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October 18, 2007
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Practical Colors Tutorial by KelliRoos Practical Colors Tutorial by KelliRoos
Practical Traditional Paint Color Mixing Tutorial

I made this with my watercolors, but it can be used as a guide for acrylic paints and oil paints.

I had a very hard time with watercolors for a very long time. When I started reading websites and books on some color mixing techniques, it started to click. This is my small contribution to the community that will hopefully be of some value.

Update 28-10-07
Tweaked some readability issues
Gave some suggestions on other common names for the paints I recommended
Added a mini description on how to mix color progression samples

Additional Resources
New to watercolors? Check out this news article for some great dA resources.
handprint - an exhaustive watercolor resource
Don't know the names of your colors? try these steps and discover the perfect mix of your colors.

---

EDIT OMG a DD?! I am honored that =IBinsanity and ^bleedsopretty felt this would be valuable to share in this manner.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2007-10-23
It seems on dA that people who want to learn painting can be overwhelmed with tutorials that presume a foreknowledge of colour theory, and most of the colour theory tutorials on dA are very technical. Practical Colors Tutorial by *leftyfro assumes no previous learning - it's nice, simple, basic, and very in-depth, teaching how to mix any colour that the average painting student would ever need. ( Suggested by tiganesc and Featured by bleedsopretty )
:icontaimdala:
taimdala Featured By Owner Edited Feb 15, 2015
VERY NICE!!! Thank you so much for posting this. Amazing! (And I love the cartoon character. ~_^)
Reply
:iconwhimsywitchstudios:
WhimsyWitchStudios Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2015  Student General Artist
I work in an art supply shop, so I had to learn all of this when I started out. I love the fact that you included the detail about the different names of colours under different companies. It's a really important tip! Fantastic job! :)
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:iconstaarpiece:
staarpiece Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Excellent tutorial! Wish I had this when I was first starting out with traditional painting! :)
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:iconpizzapotatonbacon:
PizzaPotatoNBacon Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2014  Student General Artist
Excellent tutorial; easy to follow and understand, and gives beginners some great information. :D
Reply
:iconobebradford:
ObeBradford Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
This is brilliant. Thank you. :)
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:iconwannabeartist65:
wannabeartist65 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
this is so simple and easy to understand! thank you so much. This will be my bible. I was able to print it after all.
Reply
:iconwannabeartist65:
wannabeartist65 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
this looks amazing to me. I am just beginning watercolour and the colour mixing is very confusing. is it possible for me to print this or to get a copy of it. I cant seem to do that in this format.
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:iconliluskitten:
LiluSkitten Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013  Student Digital Artist
This was very helpful! I am a digital artist and I am trying my hand at watercolor, so I understand color balance... but this opened my eyes a bit more!

Thanks for the help!
Reply
:iconhaimokochan:
haimokochan Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013  Student General Artist
Very helpful.
Reply
:iconthroughdifferenteyes:
ThroughDifferentEyes Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You have no idea how helpful this is XD
Reply
:iconlittleasura:
LittleAsura Featured By Owner May 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Could this work also for cake paints? I'm afraid that the color won't be as vivid as that, and it'll leave a very pale and vague mark instead of a vibrant color.
Reply
:iconuser-404:
User-404 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
very useful!
Reply
:iconnekogirl29:
NekoGirl29 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I always have that moment when working with Acrylics where i mix the wrong color.

Hopefully this will help with that.
Reply
:iconcharmed-ravenclaw:
Charmed-Ravenclaw Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Featured here: [link]
Reply
:iconthe-tiger-thief:
The-Tiger-Thief Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Student Writer
This is been quite helpful. Thanks for sharing this :)
Reply
:iconpixarjunkie:
pixarjunkie Featured By Owner May 9, 2012
this is so simple and wonderful. thank you for posting this!!
Reply
:iconlamorghana:
lamorghana Featured By Owner May 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
very very good. thanks
Reply
:iconsparkleshitoflunes:
sparkleshitoflunes Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow. Thanks a lot! :)
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:iconrphugo:
rphugo Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You put it so simply =)
I've always wanted to try traditional paint, but it's so intimidating.
I like the 'progressive color sample' picture, i've always wondered how people mixed paint systematically.

Thank you for this^^
Reply
:iconneosun7:
Neosun7 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012
This is very helpful! Thank you!
Reply
:iconmjnarrance:
mjnarrance Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks!
Sincerely, A Painting Noob.
Reply
:iconkaizokushojo:
KaizokuShojo Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011   Traditional Artist
This is useful! I'm not good with colours at all, but I do want to try some painting!
Reply
:iconshu-ming:
shu-ming Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for this tutorial! :)
Reply
:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
you're welcome! :-)
Reply
:iconzmma:
Zmma Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2011
thanks
Reply
:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
welcome! :thanks:
Reply
:iconnouta777:
Nouta777 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011
Wow, this is amazingly inspiring somehow. I totally lost the will to find beautiful colors and put them together to form pictures in the mind and I think this tutorial has given me confidence in colors that may boost my artistic value once again! Thanks :D
Reply
:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh I'm glad you enjoy it. :nod: Yes, it's one thing that people struggle with (I know, I struggled too) getting over the frustration of color mixing gave me lots of confidence :nod:
Reply
:iconsaratee41:
SaraTee41 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2010   Digital Artist
this helps so much, thank youuu!!
c:
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm so glad! :) Let me know if you have questions.
Reply
:iconlorna-rosefox:
Lorna-RoseFoX Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Sweet
not used a paint brush in ages thanks a heap ^^
Reply
:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm glad it's a help, thanks! :D
Reply
:iconlorna-rosefox:
Lorna-RoseFoX Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Its good to get feedback from artist as most don't they just ingore lol
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes. Sometimes I am too busy to reply, but I read all comments. I want to help people when I can, I know I need support when I make art, so I want to support others too. :-)
Reply
:iconlorna-rosefox:
Lorna-RoseFoX Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Totally true and I do my best to help when is requested to do so :meow:
Reply
:iconlorna-rosefox:
Lorna-RoseFoX Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh certainly I don't expect people to help at drop at the hat like a spoiled brat as there is more to life then the internet such as been with friends and uni work.
And thats nice of you to help when you can I try to help other fellow artists if I can.
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
:nod: that's great! Support ourselves and others is a great thing! ^^
Reply
:iconlorna-rosefox:
Lorna-RoseFoX Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Yush as in this era of millenium its not always easy to get simple help
not saying its all bad lol
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:iconbhora:
bhora Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010
I would have given you a DD! ^_^ It's wonderful! Now adding to my BEST TUTORIALS EVER collection. You did all this work so I don't have to... thank you :D
Reply
:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
oh thank you! I'm just so happy others see the value in it and use it to share. :heart:
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:iconmaluka:
maluka Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2010
I 'll use that! tnx!
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:iconcoffeekarena:
CoffeeKarena Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
Wow thanks for sharing. This is really helpful.
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
It's my pleasure. :-)
Reply
:icongreenfroggies:
greenfroggies Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2010   General Artist
Thanks for putting this up, it's great :)
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
so glad it works for you. thanks :-)
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:iconluisarafidi:
LuisaRafidi Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010
This is very useful, thanks!
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm so glad! :-)
Reply
:iconsilvertales:
silvertales Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2010
Brand new to watercolors and this was recc'ed to me by a friend. Thank you so much for such a helpful guide! I'm pretty proficient in other media, and watercolors leave me quite frustrated, but this is incredibly helpful! :)
Reply
:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
oh good, I'm so glad! :D Yes, mixing the colors is a big hurdle with this media, but once you have that down, I think peopl can explore what it can really do. Let me know if you have anymore questions. :-)
Reply
:iconsilvertales:
silvertales Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2010
Hi again... I hope you don't mind, but I have a question and wonder if I might ask for some advice.

I'm in the middle of working on a second watercolor piece, I'm afraid I still don't have a handle on creating nice, even washes. I'm trying to create a yellow-to-light purple-to-deep purpley/blue/nighttime gradient in a radiating pattern and what I have so far is streaky and has really harsh, delineated lines, clear evidence of my colors drying faster than I can get a handle on them. Any advice on how to salvage it?
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