kristi johnston ARTWORKS

Information about current watercolor classes in Mansfield,MA: Kristi Johnston ARTWORKS. Classes for both children and adults. Recent completed watercolors and my thoughts about pieces in progress.View more of my work or contact me at

Friday, August 29, 2008

Color mixing

Several people have asked me about how to help their children be more successful when they set out to paint. I think the easiest way is to only offer 2 primary colors of paint and white. Then they can mix to their heart's content and it will be beautiful. Next time, give them a different set of primaries. For example, red, plus yellow will get you orange, and with white: peach, rose, cream, salmon, etc. Yellow plus blue will get you: green, yellow-green, turqoise, celery,.... Last but not least, is red plus blue: purple, fuschia, raspberry, mauve, ..... One word of caution, red is a very potent color, so a little goes very long way.

Now, anytime you mix all 3 primary colors, you will end up with some version of brown or gray. more red= brownish, more blue=grayish. When you are ready, try to make as many different variations of brown/gray that you can-this can be a fun project all on it's own!

One last thought- if you start with a secondary color- let's say green, and add the 3rd primary- in this case red, you will also get brown/gray. These colors are called compliments or opposites because they are opposite each other on the color wheel.Try it! It works for any of the combos.

Happy painting! Let me know how it turns out. Next time I'll talk about the different kinds of paints.