The theory of color mixing is often considered a tough job to do but in reality, if you have full knowledge about it then it is one of the easiest and joyful parts in the world of painting. The theory of color mixing in a painting is based upon on one fundamental rule.
This fundamental rule is that there are 3 basic colors which cannot be made by mixing colors but these 3 colors are used to make almost every other variation. These 3 basic colors are red, blue and yellow. For instance, mixing yellow and blue will result in green color, blue and red will provide purple, yellow and red will give orange and so on. There are infinite combinations that can be made using these 3 basic colors.
Mixing 2 primary colors together will give you a secondary color and mixing three primary colors will give you a tertiary color. Another interesting aspect of the color theory is that there are various tones of blue, red and yellow color and each one will produce a different color when mixed with any other color to produce a secondary or tertiary color.
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WARM AND COOL
Each and every color in the painting world is categorized under warm and cool sector. It is one of the most important elements in the theory of color mixing as it plays a major role in the results. When we talk about colors as a whole group then reds and yellows are categorized under warm color whereas blues are categorized under cool color. If talk of colors as an individual then the categorization vary from color to color. For instance, certain red colors are cool colors and certain are warm however as a group they fall into the category of warm.
The categorization of warm and cool is done in order to predict the end result of color mixing. If 2 warm colors are combined together then the resultant color will be a warm one and if you mix 2 cool colors together then the resultant color will be a cool one. The secondary or tertiary color you obtain however depends on upon the proportions of different primary colors you use.
The secondary color will always reflect the more of that primary color whose proportion is higher. The beauty of color mixing is that it gives you the option to make a huge variety of colors from a very limited range of colors. So, instead of purchasing a lot of colors you can use the basic colors to produce them by color mixing.
EXCEPTIONS TO COLOR MIXING THEORY
Just like any other theory, color mixing theory also has its own exceptions. Black and White colors are the 2 color exceptions to this theory. These colors can neither be formed by mixing any other colors nor can be used to formulate any other color.
The black color is used to darken and white color is used to lighten a certain color combination made with the help of color mixing theory. However, this trick is often less recommended due to its own limitations. If you add a white color to a certain combination then it will produce a tint of that color most of the times rather than lighten it. This results in the removal of the vibrancy of that color which makes the picture look washed out. On the other hand, the black color tends to make the color dirty rather than darkening it up which is also not good for painting.