I feel like mixing colours is a lost art among coloured pencil artists, but it’s something that I think is absolutely necessary to learn and understand how it applies to coloured pencil work.
If you have taken any kind of art subject in your school days, you’re sure to have been taught how to mix colours with most paint types. Yet, when it comes to coloured pencil, a lot of people are at a loss as to how to achieve some really unique colours. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that coloured pencils are extremely hard to blend and “mix”.
Colour theory and understanding how different colours work is absolutely essential, especially if you’re working with a limited palette or limited supplies. And understanding how you can apply this to coloured pencil can be so beneficial and can help you produce even more beautiful work.
If you follow my tutorials, you’ll often hear be going on about adding purple to orange to “really make it pop” or adding a little bit of blue or purple to browns to create a really rich black tone.
One of the best things I think you can do is invest, or make, a colour wheel and mixing chart. This can be quite time consuming but you’re going to reap the rewards when it comes to colouring your final pieces. By creating a colour wheel, you can best determine which colours are going to make others “pop”, like that orange and purple I always go on about. You can also determine complimentary colours and develop a successful, harmonious colour scheme which plays well with the eye.
A mixing chart is also extremely helpful. It takes a long time to complete but is entirely worth it as it will take all the guess work out of colour combinations for the future. Don’t have the right toned brown for a certain area? Consult your mixing chart to see which colours you can combine to create your own, unique brown tone.
Of course, you don’t have to make either of these, there are loads which you can buy online if you don’t fancy taking the time for the project. If you’re new to coloured pencil however, this can be an invaluable exercise as it helps acquaint you with your coloured pencils.
I am in the process of creating a free tutorial on creating a mixing chart so if you fancy giving it a go, have a look online for now.