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I hope you find this guide to colour mixing useful. 

I'd love to welcome you to a lesson soon. Please use

the code THANKYOU to receive £5 off any class.



Choosing your Pigments for your Palette.

I remember when I was secondary school teacher, our lovely first year students would be so disappointed during colour mixing class. 

It went like this- we would give everyone "Primary Red" and "Primary" Blue powder paint (Mainstream Academy Schools in London don't have the fancy materials!) and tell them to mix it together to make purple. 

Primary Red and Primary Blue make Secondary Purple, right? Well, right! But unfortunately , not that lovely  vibrant purple that they hoped for. Which ever primary red we used had just too much of an orange hue to create a pinky purple and our primary blue was just too cool-toned.

The Pigments were just not the right pigments for the Job. And this can be an issue for all artists. 

At Artanda, I created these handy pigment guides which help us choose the right pigments for what we want to paint. I recommend categorizing the paints in your kit in a similar way, so you can easily pick the right pigment for the job. 

For example, If I want to mix a purple, I can choose a blue pigment that I feel is closer to the purple on my colour wheel, as opposed to the green. 

Now where I place these colours on the colour wheel depends on how I see the colour, and everyone sees colour in a different way! In fact, I've noticed that when I cover my right eye the colours look way warmer than when I cover my left eye! Mysterious! My experience of colour is different depending on which eye I use. 

I created these charts by making swatches of every colour in my painting kit. I cut out the swatches and arranged them against a colour wheel, trying to work out which colour to either side of the colour wheel the colour was closest too. For example, some yellows contain more green and other contain more orange. By categorizing my paints ahead of my practice it makes it easier for me to choose the pigments I want during the practice. 


Life is often so busy, we forget to look closely! A key-part of choosing the right colours for your palette is truly seeing them! Black and white are good examples of this.


When painting an image with a white wall, we often leave this un-painted. In reality, there are so many subtle hues within the white!

Black is always interesting in painting. Unless we are using Anish Kapoor's Vantablack, our black paint is reflecting light, and as a result will have a particular hue!


At Artanda classes, we always try to identify a yellow, blue and red hue- regardless of the subject! We can always find a tiny hint of these colours present, even if their chroma (vibrancy) is very low!

Mixing Your

Now you have your palette and you know which colours you need, how do you mix them? 

Let's say you are trying to mix a sea-green. In your palette you have chosen a red, yellow and blue pigment , using your pigment choosing chart. 

Your Sea-Green colour is closest to the blue pigment, so you can take a little of this colour to mix. 


Using your colour wheel, ask yourself whether your desired colour (sea green) contains more purple or more green than your blue pigment. 

In the case of the sea green , this is simple. You will need to make your pigment greener to match the desired colour. 

You could do this by mixing in green paint, or by adding yellow (as yellow and blue make green)

Once you have mixed these colours, you ask yourself again, is this colour too green or still not green enough?

If it is too green, you can add a little more blue or a little purple/red (the other direction on the colour wheel) to balance things out. 

To make it lighter- add a little water. To make it darker- add a little black (but note that you will need to rebalance the colour as black has it's own hue)

I hope you find this mini-guide useful! Of course, we will explore colour further in class!

Want to Learn More?

Contemplation of Colour is the Second-Stage of the Artanda Mindful Painting Method.


Mindful Painting has truly transformed my relationship to creativity and teaching it is my joy.


Whether through In-Person and Live Online Classes , I would love to share more about Mindful Painting with you and help you establish and develop your own Mindful Painting Practice. 

I hope to see you in class soon (don't forget to use your £5 THANKYOU coupon! )

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