As mentioned in yesterday’s post, here are the directions for those of you who are mixing the primary colors to create a color wheel. This is the last section to be painted for the color wheel—-yellow to magenta.
If you have not painted the first two sections, but want to do so, go to the two August 8, 2011 posts to get the general painting directions and directions to paint the section yellow to turquoise blue/cyan. There is also a painting-info post on August 9, 2011. Then go to the September 1 post for the directions to paint the turquoise blue/cyan to magenta section of the color wheel.
This week you will be painting colors from primary yellow to primary magenta, which includes yellow to golden-yellow, orange-yellow, yellow-orange, orange, orange-red, red, blue-red, and on to primary magenta.
For this segment of the color wheel, you will need Liquitex Acrylic Paints in a tube (water based paints): 1 tube each of Cadmium Yellow Light and Medium Magenta. (More specifically: heavy body artist acrylic paints Medium Magenta #500 and Cadmium Yellow Light #160.)
You will also need:
- Two 1″ wide nylon brushes (not expensive, but not so cheap they fall apart or lose their bristles)
- 1-2 packages of 3″ x 5″ unlined index cards
- large sheets of paper to protect your table from paint
- Paint implements: toothpicks, coffee stirrers, shallow dish for mixing paint, 1/4 – 1/2 tsp measuring spoons
- wax paper, large paper, or some other paper product for placing paint swatches on to dry
- Paper towels or a rag for wiping up paint
Please read these directions and the following suggestions before painting.
Please read these directions and the suggestions and tips (below) before proceeding with the painting.
1. Cover your table with paper, so as to protect it.
2. Have a pitcher of fresh water and a water glass handy to clean your brushes often.
2. Number the backside of 20 -40 index cards (e.g. 1-40). You will paint in order of your numbered cards.
3. Place about 2 tablespoons or so (not an exact measurement) of Cadmium Yellow Light into your paint-mixing dish. With a coffee stirrer or other similar item, stir the paint to loosen it up. Then with your smallest measuring spoon, add a couple of drops of water to the paint. Take care. Don’t over-water. You want the paint to be similar to frosting: It should spread on the index cards smoothly, but not too thickly. Also, the paint shouldn’t be watery. In other words, you should not be able to see the paper through the paint.
4. With index card #1, paint the entire front of the index card with Cadmium Yellow Light. Make certain the card is well covered. Make your brush strokes as smooth as possible. This card represents primary yellow.
5. Next open up the tube of Medium Magenta paint. Place a really tiny drop of this paint on the small end of a toothpick. Place this bit of paint into the yellow paint. Stir the magenta paint with your stirrer until the magenta and yellow paints are totally mixed. Then dip the brush into the paint and paint card #2 with this new color. Wipe the excess paint from the brush and coffee stirrer before painting the next card.
6. Now add another tiny amount of the magenta paint to the yellow paint with a clean toothpick. Mix the paint thoroughly and paint the new mixture on the next card, card #3.
7. Continue adding magenta to the yellow paint mixture, blending it completely, and then painting the new color onto the next card. Continue mixing paint and painting cards until the paint is very close to primary magenta.
8. Finally paint Medium Magenta on your last card of the spectrum.
9. If you ended up with a large gap somewhere in the range of yellow to golden-yellow, go back now, remix the paint, and then paint these new hues, one at a time until you feel the gap has been filled.
Some suggestions and extra hints:
1. Yellow is very sensitive to the addition of another color, so while you are adding magenta to the yellow, do it in very tiny amounts. Increase the amount of paint added bit by bit. As your color moves away from sensitive yellow, you will be able to increase the amount of magenta paint added in each mixing. You want to add enough magenta paint each time to be able to see a change from one card to another, but you don’t want to make the steps too large. If the yellow hues change too drastically, you can go back later to fill in the missing hues.
2. If you get to a point where you feel the added paint is not changing the color, take some of the paint out of your paint bowl. Set the excess paint aside. Then begin adding the magenta paint to the yellow mixture in the dish, as before. With less paint in the bowl, you should see the color change now.
3. As you paint, you’ll place the painted cards in order on a long piece of wax paper on the table, a counter, or the floor—painted-side up. Let these painted cards lie flat until they are completely dry. As they dry, the cards tend to curl. Gather them up into one or two piles and place heavy books on top of them. Keep them weighed down overnight. Once they are dried and flattened, put them in numbered order and place them in an envelope. Mark the envelope yellow – magenta.
4. If you need to leave in the middle of painting, cover your paint and wash your brushes carefully and thoroughly with cool water. Pat dry.
5. Instructions for making the actual color wheel will be given very soon.
Have fun painting!
Text and photography copyright © Joen Wolfrom
Joen is a color enthusiast who teaches and lectures on color. She has written three color books: Color Play, Visual Coloring, and The Magical Effects of Color. Her Studio Color Wheel is used to illustrate color concepts in many of these blog posts. She is also the designer of the 3-in-1 Color Tool. Her new book Adventures in Designis now available. Joen’s newest design tool, the Magic Design-Ratio Tool has just been released. All books and products are published by C & T Publishing.