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.


  • At 5:52 PM, Anonymous dryadart said…

    hey kristi, thanks for visiting my blog... maybe I should send my college students to read this post!!!

  • At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Kristi, Thank you for sharing this tip with me when I visited your shop. I did what you stated and because my daughter could see more than the big brown spot (after mixing all the colors) she started to paint longer and really seems to be exploring her creativity. Thank you again. Angie

  • At 8:46 PM, Blogger Kristi said…

    I'm so glad to hear your daughter is enjoying her painting sessions more. Thank you for letting me know. Stay tuned for more art projects for both kids and adults!


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