Wednesday, September 7, 2011


For many years I had wanted to learn the art of oil painting on canvas. However, it just seemed to intimidate me  Why? Because I felt it was important to learn the art of mixing color in order to feel comfortable painting. I took a few private lessons from a relative who is a fantastic artist, but the colors just weren't quite correct in the painting that I first did. 

Of course, I also chose a harder than life subject to paint which didn't help(lol). I was a bit discouraged so didn't pick up a brush for awhile. I didn't have my own oil paint and supplies at the time, so decided to wait until I could invest in those before attempting another painting.

I had been mentally absorbing Mr. Bob Ross' technique for years through viewing his programs on public TV and was anxious to see what I could do with it. Since learning to oil paint had been a lifetime goal, I decided to take the plunge and order the supplies needed to get started.

Through Dick Blick mail order art supplies I ordered everything I needed to get started including the Bob Ross master paint set. I was very excited to get started and actually completed my first masterpiece in about 4 hours!  Then a few days later painted another and and then several more.

My family and friends were so impressed they started comissioning paintings from me.

One thing is missing here though. Bob Ross doesn't teach the art of mixing oil color in the master paint set. So now, I still didn't know how to mix various colors of paint. Several other TV series featured oil color artists who kept mentioning that they only use 3-5 colors of paint, then mix any color under the rainbow with those colors. However, they never did teach how to accomplish that.

Finally, I got an email one day from an artist in Australia who was giving a live video showing over the internet about mixing oil color. I had my own  color mixing chart, but really needed a bit more mentoring to figure it out so I watched the video. It was absolutely enlightening.

I'm going to share with you today some of what I learned about mixing oil  color. Part 1 will be featured this week, with several other parts to follow each week until complete.


Below is a chart showing the three primary colors; Red, Yellow, Blue. In Oil paint that would represent, Cadium Red, Cadium Yellow and French Ultramarine Blue. These three colors are from which ALL others are made.
Now if you mix these primary colors together in various combinations they will make up SECONDARY colors; orange green and violet.

Then by mixing various combinations of these secondary colors, you will create six INTERMEDIATE colors and so on.

Next week in Part 2 I will be sharing some information on how to mix the intermediate colors, as well as, how to create tints, tones and shades from the colors that you've mixed.

It's a beautiful fall day here in Iowa, a great day to paint a picture. However, I will have to do that another day as I must get outdoors to finish painting the exterior of my house. Have a great day everyone!


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