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Video:How to Mix Paints

with Marco Cutrone

Learning how to mix paints can elevate the quality of your painting. Watch this About.com video to learn how to mix paints like the professionals.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Mix Paints

Hi, I’m Marco Cutrone here for About.com. Today, I'm going to talk about how to mix paints. 

There are seemingly endless possibilities for mixing paints. It can be challenging to do for beginners who are less familiar with the properties of paints. Before you begin, it is important to understand the basics. 

The Paint's Properties

To get started, add dark paints to lighter paints, not the other way around. It only takes a small amount of dark paint to change lighter paint. However, it can take a large quantity of lighter paint to change darker paint. 

You also want to make sure that you add opaque paint to transparent paint, rather than adding the transparent color the the opaque one. An opaque color is often stronger than the transparent one, so add a small amount of the opaque paint to the transparent base until you reach the desired color. 

Single Pigment Mixing

For rich, intense color, or chroma, select paint that is made using a single pigment not blending pigments. This will ensure that you are only mixing two colors instead of paints that are already a mixture of colors. Many paints will list the pigments used on the label of the paint.

Mixing a Gray or Brown Paint Color

When you are trying to mix a gray or brown color, you can do so by blending complimentary colors, such as yellow and purple or orange and blue. When doing this, choose colors that you have already used in your painting. For example, if you are using blue and orange to make brown, select a blue paint and orange paint that you have already included in your palette. 

You can experiment with how much you mix your paints together. You can mix your paints thoroughly, however, stop just before they are completely blended. This will created a slightly inconsistent color.

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