Art Jamming Singapore
March 13, 2020

Acrylic Painting 101: How To Get The Colours You Want

The acrylic paints are expensive, so even when you for art jamming or doing it by yourself, the range of colours you may have are limited. Today, we will advise you on how to get the colours you want, that previously many have tried and yet still failed. Today we will use a Red Blue Yellow Colour Wheel to help us – From this, we can tell what colours we can possibly concoct by seeing the full range of colours. To be honest, even after reading this, not every colour is attainable; there will still be a minority that remains out of reach with the limited options given to you.

So for this colour, you would need red, blue, yellow, and white (later). It is important that these three colours are somewhat close to what the traditional primary colour looks like otherwise, you may get a whole other range of colour wheel. For example, if your blue looks more like a purple than a blue, you will produce a different kind of colour wheel already. It is not wrong per se, but it might not give you what you exactly want when you expect an orthodox purple from mixing red and blue.

For the Colour Wheel, there will be a total of 12 portions to paint, so place the red blue and yellow first in a wheel shape with equal gaps between them. After which, paint the mixture between the basic colours (for example) in between the red and blue portion of the Colour Wheel while still leaving one last gap in between. Then simply add a dash off red/blue to the purple to complete the colour sequence from red to blue (it is the same for yellow/red and yellow/blue.) In the colour wheel, there are is a warm range (reds and yellows) and a cool range (less striking).

Next, we are going to do an exercise with the contrast between warm and cool tones. This will also show you how to use complementary colours to bring down the contrast and saturation. Start off by drawing 5 rectangles side by side with each other. For this round, we will do blue on one end of the spectrum and orange in between. Simply add a bit each time and one of your rectangles will even be a nice brown colour. Once you add white to all these 5 colours, you can better see the contrast between the colours, as well as get your own handmade grey!

Now that we got the fundamental concepts of the colour wheel down, we can test ourselves. Print out a Swatch sheet, and using the same principles and method as earlier, attempt to replicate the colours on the swatch sheet. Once you think you are done matching a particular colour on the Swatch sheet, simply paste it down onto the circle and you can truly see the results. This whole Swatch matching process could easily take up to an hour if you are good.

There are no shortcuts to getting the colour you want unless someone provides you with the colour wheel as well as the manual of the particular colours on the swatch sheet. I apologise if this turned out to be click-bait, but painting the Colour Wheel can be a therapeutic art process. Most importantly have fun! If you still cannot get the colour you want, be creative and find another colour that will work. All the best on your art journey, we will keep posting more to help you guys out! For the Youtube video which I learned this form, click here.

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