Colour mixing made easy

This Post provides a link to Chapter 14 from my book“Painting with Light and Colour”, which is the fourth of the five chapters devoted to colour mixing. Its purpose is to show that all the complications of colour theory proposed and explained in the previous chapters, need not be a barrier to our creativity when it comes to their practical application. Quite the reverse. Below is a  reprise of the “Introductory” to Chapter 14. If its claims make you want to find out more, click on the link beneath it to obtain a .PDF version of the chapter, which will explain how it can be made easy (a) to mix and (b) to make use of any of the thousands of subtly different, complex colours required for exploring the full extent of colour space.

colour mixing


This Chapter consists of two parts. In the first, a suggestion is made as to why people have been daunted by what they initially perceive as practical difficulties inherent in the approach to colour-mixing adopted in this book. In the second, a description is given of a practical way of getting around the seeming obstacles. At first sight this may appear to involve important sacrifices, but upon further investigation it turns out that even its shortcomings can be interpreted as powerful advantages.


The other colour mixing chapters

Other chapters from “Painting with Light and Colour”

Other Posts on colour and light in painting:

Chapters from “What Scientists can Learn from Artists”

These deal in greater depth with subjects that feature in the other volumes


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3 thoughts on “Colour mixing made easy”

  1. Colour is my passion and I really love playing with colour. I think my response is related always to my feelings rather than knowledge. What I mean is that I put down a colour and then something comes into my head and I add something to the colour I have put down or just select another colour or colours. The process does not seem to me to be rooted in a theory of colour mixing – rather a making a series of recipes. I love layering and playing with texture. it’s late at night so will try and remember to do this again if you find it helpful.

  2. I still find colour mixing time consuming, difficult. However, my series of visits to Castelnau de Montmiral, in particular your school Francis, where I discovered I could use “wild pyrotechnics”, have been the most informative, of all my colour studies, most influential for all the subjects I paint, marine, landscape, portraits, aircraft and so on, and that includes my 5 years at Art colleges in England. Thank you Francis.

  3. Thank you, Francis. This is a welcome review of a very significant breakthrough discovery I made during an early summer session with you. Your gentle, supportive guidance with complex colors gave me great courage and the freedom to trust myself and freely explore all my new paints and brushes on paper. Up to that discovery, I was frozen solid with fear.

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