh, too much. A bit light with this yellow. I'm going to go into that aqua, turquoise color. One little rinse for this to go lighter, and then on to you the blue so blue I go back to the source Grab some lighter, just a diluted version, beautiful sky blue. So you would never add white to watercolor . If you're working in oils or acrylics, you would absolutely use white, it's the only thing that you can use to dilute your color or weaken tt will make it more pastel tone. You can add mediums and use transparency, But with watercolor we don't have that. So we're just going to use water to dilute our colors. And there is our first color chart. So this one is called primary to primary. Next one we're going to do is primary to secondary and I started talking about this when we're in the color wheel before, so we're not going to go opposite yet. That's our last one. We're going to do one primary to, one secondary. So we're starting to look at the colors that we can't see on the color wheel because there is literally as many colors. Is the eye can see here except for, say, neons and metallics. But every other color we can mix from these three. So which colors am I going to do? Maybe I'll go from, I won't do blues and yellows again. Maybe I'll go magenta through to violet. So, magenta is my primary. Going to mix up magenta square here. I want to get that 100% intensity again. Ultra saturated. And if you wanted to, you could do the tonal range now as well. Now that we understand, that's where we're going to go. I'm gonna do a little bit of 50% here, and, oops, too too strong. No, still too strong. Yeah, good. I'll just mop up a little excess there, Smooth it out. All right. Now, I know what the bottom color is because it's my secondary. So I'm going to put the violet in next because it just helps me bracket in that range that I'm working with. So I grab my magenta, find somewhere, clean to work, there. I'm going to try and make my secondary violet again. Need a touch more magenta. That's pretty good. So I pop him in the bottom square. So if you have a set of tube paints or if you worked in pans or even with the discs , you could literally mix any one color to any other color. And it's just amazing what colors you can discover doing this and actually doing this as an exercise. All right and then get down to the 20% down there. All right, Now, I find people tend to get a little bit confused about what to do in this three in the middle here. So we've got one more landmark that we can work with. Which is this tertiary here. This tertiary goes in the middle so that you've got 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. So 5 is in, 1 is in number 3. we've got a visual reference for that's there. So I'm going to put that plum color in now. I'm going to work with what I already had mixed in. here. And it gets a little tricky here because we've got less range, we've got to really train that eye in to understand the subtleties and nuances of color here. I'm gonna put this one in here, and you want each wanted to be quite distinctly different. Rinse that off and get that 20% down there. Too strong again. Uh, okay. Getting rougher and rougher. As I go along, you can go more neatly and more slowly and take your time with this if you'd like. All right. So, now my next challenge is. I've got pure magenta here, and I've got my tertiary plum, magenta violet here. I need to find the color that's in between. So I know it's going to be largely magenta with a tiny, tiny fraction of blue in it because that's what makes up your secondary down here. Or you can mix this and this together. You've got to find the color that sits between there, and it is actually thousands of colors that sit between there, but for now, when we're just training our eye in and we've just got to find one that sits in there that it's distinctly different between the magenta and the violet. So I'm going to add more magenta to my original mixture here. That might have been too much. Um, I just ended up with full magenta. Add the tiniest bit of blue. All right, let's have a little sample. You can always do this as well. You like what I did in the first class? Go, hmmm, actually, that's pretty good. Uh, just put my brush in the wrong paint there. All right, so, I'm going to paint that one in. There's just this tiniest, tiniest, bit of blue in there. And the last one, 20% and same again with this one here. So we have this sort of plummy color, and we have our true violet. We need to try and work out this color in between here, so I know that it's going to have more blue than what I had up here. But not so much that it's going to dominate and overcome this blue this violent here. So, I'm going to grab a tiny fraction of blue mix it in over here. Now, I'm definitely going to use this this time. Just a sample. Might need a little bit more Magenta. See that's too close to this. That's all was almost right. I had it better the first time. All right, so pop that back in there, Oh, I've just completely blown it and overrun it with blue. Let's give this one more go. I haven't mixed it well, Mix that really well together. Otherwise, you see how that's more magenta and fade in it. Uh, still need a little bit more blue. All right, I think I've got it now. Yep, Pop that in there. Oops, About 50% and then a nice washy one to finish off with. So you can see that the shift in color is a lot more subtle, a lot more subtle. But that's going to really help your eye when you're looking at a painting and you can't quite work out how to mix that color. That experience through your hand is really, really essential, and you'll be able to go, I can say that's magenta, but I think it's got a tiny fraction of blue in it. And that's how you'll start to paint more intuitively and have to think less about the mixing itself. The last one is a primary to secondary also, but we're going to go complementary, So complimentary again is the opposite side of the color wheel. There's actually only three major complementarities you've got magenta, to green, yellow to violet or blue to orange. Each one reveals a whole different range of neutrals. funnily enough because we're going to go straight through the black square. So I'm going to go yellow to violet because that's one of my favorite ones. And it's a lot of the kind of greys that I really like to work with. So this one is complementary, and we of course start with the primary and we work towards the secondary. So my primary is going to be yellow. Grab that yellow again. Make sure my brush is really, really, really clean. Running out of nice clean space to work with over here. I'm such a messy worker when it comes to color. Okay, yellow goes in there for my primary. And then do the tonal, ohh, I had some magenta on the side of my jar. And really rinse that right down. Still haven't got enough off there. Okay. And there's our yellow in. And then we're going to go to our violet next. Clean that side of my jar that I'm rinsing with my pigments off on. I've already got some violent left over here. I might just put a bit more magenta in it. Oh, Don't know what I was thinking there. Still need a bit more blue. Just a bit. That's the one. That's that one. So I put that one in there. Rinse that down just a fraction. Okay. All right. So this is where it can get a bit tricky because we officially don't have any reference points anymore, because we're going to go travel right through the center. At some point, we will hit almost neutral black. But when we're just doing five squares down, we actually don't hit it perfectly. But we will end up with a whole bunch of super awesome olive greens and interesting mauves and things like this because we're going to mix. I'm going to have to make some bit of more of this purple color going to mix from yellow to violet. So I was going to make up lots of strong violet here. Hmm it's going to need more. Perfect. All right, because yellow is weeker color. We are going to go from violet up towards yellow, so we can just keep gradually adding yellow towards our violet. So take a little portion to another little, somewhat clean space on my pallet, grab a little portion of yellow mix that all in, and then we're going to end up with a really nice dusky, dirty mauve. And again, Don't forget that tonal range, because this is going to get a lot of really interesting, say sky colors or soft, beautiful colors. Um, can you tell I just love color. I can't stop saying the word color obsessed uh, add a little bit more yellow into that Then we're going to end up with a, sort of brown, basically. Like so, and however which way you paint it with whatever paint you have, this is going to look entirely different for everyone. Unless you have the most pure, most neutral of primary colors to begin with, everyone's going to look different, and it's actually surprisingly hard to find really pure of primary colors. So I'm really excited to see how everyone's turns out. Uh, all right, final one, I'm getting distracted, I'm going to mix this last little bit up. Then we've got this mustardy, yellow, final one. There we go. All right, so that is it. That's our prime. This is how we make color chats. You can literally do hundreds of them. If you feel like it. I find it really valuable. If you're person that goes, I can't quite meet that color again. I made it once can't remember again. But then you've got, especially if you go into the your more complementary colors and your neutrals, which is usually the hardest to remix again. You can identify them super easily on this. chart, you just go OK, so there. Therefore, it was a mixture of yellow and violet, but it was kind of more towards the violet end, and I just diluted it heaps. So it have it up on your wall, it's a really good visual reference, Um, will really help train your eye in the like the actual color mixing as well. From here we are going to get less technical, have a bit more play and explore some different color groupings. We're going to look a warm and cool and a lot of other cool stuff. 6. Colour Explorations: All right, so we just went fairly technical, but really trying to get down to the like, nuts and bolts of how to mix colors and to be able to mix them confidently and to be able to see them I think it's really important. From here. We're going to sort of deconstruct that process a little bit and get really playful and just mix and mix and mix and see what we can come up with. I've got some themes that we're going to work alongside. So the 1st one, I'm just going to do half on each other page, here. First one I'm going to do is just mix every color and see what happens. And in the next one, I'm going to focus on one color, like one sort of broad idea of a color and just see how many of that versions of that color we could possibly make. And then we got some other ones to do, too. So let's start with just mixing every single color. Soon you have to start doing this. You really start to think about what chemistry is happening on your page over here. Like, um, and all these dirty colors that we've mixed along the way. You'll notice that I haven't wiped down my palate at any point. All these are totally viable colors and they may come in handy down the down the line. Which is why I still like to work in a messy soup like this. Because there's little bits and hints of color along the way can be really helpful. Or just like you might get a nice surprise or it's less effort to have to mix every single color every single time. All right, so I'm just going to grab one color here, going to the little circles again because I think it's just a nice way to illustrate the blending capacity of watercolor too. Rinse that one off that was a nice little magenta mix, and then I might grab some blue and, mixed into there see what happens. So what we're going to end up with is a whole bunch of hues and shades that are not necessarily primary colors. A little bit of fluff on there, because we're mixing it every single time. Yellow going to mix that in with that pile. Let's see what happens. So we're not coming gold color. All right, again. Don't forget the papers not fixed to the tables. It's nice to be able to spin it. Rinse that off. And then what tends to happen along here as well is that everyone just goes yeah, yeah, yeah and forgets about their tones. So I want you to try and work in some really light tones as well, because then you start to see what could be revealed through that playing with that idea as well . Uh, it's go some greens in there. It's just that in there, see what happens right now. But look, this nice sort of very rosey brown, I think playing and just experimenting although its the last thing we often give ourselves when it comes to sitting down and painting. We want a result every time. But just having a little play and allowing the exploration can really, really help develop your color language. You realize they start to lean towards certain colors like I know some people only ever mixed their colors and will have just just a few tubes to paint from or otherwise you might find that you are really keep going to the same colors, and you could buy tubes in that area so you don't have to mix them every single time that's the advantage of the tubes is that you can you can buy the colors that you so you don't have to so regularly mix them all from scratch. It's like cheats way to get to your colors and okay, see any time that you got three primaries, you do have end up with those more earthy tones, Which I think it really beautiful, Umm what's this one here. Very much a learning by doing person. That's for sure. See what happens when I just plonk a heap of blue in there. That one is nice. I like that one. a lot. Okay. All right. You a few more here. And then when we want to the next one. Bright yellow And one last one, let's say whatever this color is going to be. Very soft green. All right. So there we have every single color mixed, and you can see that you you can still have really rich, strong, saturated colors. But then that into play in the push and pull of the tonal range. So the light ones versus you dark ones makes it more interesting to look at. If that was all intense color, then you're going to have, your eye doesn't know where to go is a lot going on. So a good little experiment on how to mix all your colors from scratch. From here I'm going to do a big play into just one color. So I'm going to choose green because I like working into the natural world and botanical stuff Um. So green as a theory, like I'm sure one shade of green comes to mind for you straight away. Maybe it's emerald. Maybe it's lime. Maybe it's like a gun leaf green. But think about green as a whole. And there is just, like, endless possibilities with how you can make so much green. So I was going to start with the greens that I have on my palette here and just to shake it up, I'm going to do some leaf shapes on my page, and I'm just going to keep grabbing things that I have here. And then each time you're either going to dilute or slightly shift the color one way or the other. You can use all three primaries. Obviously, it's going to be largely yellow and blue because you base is green. But red can also come into play because that's how you're going to get off red magenta. Um, it's going to come into play when we want to build those more natural greens. The softer ones, the more earthy ones. All right there's a nice line. Then I'm going to grab some of this magenta. You got to find those boundaries of green. Like, where is what is green? You have to ask yourself is big questions. There's a nice one up there sort of dirty yellow green and then mix this one here. That's green. It's more like a dirty bottle green. Now I want to go for, like, a classic primary green. Really nice strong emerald. There we go. That's one supersaturated so and then to play with this tonal range its always welcome to work with the pigment on the page as well, so I'm just going to suck some of that in, and it's going to create a really soft green next to that. Now I want to try and have a bit more blue ones in there. So playing to those blue greens could even go blue. I think. Let's push that boundary and see just how blue we can make it before we go. That's closer, to blue than green. All right, I think that's pretty on the edge before we tap into turquoise. Right now, let's try some. Magenta is in these as well. There's a nice dark one there soft blue, green, and let's get some olives going. Army green. Uh, let's go for a really yellowy green. Now, how can I push it into the brown world but still call it green? This is the questions we have to ask because everything is going to read and relate to one another on the page, so you need them to talk to one another. All right, I'm going to go for an in between a bit stronger. We're going to could still try and push that brown boundary a little bit more too. Is that still green? Debatable. Well, grey greene. So good for painting. Australian colors. It's got a real soft, light green. And I mean, you can just really keep going forever and ever I could fill a whole sheet and not one green would be the same on there, which is something that really excites me because you can just really change the temperature and the mood of a piece with the kind of greens you'll selecting. So, if you go with really saturated vibrant greens going have a very high energy, strong piece. And then if you go for more soft, delicate greens, you could have a really subtle and beautiful Um, it generates a softness. Let's just do a couple more here. That was nice. It was by accident. Sorry, I keep finding more, and so I just want to try that one. Just try that one. Well, what about that one? Don't forget me. I'm getting really close to just completely contaminating all my colors here, it's the way I roll. All right. I'll stop there. I mean, I could just keep going. Getting a bit excited, and it's all right. You guys can go crazy and you can do which ever color you want. You don't have to choose green. I'd love to see other explorations that you happen to find. Maybe you're painting berries or anything, really. And just explore the whole world of magenta. It's really up to you. Um, they're the first two we're going to do the next two. We're going to look at high energy complementary colors like really strong bright colors as well as a we're going to look at harmonious, analogous colors, which we spoke about before, But let's get them working on the page. So you can visualize how that works. We're just going to slide that one across. All right, the 1st one is What I call high energy, which is usually lots of strong, bright hues as well as you want. A strong contrast, so contrast can be generated two ways. It can be through the compliment to the color. So if I was to do's blue, if I was used orange on the page as well. That is really about as high contrast as you can generate with color, but then as soon as you add tonal range into that as well and a few different versions of blue and orange. And then you've got very strong high contrast, complementary colors on the page. Sometimes you're eye actually finds complementary colors almost overwhelming because they're so strong. Why people tend to lean towards analogous colors that a softer, gentle, more harmonious really depends on your vibe, I actually like to, in my own work, marry the two ideas together so I try and create energy with a little softness as well. So let's separate the ideas here, and we'll work, work our way towards bringing the two ideas together. I'm going to choose. Let's go blue and orange for my high energy. So you probably going to pick one complimentary set and work into that a little bit. Um, I'll go back to circles again, I think, cause you'll notice as soon as I start painting, you'll notice that this will represent something that you might see fairly regularly. And that is kids products. Kids products often really high energy bright intense colors and they usually using complementary colors to drag your attention. And they really want to grab you. So just go like this that was like a shade of orange, and then I'm going to grab some yellow so that almost ends up clown like. That's how brought an intense you can get these colors and they are super high energy. And then don't forget about your tonal range as well. So over here, I might just put a clear circle one, and that will just drag the color in itself. Um, let's grab some blue mix up this aqua here so your color selection will actually have a dramatic effect on the energy present on the page. I like to create a bit attention, but not so much that it's uncomfortable to look at. So you want to try and find that balance of like, too much or too little. All right, let's get some orange going but one less dirty orange over here. Okay, Pop him over there. As soon as you get too tropical with your colors. When I say Tropical I mean, let's get a bit excited and put everything on the page. That's when I get super uncomfortable. It's just that I don't know where to look. This is a bit intense, for me, I think, have to look away. That's what you don't want. So it's really easy because the colors are so have fun and saturated that you just want it all on there. Well, actually, why I use a lot of white spaces in my work because I do like intense color, and I think the white space just lets it breathe a little bit. But there is. There is a boundary there and I've found it many times, and it's a part of the learning process. All right, Let's go another blue, but maybe a lighter blue. And it's getting a bit tropical over here now. Getting a bit excited Good. A little bit more green. All right, So there, is some high energy color for you that is going to be almost uncomfortable to look at on a large scale piece. It could be too intense. Um, now we're going to have a look at harmonious color. Harmonious color is the smaller area of the color wheels? We might be looking at just 1/3 or even a smaller portion of the color wheel. I think I always think of a sunset when it comes to analogous colors. We love looking at sunsets, the colors of calming to us because they all relate to one another and they don't create any tension. There's no tention when it comes analogous colors. So I might actually just use sunset as a reference for myself here, Um, let's go, uh, when we're going to do goes a magenta, might do stripes this time just with fun. Do a line like that. And then I'm going to grab some yellow mix it on in. I'm going to do a line that butts up to that. So let them will bleed into another because they relate so well that they will actually bleed really nicely together. Do a nice, soft, rosy pink. So and then maybe gets some yellow into a mixture. Strongly yellow. Keep going to as much as you want, really entirely up to you. The more effort you put in some more, you'll get to see and visualizing. I think it's very much about this color thing, just learning how they will work together. Like that. All right, so there we have high energy colors, uncomfortable to look at can be useful in some instances, mostly for super eye catching. And then we've got harmonious colors that are a lot more relatable, a lot more soothing. Um, working how to play with them together is actually really challenging. But that's part of the fun. And I think, uh, through experience that will be part of your own color language you develop. So the final two that we're going to do, Ah, warm and cool colors. Warm and cool can really dictate the overall vibe of the piece in the end. If you go for a really typical warm colors, it will feel like daylight and bright. And if you go with typical cool colors, you'll end up feeling quite a calm evening time Twilight vibe. So let's have a little look at that. I've got my color wheel here like my little printed out one. When we're talking about, uh, temperature wise, warm colors warm tends to be from your yellow green. Probably more like here away around to, sometimes your red violet just sort of depends on how much blue you have in there and then you cool colors are the opposite side of the wheel , these ones over here. So for the 1st one we're going to do warm. So I'm going to focus all my energy on these colors here and just get that fit, that sense of them on the page and see how they feel. So, and again, I literally just had a whole bunch of warm colors here in my analogous. So I'm just going to keep using some of those on my paint some circles just so that we get some general shapes on the page and make sure we work into all that warm colors. They'll generate this like, glowy golden feeling. Um, and you can include shades as well and even a little bit of like that lime green. I think he's really nice in your warm in the cool thing. One pallet was in the warm colors like this, um, some straight up yellows, Are always good and maybe some straight up magenta. But maybe let's just wipe it down a bit. Well, that one's nice. Nice little watermelon kind of color. Yeah, give more orangey color going, and then you can also incorporate brown's into this as well. Because Brown's can feel really warm. There's a nice soft brown. There's an ambery kind of color. Uh, Let's go really, really, really light organge. Maybe some lime, so one literally generates warm red can generate a real heat, yellow can also, but just working warmth. Warm, warmer colors into work will generate a feeling off warmth in your work. And when you go to your cool side that can generate feelings off serenity, it could be quite soothing. These can feel quite energized still, because it's got a lot of vibrancy. And it, um, it's almost like day and night and working those two together. You just gotta be a little bit cautious sometimes because too much warm or too much cool can really just, like affect the overall piece. And maybe you weren't going for that temperature after all, so I'm going to just do a little bit of the cool colors as well. Let's start with my primary blue and you'll see quite a distinct difference. And it could have such an emotional effect of your final work. Lots of these cool colors already mixed from other projects. This one over here didn't really put any violets on the other side. But you can incorporate violets. I got a dirty blue, I might even try and generate a near black that can feel quite cold as well. And then maybe a diluted version of that over here. Where else could we go? We can do a bit of green green fits in this too. That's probably on the warmer side, I would say, Uh, let's go a little more blue in there to bring it to the cool size. Okay, more dirty. I like that color. All right, so there we have it. Warm colors and cool colors really, really different vibes, and you'll naturally probably gravitate to one or the other. I think I'm a warm color girl, but I often use the cool colors in the shadows to bring shadows the temperature down of the work, and I'll use the warm colors in all the highlights and all the most foreground things. So have a little review. We had mixed all your colors and see what happens work into green and see all the shades of green that you can come up with as many as possible. I think you could keep going and actually feel the whole thing. High energy color, harmonies, color. Whether you can get these two working together, that's going to be experiment, an experiment for you and then we have warm and cool all of these things. All these theories will come together towards our final, towards our final project. Next up, we are going to see how we mix these colors when when we mix them on the pallet and when we can mix them on the page. 7. Mixing It Up: Okay, so we've just had a look at a whole bunch of different kinds of color and groupings of color. Harmonious high contrast, all of the above. When now going to have a little play with applying some shapes. I we're filming in Victoria at the minute, and it's autumn. So I thought some autumn leaves might be not really nice reference just to inspires for this little exercise. Um, the main idea behind this one is we are going to think about when we're mixing the paints and when we can. And when we can't. So largely, I've been mixing entirely on the palette here occasionally will send me correct things on the page when it's wet. So that's the main two times that you can mix. If the if the paint is drying on your page, I would recommend waiting for it to completely dry before you go over the top, and then you're essentially painting a second layer. If you take wet paint into semi part like partially dry paper, you're going to get a very strange result and probably a harsh, ugly back run. Not the beautiful kind than the one we don't want. So this is going to be a little bit of play in to when and how we can mix the colors. Um, the rooms quite warm, so the paint is going to dry quickly. If you were in a colder place, the paint will dress lower. You'll have more opportunity. to mix onto the page. If you're in a warmer place where there's lots of humidity, you're going to struggle to get the paint mixing on the page because it dries so much faster. So just bear that in mind. The temperature that you're in in the conditions and the environment are really going to affect the timing of how all this works. For me. I'm probably going to have to work a little bit quickly because it's warm in here. So, uh, autumn leaves beautiful, warm colors, so I'm going to work largely into warm. But I'm going to start to play with that idea of introducing complementary, in there, just to throw a little excitement in there. I do love unexpected color just popping through when least expect it. Ah so simple, simple, uh, leaf shapes. I'm just rather than you can and sketch them all out if you'd prefer. But I'm just going to paint some three pronged leaves, like this. A little playful maple leaf, I guess. Um, now I can, in fact mix into this while it's wet. And I can mix it like we would on the palette and mix it right in. Or alternatively, I can, I'll switch to my vertical hold, and I can drop it in. It can create some really nice effects by just adding a little bit of color in there. And then I might take that same color and painting another leaf and let those two leaves blend into one another. And I'm just going to do an assortment of all different kinds of leaves that we can play with here. Um so again. We can mix in the color whilst it's wet. It has already started to dry over here from me so I would say that I'm not going to go back over there because it's going to end up with that yucky, line that I was mentioning. I might just drop some color in there and then grab a little bit more. Might go a little into the green area. Um, All right. The other thing you can do is blend on the page so I can just grab another color and it's going to blend like what we did with those circles onto the page. That's one of my favorite ways to do it is actually just allow the watercolor to do its own thing. You get this beautiful, unexpected result and that unpredictability is probably the thing I love the most about watercolor, Um, and giving it the opportunity and inviting on the pages really fun as soon as you like are allowing things to let go a little bit. Uh, all right, let's get some orange colors on there. Again, get some unexpected. Let that bleed happen, going fairly quickly and roughly here because it's more about the mixing here. So the timings of things, if I wanted to introduce more color here, might just drop some warmer gentry little dots in there and you can also grab a little paint , and you can just flood so you can just hit the same spot multiple times and you can see that that pigment is gradually working its way down there. Another nice way of just, uh, shifting up the colors in there. So rather than having every leaf exactly the same, the same tone you start to get always interesting. mixes happening on the page. Uh, what color am I going to do next, Let's go a little purple, and then I'm going to go back to Magenta for the far side of the leaf. And then the other thing, the one thing I haven't mentioned yet is you can take clean water or dirty water, but I'd prefer clean because I like to know what's going to happen. And, I'm going. to introduced just clean water onto the page, and that is going to start to encourage those backgrounds to happen, which others dark of crunchy little lines, which is sometimes a good thing. And sometimes a bad thing just depends on your preference. See like that, you can get some really beautiful results. And because we're working with autumn leaves and you got all that crunchy, delicious texture and all the variegated colors, you might as well experiment and just see what can happen. Um, All right, Let's get back to some red colors for over here. I want a really strong red. So you want as much variety, this is a chance to experiment with everything that we've learned so far just to see what happens and really honing those uh, really hone in those mixing skills, my palette is really getting a good work out right now. I really contaminating everything. Um, but you're going to start to work out how to make those browns and how to, uh, like, soften up your greens. Um, in this instance, we're going for a whole bunch of warm colors. What I might do, though, is introduced an unexpected blue, or something like that where I might go. Maybe I paint really, really, really light blue because I've got very, very strong orange. So in my mind to create a little bit more energy, I've got strong orange. I might back off the blue a little bit, maybe make it more of a black blue or maybe a really, really, really soft blue. But I'm going to introduce just a little bit of it somewhere. Maybe. here, and then I'm going to blend it. So it's just that little hint and that's going to create just that little zap of energy. Get some more yellow going, pinch a little bit of color coming from over there, and then maybe I'll drop some more plain water into that one. That more unexpected going, The more water you have on the page more unexpected result you're going to have it can really shift things around cause essentially, water color pigment is transferred over the surface of the page with water. So the more you have, the more random it can occur because it travels further. All right, so maybe over here I'm going to just do a clear one and see what comes through. Be a little bit more of its blue that I made. I find the using the complimentary when you are painting, say, in one particular, we're using quite a warm color set largely with an orange base. So it is blue that I'm using as a compliment is can be a really good compositional tool. It can help lead your eye around and create a second layer of interest. Because you've already got tonal range, you've got strong, rich colors, and then you've also got very, very soft black colors. And then you've got a secondary tooled for your composition so that you can create a more sophisticated penny. I love, dropping a little bit of color into the stem as well. Uh, right back to some more warm colors. Upside down one let's go. Give this one a big hit of Magenta as well. And yeah, browns and oranges over here. And maybe I'll drop a little bit of something, dark. So I've got a bit of a dance happening. I've got these strongly magentas, which are a primary color. So your eyes automatically going to be, attracted there because they're really pure. And then I'm going to incorporate a whole bunch of shades. They're going to be, like the support act to my pop colors, and they're the ones that are going to fill the space but not draw too much attention. And then I've got these soft blues as like, the sidekick. Just drop a little bit of color in there, maybe, or just mixing a little bit of red. You can just mix into the wet blended all in, just prevent it being too flat. I think when we have really flat color and everything's too immaculate, it tends to look a bit folksy or naive style. I really like fluid color and happy accidents and just allowing watercolor to be the beautiful medium that it is not trying to control it too much. I've got that yellow there, so I'm going to put in another pop of yellow here I'd say. Maybe even a little bit of limey yellow, dirty lime. Just going to do a bit of that blue just subtle. Let that yellow seep in. I've got a lot of yellow over here, so I'm going to counteract in with some more of the reds, because I want this to be nice and balanced this way, And don't forget about your tonal range too, I'm getting a bit excited and everything is getting a bit intense. So I'm just going to go soft with the next one. It's all about balance. It's like a little puzzle. Every time I've started painting, it's like how can I create interest and balance at the same time. Cheeky blue just for fun. Well, that might be my favorite one so far. Uh, need a bit more yellow, I think. now, we're nearly there. I love this time of year, all the leaves. There's a tree, just near my studio that is like electric yellow and then electric red. It's just amazing. I love it. Let's break up that texture, a little bit. And then I'm just going to do a few little baby leaves around, fill up some these holes for fun. It's like the ground I guess, I don't know, it's how my brain works, just sort of think lightly about your work and sort of destroy any too perfect areas. And then we go, there's some beautiful autumn leaves. From here we are going to go on to our final project. So hopefully getting starting to get a really good grasp of color. I'm going to talk about more of my own, use of color, and hopefully that will help you with creating those points of interest in your work. I'm going to use gum leaves of as a reference and you'll find out more in the next video. 8. The Final Project: So we're ready to start our final project. I thought I would start off by talking a little bit more about the way that I like to apply color. I try and use it in really interesting, unexpected ways, and some people will go for very safe. Other people love to go crazy. I like toe find a little tension point where there's definitely complements present. So that creates the energy on the page, but largely analogous, so harmonious colors. So I've got these two examples here in front of me, you'll see here that the focal point is these deep orangey reds. So therefore, further down, I've got the compliments in the in the blues and the greens here and then to sorry to create tension between these soft yellows I've incorporated these softer purples as well, so I've kind of got two sets of compliments happening in one painting, and the idea is that it's, uh, it's leading your eye up to burst up into the focal point, which is up here at the flower head. That's Ah, the Leucadendron piece. And then this one here, of course, like leaves and not pink and blue or this electric green. What I'm trying to do is create an impression of it on the page for this instance. Here it was from a really shady little section of the plant that I got. So the blues kind of sitting in the shade and you got to try and imagine it in nature in the way that the sun's hitting it and the way the winds hitting it. And for me, it's how the light catches the leaves that makes the color play really interesting. I also want to generate lots of interest to make it interesting looking painting. If this was all botanically painted and beautiful soft colors and exactly as I saw it, I'd actually find it boring. I love creating, um, you still get in the essence of it on the page, but it's not so literal. I'm having a lot of that is a lot of sort of artistic license in there. Um, this one is another good example of the complementary color theory. So I largely got a lot of magenta, like a lot of magenta and a lot of red, and its complement is because this is a warratah here is complemented green, So just the pink and the green together can be so intense to look at that it actually gets a bit too much. So what I've done is I've used a lot of purple and blue to try and harmonize this composition. If it was just the green and the red eyes would actually be like a bit disconcerting to look at it because quite a busy painting. So I needed to use a lot of analogous colors like here to harmonize so that the contrast isn't as severe is what it might have been. I tend to use complementary colors in two ways and paintings. I use it as a compositional tool. So you got greens leading vertically here and then one going through there on then everything else is in the heart, in the harmonizing colors. And then the other thing I like to do is through the mixing, so I will use the green and the red, and I'll mix them together. So that is a familiarity there as well. So that's sort of two ways that I'm always utilizing complementary colors. This one is another example where I use complementary colors. I have used. Obviously, it's a sun flower, so the yellow of the leaves are super vibrant. And to give that energy instead of just applying black or dull colors, I've used purples as the shadow color and as the central piece to give that some really exciting energy and then a lot of harmonious soft peaches, Um, some reds and light greens, it's all very warm to give it lots of variety and interest to look at. This is one of my favorite ones, and we'll paint something like this today. I've got some gum leaves that we're going to paint, and I'll take some photos for you as well, so you can paint the same thing if you'd like. This is a silver princess gum tree. It's got these enormous gun nuts, and in the light, it's just so delicate and beautiful. I always, like stop when I drive past one, because it just this elegant and it's too long and draping and really silvery. So I really tried to generate through these soft purples instead of just grey, like it could have just been grey, but that would have been not that interesting to look at. So I've I've utilised what is essentially a compliment. You've got the soft pinks, along with all the dark blues, the real, turquoise blues and then along with some greens as well. So you've got two sets of analogous colors working together. You've got your purples and pinks. Any greens in your turquoise, and these are how I'm sort of creating his balance. It's always this tension versus balance for me, and if I haven't got enough tension, I'm not really into the final outwork. And if there's not enough balance, it's not going to work anyway, so it gets uncomfortable for the eye. This one here is a lot more of the analogous colors. It is obviously largely green, blue, purple, and then I've thrown in some warm green. So rather than go to the extreme of going away to the other side of the color wheel and using complementary colors, I've just chosen to add some warmth in there through these warmer greens and a little bit of these brown as well. And that helps give it a sense of bounce as well. So that is some of the things that I like to see when it comes to a painting you wouldn't actually going to gravitate towards high energy or harmonious, you'll just find your feet and start going really like the way that that looks. So I'm just going to keep trying to achieve that. And that's how you build your color language. By no means this isn't the only way to generate a painting. It's just the way that I prefer it myself. That's my taste. Um so from here, we're going to, grab a reference and then get painting. Okay, so I've done the hard work for us today. I have ducked out and grabbed a little reference for us. I've grab some gum leaves from outside, like literally just outside my studio. I can't even help myself. And I love, ohh I've just dropped stuff all over my paper. I love having visual reference beside me, especially when I'm doing something more specific, I'm going to be focusing on the color aspect. So I don't want to be worrying about, um, structure and, uh, and the composition and things like this. I've got this to work with. It looks a little complex, but what we're going to look at is when when and how the light hits things and foreground and background is really going to dictate how we apply color. Um, I'll take photos of this is well, so you guys will have the same reference from, um and you can do the same thing. What I will know it is that I have moved to a large sheet of paper because, actually, do you like working a little bit larger. And it's cotton now. So whenever I'm working on a final peace, I do prefer to work on cotton. Cotton performs a little bit better than you sell your typical cellulose paper. It absorbs the water differently, and it's definitely my preference for doing a final piece on. So let's get started. There's a good chance that I'll just duck out into the zone somewhere here, so bear with me and we'll just keep painting. So very first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to grab a pencil. And with the absolute most light touch, I'm going to just jot in where these stems fall Because as I'm painting, I want to make sure the leaves there are able to attach to the stem, and I tend to get excited and put too many. And so if I don't do this and it's going to be erasable so you've got to go as light and light, light, light as possible, this we went down there and then the biggest question that I'm often asked is, where do I start? And for me, it's more of the feeling like I usually go into the area that I'm most interested in. So for me, I could either start with these gum nuts up here, or I might start with these little baby ones here. And then I'll let these leaves drip off from there, um I often hold it up to the light. I will change the shape. I will try and pick my favorite angle. I think it's definitely for me. It's looking this way at it. Um, and maybe I won't have quite as many leaves and branches. But, you know, these are old choices that I get to make cause I'm doing the I'm doing the interpretation. Um, and you can you can find your own leaves or you can use the photo from this is totally up to you. All right, so I'm going to get started. You can start over here I think that's just what's grabbing me at the minute, um, and get painting. I really want to make sure that I'm consciously mixing colors all the time because that's how you going to create an interesting work. And when it comes to like you going, it's just not working. Rather than pulling yourself back and freaking out a little bit go bigger, go braver and you'll be surprised at how much that bit of courage will add to your work All right. So going to paint in some gum nuts. This is what I'm going to go into the zone. So just follow along and happy painting. - - A few more little touches. Just put in a little more. Because that's the way, I roll. Okay, so, you can see here have a whole series of green gum leaves. And yes, if I was to pull them off, like so, they were all the same color but, when it comes to painting them and generating an interesting painting. Uh, all flat grain gum leaves is not going to be very interesting to look at. Plus, you're not going to be differentiate or have any foreground background or depth. So you go to get a little invented use, that little creative bone that you got in there. So for my shadow color the color that's receding I've gone with a cool blue and also a cool purple that sends things back. And then for the opposite. I've chosen a rich lime green and that's going to lift everything forward. So my little gum nuts here my my main leaves and you can see that I've got a bit of a composition going. That's almost circular bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang bang around like this. And then all these mauves and pinks are creating excitement on the page because they are the opposite of green. If we go right back to our original color wheel, we've got a lot of these colors here. So I've had to incorporate a few of these to make it interesting and exciting to look at if everything stayed here, less so. Ah, I've also thrown in some reds in there. That's the playoff, the really dark greens. So it's all about finding this chemical balance for your eyes on page, and if all the red was in one place, actually, my eye would go only there, but I dabbed it here and there and around so it becomes a bit of a dance for the eye and you want your eye to go boom, boom, boom and it becomes a story if you just look at it and go. Yep, that's just It's not got a strong enough composition. And for me, leading the eye around with color is my most favorite way of getting a composition flowing really nicely. So I can't wait to see how you go. It's a lot to absorb, I know. But I think once you get a grasp of color, your paintings all of a sudden just become you put so much more of yourself into them and you really can feel confident and paint intuitively with color, and you are going beyond painting reality and really contributing a little bit of yourself into the painting itself. 9. The Wrap Up: That's it. There you have it. That was the magic of color mixing. I hope you got in heaps out of this course, and I really hope you're able to not only use this for your watercolor painting, but you're any kind of painting or creative practice. It can apply across any world. You may even now see the world it through a whole new lens. You will say the seasons change. You'll see a new growth in your garden or even the landscapes you move through every day. You, the way that you say them will be different. And I can't wait to see how that reflects through your work. I'm so excited to see your final projects. I've left it quite broad. You can focus here or do whatever you like. I want to see all the jobs you've done through this whole course. I can't wait. I have a Facebook group called Natalie Martin's Student form. It's a really supportive and encouraging space where you can share and grow together. I try and get every now and again also. Also please subscribe to my mailing list. I'll be able to notify you of any upcoming courses. I'm also so open to any feedback or suggestions on this course or any future courses as well. I'd love to hear your suggestions. I've had such a good time sharing this course with you, I can't wait to see what you come up with. Thanks again for joining me for the magic of color mixing happy painting.