How to Mix Colors

Now and then we receive a question that we feel like our readers would enjoy knowing the answer to as well. With permission, we share the following from a reader, Carey. She says…

Q: I found a great acrylics tutorial for kids, but it needs two colors we don’t have and I don’t have time to go out and get them before tomorrow afternoon. The tutorial uses “Hooker’s green,” lime green and “a brighter green” (she doesn’t give a specific name). We have Viridian green, yellow, raw sienna, burnt umber, bright red, and titanium white (no black). Can we mix what we’ve got to get what we need?

The Joy of Mixing Paint Colors Nana says…

A: Carey, I am pleased that you took your time to ask our opinion about mixing paint colors for your projects. Unfortunately, there is not a hard and fast rule for our paint colors…if I say in a tutorial to use a “bright green” paint color, then that is an invitation to the teacher or to the student artist to use a color that is bright green to him, or a color that is pleasing to him. I do NOT ascribe to trying to paint like the teacher; I have found that through years and years of art lessons that sometimes the instructor forces his or her choices of colors and techniques on a student and virtually kills all the spontaneous joy of painting!

A “teal” blue can be mixed to match whatever the instructor wants, but why not let the student experiment with color and have a joyful time painting that blue sky? Use the colors of paint that you have in small amounts…in fact, have a lesson on what colors mixed together result in another color? Relax, take a deep breath and enjoy the opportunity that you are giving your children to enjoy and express themselves!

And, Carey…be sure to tell your students our motto: “You ARE and artist!”

~ Nana

Acrylics Plus Links to Tutorials: Details on the canvases and paints we use, how and where to purchase, and links to all of Nana’s acrylic lessons. Nana also teaches pastel lessons (50+ free lessons now) are all contained in the post Pastels plus links to tutorials.


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