How Do You Mix Paints to Make New Colors?


Quick Answer

One way to mix paints to create new colors is to combine primary colors such as magenta and cyan instead of secondary colors such as red and blue. Another way is to add white to any color to brighten it. Similarly, adding black to any color darkens it. When adding white or black to a color, it is a good practice to add only a little at time so as not to change the color too dramatically.

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Full Answer

A more complex method for mixing colors is to set up a color triangle with yellow, magenta and cyan situated in the corners. To make bright colors, mix colors from the same side of the triangle. For example, mix magenta with orange or yellow to create a vibrant red. Mixing colors that are close to each other on the triangle produces the brightest results. Mixing colors from opposite sides of the triangle creates colors that are dull and murky.

Adding black and white to any color makes it more muted and gray. Make black by mixing three or more colors that are evenly spaced on the triangle. However, avoid adding opaque colors or white to a mixture that is intended to be black.

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