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

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