Color Crush Creative Palette 14: Softer Side

Hello Color Lover! I'm so glad to have you here with me on this journey. Another colorful week has arrived and we have worked our way around the color wheel during our Summer of Color. Each week we have been exploring a new concept in color theory to help you gain better color confidence. I hope you have found the information valuable so far and are willing to give yourself another challenge again this week as we soften things from our saturated palettes of the previous weeks to something more subdued.

All the Shades of Gray

Sometimes you can get muted colors right from a tube, but since we are all about understanding how color works and how to mix our own colors, I want you to practice this week mixing up all the muted colors or shades of gray you can think of and paint something on the "Softer Side'. Anything goes as long as you are NOT using any black from a tube to accomplish your color palette this week! Just put it away and watch some of the videos below to learn how to make beautiful grays!

First up Will Kemp Art School again..are you loving his videos? It's a wealth of information. In this video you learn how to make black by using primary colors and then he shows you what shades of gray you get when you tint them with white. Mixing your own blacks and grays will certainly make your paintings vibrant!

How to Mix Warm and Cool Black Acrylic Paint by Will Kemp Art School

Next we take a look at another artist I found that does a great job at explaining how we desaturate colors, or "gray" them to make a more neutral tint. Kevin McCain uses oil paint in the video, but the principles are the same for acrylic and similar for watercolor, minus the use of white. Let's take a look:

How to Mix Color: The Many Shades of Gray

And last, for the watercolorists, we turn back to Denise Soden with In Liquid Color. I like the style of her videos and the information is solid. I hope that her videos help you make better shades of gray and neutral colors in your watercolor paintings.

Color Mixing Series: Blacks by In Liquid Color

Art Supply Love

Here's a simple a solution to find a happy medium between watercolor and acrylic paint. These Acryla Gouache paints are like traditional gouache that dry to a matte finish and are opaque. However, unlike traditional gouache, the acrylic binder in the acrylic gouache makes it water resistant once dry. Like craft acrylics, they will stick to a variety of surfaces other than canvas and paper. This paint is typically used by watercolorists, cartoonists, illustrators, and artists using decorative or folk art techniques.

Maybe this is a good solution for you to find a product somewhere between traditional acrylic paint and watercolor to experiment with color mixing? And they are pretty affordable, too!

Holbein Acryla Gouache 12 Color Study Set

Do you need paper and brushes? Here are a few good affordable options for you for starting out:

Simply Simmons Value Brush Sets, Pure Spring Watercolor Set of 5

XL Watercolor pad by Canson, 9"x12", 30 sheets

Do you need paper and brushes? Here are a few good affordable options for you for starting out:

Color Theory: An essential guide to color-from basic principles to practical applications

Color: A Course in Mastering the Art of Mixing Colors by Betty Edwards

Join the *NEW* Color Crush Creative Club facebook group where we share, learn and grow together in a supportive community. Make your request HERE.

As we grow the Color Crush Creative community, those who stand out have a chance to be featured on Instagram or as the weekly featured artist. Those who subscribe to COLOR FOR YOUR INBOX will get the weekly color combination two days earlier than everyone else. Who doesn't want a two day jump start to play and post their colorful projects?

How to Have the Best Day Ever

Another week has come and gone and another chance at having the best week ever. And EVERY week is the best week ever because every week is another chance to love, laugh, live and breathe. But it takes work! Effort must be made every day to make it the best day in order to live your best life.

 I think everyone could use a little nudge, so today I am introducing “Best Day Ever”. These are six simple things to make your day a better day. If you have a happy day today, by the end of the week you’ll have a bunch of happy days and end up having the best week ever. Soon you will find you’ve had a few great weeks and before you know it you’ll have the happy life you’ve been looking for all along….simple mathematics.

These are my simple principles for letting go and leaning in to a better life....

1. Be in the moment. 

Every morning is an opportunity to wake with a fresh start. Let go of yesterday’s mistakes and tomorrow’s worries; you have a chance to get it right today. This is a new day full of possibilities – be present for it.

2. Approach others with objectivity. 

Scientists are responsible for putting aside their biases and beliefs to see the world as it really is. This is objectivity. Rather than being irritated, easily offended, stuck in your ways or judging others; choose open mindedness. Aren’t we all just trying to make our way through a chaotic world?

3. Accomplish something meaningful. 

You’ll feel better when you cross at least one thing off your to-do list and even better about the day if you make it meaningful. If you have goals and dreams, see yourself closer to them by doing something with purpose today.

4. Share the love. 

Take time to connect with the people in your life. The more love you give, the more love you have.

5. Go with gratitude. 

Say thank you, thank you, thank you for this day. When you focus all your thoughts on what’s right, even if it’s the smallest of goodness to be found, you cannot help changing your whole outlook. Gratitude will create a beautiful life.

6. Laugh often. 

Laugh out loud. Laugh until you can’t breathe. And don’t forget to smile while you’re at it….

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities,
in the expert’s mind there are few.
— Shunryu Suzuki

I've found a magical way to start off on the right foot every morning. I have fallen in love with poetry and inspirational reading. It makes my heart sing. Here are a few of my favorites from my reading list:

The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

Why I Wake Early: New Poems by Mary Oliver

Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Do you have any great words of wisdom to add? How do you have the best day ever? Please leave a comment below! or send me a message:

Color Crush Creative Palette 13: The Good Earth

Color Crush Creative Palette 13: The Good Earth

Yes, this week is all about green, what did you expect? And again I couldn't resist naming this week's palette after one of my other favorite books (maybe we'll get through all of them before the year is over!). This week is The Good Earth, named after Pearl S. Buck's famous novel.

We're rounding out the color wheel in our Summer of Color. First week was the entire rainbow, followed by the analogous colors of yellow-orange-red-magenta, then all the violet shades and last week was everyone's favorite and the easiest, blue. But this week we'll work on one of the more difficult colors to master. Don't be afraid of GREEN.

Color Crush Creative Palette 12: Cote d'Azur

Color Crush Creative Palette 12: Cote d'Azur

When is blue just blue? As we jump into our 4th week of The Color of Summer, an 8 week color theory program, we are going to explore everything blue. It's your favorite color, right? For most artists, this is usually the most used color, and yet there was a time that humans didn't even have a word for the color blue! In fact it was the Egyptians that were the first to manufacture a blue dye from lapis lazuli mined in the Afghan region. You can read more about the history of the color blue in this great web article HERE.

Color Theory Basics with Color Crush Creative

Color Theory Basics with Color Crush Creative

The science, history and art behind color is fascinating. It's a subject that never bores me, in fact I have dozens of books just on color alone. I could ramble for ages, but I'm going to assume that you just want the facts today. Color Theory is still an evolving idea of how we use, see and relate to color; even color can create controversy with its theories. For all intensive purposes we're going to stick with the basic color wheel originating from Sir Issac Newton with Red, Yellow and Blue as our primary colors. I'll leave the other theories for a discussion at a later date.

Color Crush Creative Palette 10: Southwest Heat

Color Crush Creative Palette 10: Southwest Heat

With the temperatures on the rise all across the world, it seems apropo to start with the warmest colors on our palette. Introducing "Southwest Heat", an analogous color scheme to help you familiarize yourself with yellow, orange, red and magenta and everything in between!

Now, let me give you some instructions to get you started. If you are not already color confident, your assignment is to just play. If you are color confident, your assignment is also to just play. Don't worry about making a painting. When was the last time you just let the paints splash on the page without a plan?

Color Crush Creative Palette 9: Roy G. Biv

Color Crush Creative Palette 9: Roy G. Biv

I think I take color for granted because I've been painting and working with color for over 25 years. Only after looking back at my early experience can I see where I started and how much of a struggle I went through to see color and understand how it works.

My goal is to help you feel good about creating and sharing your original art, to include color mixing, value, composition and technique. So, this week I am launching a special 8 week color project to focus on color education, mixing and creating with color confidently. Are you ready for a Summer of Color?

Minimal Abstract Love with Sara Sha

Minimal Abstract Love with Sara Sha

Sara Sha is a minimal abstract painter, print maker and surface designer from Capitola, California. Vibrant colors and strong, sweeping paint marks are the dominant characteristics of her works. If you're still shy to use bold color, then this is the artist to inspire you to take a big risk and learn to let go of fear. If you heed her approach to just have fun with it, it can really take the pressure off you when you face the blank canvas.

Color Crush Creative Palette 8 : Wild Wonderland

Color Crush Creative Palette 8 : Wild Wonderland

Can you believe we are moving into week 8 with this passion project? I have so many fun ideas and projects coming up for you this year. From ecourses, art tips and color mixing guides to more featured artists and exclusives for subscribers. This journey so far has been a great joy every week and I hope this week is no exception! Please continue to share your work and give @colorcrushcreative a boost by mentioning the account or tagging #colorcrushcreative for all colorful or creative posts on your own Instagram account and #cccpalette8 for this week's colors. Also don't hesitate to pin your favorite images from this blog to Pinterest!

Color Crush Creative Palette 6: Happy Home

Color Crush Creative Palette 6: Happy Home

I am so excited to bring you another great week of Color Crush! It's hard to believe how quickly our community and this color palette project is growing. Thank you so much to all who participate and continue to spread the word about all the color goodness we have going on. The more we share the better it will be for everyone. It means more opportunity for recognition, new creative friends to meet all over the world, inspiring ideas and advice, a chance to be the featured artist and even more surprises coming soon for active participants.