These guys make choosing colors so easy and will take your palette choices to the next level!
How to make them:
It’s pretty straight forward and just involves counting your paints, and making a grid of that number squared. Then mix away! You only have to do half of the squares since the other half is kind of redundant. But in this case I did watered down versions as well so that’s why you see all the boxes full.
PURE COLORS are around the edges, and diagonally (represented with black outline).
MIXED COLORS are everything else.
This is particularly helpful with gouache, which tends to lighten up as it dries. But it works with any paints/pencils/markers!
I use these color keys in two different ways:
I can hold the key up to the object or photo I am trying to represent and choose the closest matches to the most important colors. I always stick to around four different pure colors + black and white. I never use too many pure colors in a painting, or it can get chaotic both visually and during the process. But don’t let me limit your creativity if you want to use more, use more! It’s just my own general rule.
Sometimes there’s a particular mood I want to make with a painting, and a lot of this comes from color. So I will skim over my chart until my eyes are drawn to a particular mixed color that matches what I want. Then I stick to the row and column and choose one or two more color mixes. I take all of the corresponding pure colors (3-4) and ONLY use those for the entire painting, mixing them in various ways to get all the colors I need. I usually do the classic red, yellow, blue. This way I can get any color of the rainbow while keeping it harmonious. If I just can’t get my neutrals dark enough, or adding water just isn’t making the light effect I want, then I’ll add some pure black or white.
General coloring tips:
-Try shading with neutral colors (made with combining complimentary colors, i.e. blue and orange, red and green, etc.) to make shadows instead of black. This adds richness and dimension to your painting.
- If you must use black, try adding some pure color to it. I usually add some blue or purple to my blacks to give it a more velvety feel.