Mixing your own black – using complementary colors

A few days ago I have read again an article, which paints on the palette each beginner would need. Mentioned was also the colour black.
It doesn’t matter if you paint with oil or watercolors – you should also try to mix your own black.

Especially for beginners it will be more helpful to know what the colors can do for them. They will learn more about color mixing without using the black out of a tube.

When I started with painting I also bought my tube of black, but I also learned how easy it is to mix rich and deep and colourful black.

Of course there is nothing wrong with using black out of the tube. I only suggest, that you should know about your possibilities and that you should know the difference between your own mixed black or the black out of the tube.

I mix my own black with Alizarin Crimson, Phthalo Green and/or Phthalo blue. Mixing your own black also allows you to mix a warm or a cool black by adding more of the Alizarin or more of the Phthalo Green or Phthalo Blue.
If the black of a tube is overused your darks will become dull and muddy. If you mix it by your own you will see the colors dancing before your eyes

If you want to grey down a color (maybe your red is too strong) you also don’t need the tube of black, simply add to this color (here maybe red) a bit of its complementary color (green).

Complementary colors are:

Red – green

green – red

blue – orange

orange – blue

yellow – purple

purple – yellow

Simply try it out, if you love the black of your tube or if you love it more, when you mix it by yourself.

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