top of page

Colour mixing for mixed-media

Updated: Jun 29, 2022

A few weeks ago someone asked me a question (which probably came as a reaction to my enthusiastic posts on Instagram where I shared my recent colour mixes).

The question was simple: But why would you mix your own acrylic colours if you can get any colour you like already mixed in a tube?

The question made me realise that clearly something that is obvious to me doesn’t have to be so obvious to everyone else. So let me tell you my reasons…

Even with only three tubes of paint plus black and white you instantly get endless possibilities, but it's when you get yourself six colours with different bias plus black and white, when the real fun kicks in. Your painting world suddenly gets very exciting and every colour mix that you make, every new colour that you create is fully yours. This gives me beautiful satisfaction before I even start painting.

If you aren’t sure about colour biases, watch this video from Jamie as he explains it very well:

When I make my own colours I fall in love with almost every mix. Seriously, I'm not exaggerating! Even those mixes that to many would look like some sort of mistake, instantly turn my creativity on and I can already see some delicious uses for them. The more colours I mix the more I want to mix. Once I start I don't want this process to end. But mixing gives me not only inspiration but also priceless knowledge. This is that kind of knowledge that comes only from experiments and trial. There are things that you can read in a book, things that you can understand by looking at the colour wheel, but there are also things that you'll get only by trying them.

If you've never tried mixing your own colours then I think you are in for a big big treat.

Here's a quick idea to start: Choose any colour you like (I usually can't resist starting each palette with Cad. Red) plus white and then same colour plus black. Try different proportions and quantities and you will be amazed at how many colours you can get (and how much you are going to love them!!). Getting them straight in a tube may be easier but will never give you same pleasure. It's like buying bread from a supermarket and making your own homemade bread. :)

If you would like to learn a lot more about colour, our Colour Confidence Masterclass might be just the ticket for you! You will learn a whole bunch of new knowledge, skills and techniques to give you the confidence to mix colours, create jaw dropping colour palettes and intuitively pick out colour schemes from he world around you, with so much more jam-packed into this course.

Click the button below to find out more and enrol on the course!

1 comment


This is so true! I learnt to mix the primaries in watercolour and whilst it's easy to use straight from a premix, it's not as "fun" and freeing. Thank you for reminding me, that making "mud* is all part of the process.

bottom of page