How to Mix-matching Colors?

Colors that are bold and bright are the foundation of any beautiful work of art, but mixing your colors from scratch when you first start painting can be daunting. The colors that you use to bring your painting to life are also important to think about. Choosing the right colors for your painting is crucial because colors communicate a lot of emotion in a painting. You can unlock a hallucinogenic world of color with Mixing colors guide and bring any dream of your imagination to life on the canvas with just three primary colors.

If you’re starting painting, you’ll probably only have a few different color tubes. It is fine as long as you have the three primary colors (red, yellow, and blue), which you can use to create any color you want. Discover the fundamentals of color theory and the joys of color mixing here with the Mixing colors guide below:

Artistry’s Building Blocks Are The Three Primary Colors

Having a warm and cool shade of each of your primary colors is recommended to mix secondary and tertiary colors much easier. These are the ones you’re looking for:

  • Yellow Cadmium (warm yellow containing a little red)
  • Yellow Lemon (cool yellow containing a little blue)
  • Cadmium Red (warm red containing a little yellow)
  • Crimson Alizarin (cool red containing a little blue)
  • Ultramarine (warm blue containing a little red)
  • Phthalo Blue (cool blue containing a little yellow)

Step Up to Secondary Colors

You can start experimenting with secondary colors now that you’ve mastered your primary colors. Green, purple, and orange are secondary colors created by combining two primary colors. The amount of each base color you use determines the exact shade of your secondary color. You can make these secondary colors by mixing the primary colors listed below:

  • Purple is a combination of red and blue (preferably the warm shade of each)
  • Orange is a combination of red and yellow (once again, preferably the warm shades)
  • Green is a combination of blue and yellow (this time, the cool shades are ideal)

Colors of the Tertiary Spectrum

On the surface, tertiary colors are similar to secondary colors; however, they represent the various colors obtained by varying the ratios of your primary colors. You can make a wide range of tertiary colors by mixing a secondary color with a little more of one primary color. When creating a natural-looking image, these colors are essential because they can transition between different colors. There are six tertiary colors, each of which can be altered by varying the number of their composite colors:

  • Blue-green
  • Yellow-orange
  • Red-purple
  • Yellow-green
  • Blue-purple
  • Red-orange

Colors That Go Together

On the color wheel, these colors are opposed. When two complementary colors are placed next to each other, they appear to be brighter. Green complements red, yellow complements purple, and orange complements blue.

Split-complementary colors are another color scheme that works similarly. Use the colors that surround your chosen one rather than the one directly opposite it. Split-complementary colors have the same effect as complementary colors, but they’re a little more subtle.

Colors that are similar

Analogous color schemes use three colors next to each other, rather than reaching across the color wheel like complementary colors. Because the colors are closely related, using an analogous color scheme creates a harmonious effect. An analogous color arrangement is when red, orange, and yellow are used to paint a bouquet.

Colors in a Triadic Pattern

A triadic arrangement of colors is recommended if you want a vibrant and eye-catching color combination in your painting. Colors evenly spaced on the color wheel, such as purple, green, and orange, make up triadic arrangements.

Colors That Are Difficult to Mix

If you’ve ever tried color mixing, you’ll know that some colors, particularly brown and grey, are difficult to get right. Both of these colors are compound tertiary colors. You can make them by mixing all of the primary colors. The proportions of each primary color make a difference.


We’re sure you’re sick of hearing “practice and experiment” when learning to paint, but it’s a point that can’t be overstated with the Mixing colors guide, especially when it comes to mixing colors. With a little practice, you’ll be able to make any color you want.

Key takeaways:

  • If one of your colors is a little too intense, add a little brown or a small amount of its complementary color to tone it down.
  • A more natural effect on your canvas can be achieved by leaving a small amount of variation in your mixed colors.
  • Instead of black, use a dark blue (like Ultramarine) or red (like Burnt Umber) to darken a color, as black can make your color look muddy.