DIY ART 01 // picking your paint palette

I've been loving Erica's recent series of art-related tutorials -- especially the ones that discuss which materials to get! Art supplies are expensive, and art stores can be really overwhelming, so I decided to share some tips on choosing paint colors if you want to get into painting.

Setting up your palette is really important. If you have a good set of colors to work with, you can create pretty much any color you can envision.

And there are some colors that are so easy to make (I'm looking at you, orange!), that it's kind of silly to spend money on them. Better to mix up the perfect shade for yourself!

I love painting with acrylics, and I especially like Golden Heavy Body Artist Acrylics. The photos below show Golden Open Acrylics, which dry in hours instead of in minutes, but the color principles for choosing a palette apply to really any type of acrylic paint.

My plan when buying paints is to do two things: purchase some basic neutrals that can be combined with any color, and get a cool and warm version of each of the primary colors.

THE BASIC NEUTRALS:
These are are nice because they are cheap and great for mixing. White and black tend to be crucial for me, followed by yellow ochre. The two darker browns are especially good for getting skin or earth tones right.

WHITE - I like Titanium White and, as you can see in the photo, I run through it really fast. If you're going to buy a larger sized tube of any color, this should be the one!

BLACK - either Mars Black or Paynes Gray

BURNT UMBER - a very dark, reddish brown

YELLOW OCHRE - a light orangey neutral

BURNT SIENNA - a lighter reddish-brown

PRIMARY COLOR VARIATIONS:
Yellow, red, and blue are the primary colors, but when picking paints, I like to get two of each: one that has a warmer (red or orange) tone and one that has a coolor (green or blue) tone.

COOL YELLOW - Hansa Yellow Light

WARM YELLOW - I like Diarylide Yellow, although I also use Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue (which is a more neutral yellow) a lot.

WARM RED - Pyrrole Red or Cadmium Red Medium Hue

COOL RED - Quinacridone Magenta

WARM BLUE -  Ultramarine Blue or Cobalt Blue

COOL BLUE - Manganese Blue Hue

WHY THE DUPLICATED COLORS?
Getting a warm and a cool version of each primary color makes it really easy to mix the secondary colors: orange, purple, and green.

It makes more sense when you arrange the paints in a circle.
If you mix each pair of neighboring paints together, you'll be able to mix the secondary colors and a more neutral version of each primary color.
Voila!

Once you get started painting, you'll quickly figure out which colors you tend to use a lot, and which ones you aren't really drawn to. If you find one color that you are constantly mixing, it may be worth seeing if there is a bottled version of that paint.

For me, that color is definitely turquoise! (Proof, proof, proof, and more proof!)

xo Diana
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