How to Blend Paint Colors


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What is the blending paint technique?

If the terms "mixed" and "mix" make you think of a real kitchen blender, then you are a little behind when it comes to mixing colors because your goal is not to mix the colors completely.

In contrast, with painting, mixing colors means creating an area between two colors where they gradually blend, so that a smooth transition from one color to another is obtained. The size of this area depends entirely on what you are painting. It can be a narrow and relatively fast transition or a slow and wide transition. Whatever suits the topic.

As with paint swatches, this is a good time to mix swatches in a sketchbook, both for practice and later reference. Mixing colors is something that gets easier as you do it, and it won't be long before you do it without consciously thinking about it. So let's take the first step.

Take the first step

Once you have the two colors you want to blend into your painting, move the brush back and forth from one color to the other and vice versa. Do it in a zigzag, as if you were painting a Z.

You may have a moment of panic when you start mixing. This "oh no, what did I do, I messed up the colors" panic. Especially if you mix a dark or strong color with a light color. Don't worry, the situation will momentarily get worse before it gets better.

Tip: Take a moment to clean the paint off your brush before you start blending. Or start with a clean, dry brush. This way, you won't add extra paint to that spot in your paint with the brush.

Once you have taken the first step, continue.

Be gentle

Mix the two colors. Do it slowly. Back and forth, top to bottom. Use both sides of the brush, do not flip it over. Just stop and pull the brush in the other direction. The bristles of the brush will follow.

Avoid going sideways, at least initially. You want there to be more of one color on one side than the other; you don't want the colors to blend evenly over the entire area. So in this example, the goal is for there to be more yellow to the left of the combined area and browner to the right. It may seem obvious to you, but if your blending isn't working well, check which way you're moving your brush.

If you have mixed too much

Disaster! You have mixed one color with the other too much. You may think that everything is ruined, but it is not. What to do if this happens is to pick up some fresh paint of the color that might have been lost (in this case, yellow). Then go back to the blending area from the outside (the area where the color is not mixed).

Tip: Choose a color that is less fresh than you think you need. Usually, it doesn't take much to restore balance, and it's easy to regain a little more if necessary.

Whatever you do, don't despair. You can always do it over and over again. And with a little practice, you will get wonderfully blended colors.

The finished product

As oil paints dry slowly, you have plenty of time to blend your colors perfectly. However, with acrylics, you should work quickly before the paint dries (unless you are using a slower drying form of acrylic or adding a spreading medium). If the paint dries before mixing to your satisfaction, add new paint on top of what you've already done and start over. By practicing the paint you use, you can achieve perfectly matched colors without thinking too much (if at all).

You may not feel like doing it when you first try it, but you will feel it quickly. Eliminate stress while learning to mix by practicing in a painting sketchbook instead of the actual painting.

Tip: If you want to remove brush marks from paint, use a soft, dry brush to tickle the surface.

Enjoy The Video Tutorial about How to blend color for beginners!


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