Painting Tips - Mixing Colours


So I get asked about how to mix colours like a million times. It seems like something a lot of people struggle with - I know I used to. But they're really not that scary, or difficult. There are just a few 'rules' that once you learn, you'll be able to go for it! I would recommend getting out your paints and just playing with them for a while. You'll never get into them properly without showing who's boss.....(that's you!)

First Rule - Opposite colours Mixing opposite colours (otherwise known as complimentary colours) dulls/greys out contrast. (See image below)colour-mix This is brilliant for those landscape paintings where you need the background to actually look like the background. Look out your window now and you'll notice that further you look into the distance, the more lighter and greyed the colours are. Check out this painting I did a few months back. Notice how in the distance the colours and more grey, then in the foreground they are a lot more colourful. This is the key to making your paintings look more realistic. You can also add the opposite colour to darken it, instead of adding black - try it!bacjground

Second Rule - Not too many! Don't mix too many colours otherwise you'll get a horrible, browny, mess! I would class too many as more than three (not including white). There are exceptions to this...but not many. With less colours the pigments in the colours stay true and classy.

Third rule When mixing colours, if you have gone wrong, instead of adding more and more paint to correct it...just start again! Many, many times have I tried to correct my colours by adding more and I  have just ended up wasting ALOT, and ended up starting again anyway.

I'm also going to let you in on a secret!

Don't use an RGB colour wheel. Use a CYMK colour wheel. (If you don't have a clue what I'm talking about, don't worry, you don't need to). Instead I'm going to direct to a DIY CMYK Colour Wheel Video that I make for my YouTube Channel.

I have one stuck on my studio wall for a reference.coluor-weheel

If you have any questions about colour mixing, or anything else , please just let me know in the comments section or you can email me at

Ooo and I nearly forgot the fourth rule..................just go for it!

Love Katie xP1012060