Try mixing a grey to learn about colour and to make subtle colours. Colour doesn’t shine without grey!

Using colours straight from the tube in a painting doesn’t usually result in a successful piece of work. Mixing colour is something to practice and gives you the opportunity to find what you like to work with.

Mixing a grey from the primary colours (red, yellow, blue) and adding white will give a vast range of greys which can be intensified by adding more of a single colour. For example a red grey can be made from mixing red, yellow, blue and white and then adding more red to make a subtle red.

If most of the colours used in a piece of work are made this way then colour harmony is easily achievable in a painting.

The short video below shows how this can be done using acrylic paint but any type of paint can be used.

It’s also worth trying different types of yellow, blue and red and recording the results in a sketchbook or on some loose paper so that you can recreate these colours at a later date.

We share more tips and ideas about colour in our online Painting & Drawing hour. Follow our Facebook page for details.