|How to Mix Clean Violets|
- Not understanding colour theory properly.
- Following a colour wheel diagram that does not display the true primary colours.
- Using the mixture of any red, yellow or blue to mix green, purple or orange.
- Having insufficient pigments in the artist’s arsenal to produce the desired colour mixes.
Muddy colours often result when the artist mixes two colours that are not really primary colours. A true primary colour is one that cannot be made by the mixture of any other colour mix and is close to the purity of scattered light. Traditional art books purport these to be red, yellow and blue. But take the example of blue colours, of which there are many varieties, including:
- Ultramarine blue
- Cobalt blue
- Prussian blue
- Cerulean blue
- Pthalo blue
- Winsor blue
See my Youtube clip explaining color theory
What is Primary Red?
Take the other counterpart in a purple mix, red, and here lies the same problem. Many pigments are considered “red,” including cadmium red, vermillion, crimson lake, alizarin crimson and permanent rose but not any “red” is a primary colour. Cadmium red has a lot of yellow in it and alizarin has a violet quality. Again, I have found permanent rose to be closest to a primary red, as it is similar to the “magenta” of printing ink.
How to Get Clean Purples
Since cadmium red is biased towards yellow and so is cerulean blue, the mixture of this “red” and “blue” will collectively have a lot yellow in it. It would really be like mixing red, yellow and blue rather than just red and blue. Small wonder if the mixture turns out brown or grey rather than purple. The same problem arises when mixing ultramarine, which has a violet cast, with cadmium yellow, which has an orange bias, to get green. The result turns out a brownish green.
What are the Primary Colours of Oil Paint?
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