Dear Community,

I would like to share my experience and findings of investigating my pallet via color mixing exercise that was (honestly saying) two years delayed. 

When I had online course for landscape almost two years ago, instructor told us to do such kind of exercise (T.Zubova), but I did not do it then as I did not want to waste my precious paint. 

Well, two years later after the class when I felt stuck with color I finally decided that I need to do this exercise and use it as catalogue of colors what My paints can do. 

First discovery (even I had some expectations) blew my mind on what greens I can produce. Greens in landscape are usually the biggest challenge ever, now I know why exactly I cannot buy all the greens that I can meet in nature in the tube. 

Second discovery was that  destroyed my status-quo on color understanding was mixes of yellows and reds and what beauty was hiding from me inside my paint tubes. Now I am seriously thinking to try a floral painting again. 

Let me please share what I did as I used two different approaches in the exercise. 

 1. Greens and Ultramarine. 

I wanted to observe color transition between mixes when in the range.  So I used a pallet knife to see color change as I mixed between left and right. Since these research colors were dark out of tube I also made a sample of equal quantities Color 1 x Color 2 x Titanium White. (proportion 1:1:1)  This is where my discovery was hiding as it gave me full set of realistic greens for all possible applications. 

2. Warm colors.

For warm colors I decided to omit the range mixing and just did Color 1 x Color 2.  Then I thought let me add equal proportion of white to see what I get. The gentle pinks and oranges that I discovered with adding TW are just gorgeous. 

The pure color which was used for mixes learning diagonal row is just a color of interest  with TW to see how it behaves with addition of the white to it. 

Another discovery was about strength of the pigments in mixes and I realized that yellow ochre is a weak pigment and to use it as yellow in landscapes I will need more of it and also it gives a wonderful sandy color.  

Practical application: this is the catalogue that I will look at when I need to color match something with reality if I paint something from nature still life or plein-air. 

Although color mixes I usually do have more than mix of two colors this is a wonderful starting point to understand color mixing better. 


I encourage everyone to try and share your discoveries with Community. 


Disclaimer: Dear beginner artists I absolutely regret that I did not do this exercise earlier. I understand it may sound boring. It also takes 2-3 hours to make mixes I did  per panel of colors.  I also understand that in Bob Ross method this is not really discussed, but when you progress in your painting  path you will be willing to absorb more knowledge about materials you have on hands. This is the reason behind I truly encourage everyone to try no matter at what skill level one is and especially beginners to build a strong foundation in color mixing.  ( I was thinking I am at medium level of color mixing, and boy I was wrong about it, I need to step back and re-assess)