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Colour Mixing X

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Properties and Personality of oil Paint.

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titanium white

Titanium White. PW6, Opaque, Excellent
A cool white with good covering power.
When adding white to other colours you may not obtain the results you expect - adding a touch of white to the Yellows often intensifies the yellow, whereas added to reds it cools and controls, but added to blues brings out their true colours, add to Iron Black for a full range of neutral Greys.

iron black

Iron Black, PBk11, Opaque, Excellent
Neutral undertone to this agreeable black which has very good covering power.
It makes good earthy  greens with yellows. Makes neutral greys with Titanium White and very useful for making two pigment darks. (see Colour Mixing)
A little goes a long way.

yellow ochre

Yellow Ochre, PY42, Opaque, Excellent
A strong quiet golden yellow with good covering power which comes alive when white is added. A very useful earth colour that makes subtle greens with the blues and can control the reds. It also good for use with the Green Oxide as it modifies the intensity.
Mixes with reds to make good oranges.

cadmium yellow

Cadmium Yellow
, PY35, Opaque, Excellent
An excellent very useful yellow,  mix with Reds to make a selection of oranges and with Iron Black for an earthy green, use to control Green Oxide.
A unique versatile, for many, necessary yellow, so good for landscape painting.
Mixes with blues to make good greens.

There has been much 'talk' about the use of Cadmium in Artist paints, please seen this article by the UK manufacturer of Cadmium colours if you would like to know more.


Ultramarine Blue, PB29, Semi-transparent, Excellent
A clear, clean blue and mixed with black and a touch of white makes a very useful grey.
Makes a clean bright violet with Ruby Red.
Subtle greens with Yellow Ochre.

 Mix with Cadmium Yellow it gives a very stable 'Sap Green' that doesn't fade when in mixtures.


Copper Blue, PB57, Semi-opaque, Excellent
An intense blue with high tinting strength, a little goes a long way! 
A touch of Titanium White brings out its true colour. Mixed with reds gives some subtle violets. Mixed with Yellow Ochre gives some dull landscape colours.

Mix with Cadmium Yellow for 'seascape' colours.


Japanese Red Deep. PR3 Semi Opaque. **MM
A strong red, gives a good range of very soft clean coral pinks when mixed with Titanium White. Makes a selection of interesting browns when mixed with Sap Green or Ivory Black. Use with the Yellows to make a selection of bright to dull orange colours.

Ruby Red. PV19 Semi Transparent. *** M
A clear cool bright Red with blue/violet undertone. Could be used as a substitute for Alizarin Crimson which is prone to fading when mixed. Thinned with painting medium it makes a good glazing colour. Makes clean bright pinks when mixed with Titanium White and clear violets with Ultramarine or the strong Indian Blue.

Worthy Additions.
Burnt Umber. PBr7 Opaque *** M

For many people Burnt Umber is indispensable on their palette. A warm rich burnt orange with good covering power. It has many uses, in it's own right mixed with white it makes soft tan colours, mixed with Ultramarine it produces a valuable dark almost black neutral, which when mixed with white presents us with some delicate Greys. It is good at darkening orange/reds. It is one of the fastest drying oil paints and will cause other paint it is mixed with to dry faster, (acts like a siccative). Often referred to as an 'earth colour'.

Burnt Sienna. PBr7 Opaque *** M
Another earth colour, a warm rich reddish brown, adding white produces some very delicate tints. Can be thinned with painting medium to produce a glazing colour although Raw Sienna is more transparent but cooler. Mix Burnt Sienna with Ultramarine or Prussian Blue to give useful darks. Can be used to darken, reds and some greens.


Aubusso Green. PG7 Transparent *** M
If you feel the need for a green, try this one. It's a bright strong green with high tinting strength, moved with the yellows or oranges, but only add tiny amounts of the green. Yellow Ochre will cool it down. Mixed with Ruby Red it makes an interesting brown that tends to be semi transparent. This green is more useful for seascapes than landscapes. Cadmium Yellow and Ultramarine would give a better moveable green for landscape use.

I hope the descriptions of the personality and properties of the above paint has helped you become acquainted with them, some parts are standard descriptions, others are personal views, your view may be different and that's how it should be. Find the colours that you feel comfortable with and are happy using, this will lead to finding your own colour 'style'.
This is not a 'recommended palette' of colours, but it is a selection of colours that will get you off to a good start, covering transparency, tone, warm, cool, opposites and neutrals. All the paints are single pigment colours, selected to give clean clear results to your colour mixing.

Copyrightę Jacqui Blackman 1999

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