Using Colour

It is important that you understand the colour wheel in order to be able to mix colours.

The colour wheel:
Primary colours (red, yellow, blue)
Secondary colours (orange, green, purple)

Tints and tones must be mixed in order to create the illusion of form in a painting. It is important to recognise the temperature of a colour in order to create an atmospheric painting or to describe a mood or a feeling. For example, warm colours include reds, oranges and yellows.

Some painting tips…

  • Paint the background first. This can be done using a wash, which is a very watery mixture of paint.
  • Work from the background to the foreground, saving any detail until last.
  • Add highlights to the objects in your painting as a final touch.


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