Use the entire mixing cup


Almost all beginners in watercolor painting lack the ability to mix paint in a sensible way. The vast majority of people mix too little color, then when they discover that it is not enough, they make a new color mixture. It is of course different from the first one, and the paint they have painted on the paper has dried in the meantime, so when the new mixture is added, the result is patchy and ugly.

But too little amount of paint is only one of the problems with the beginner’s paint mixes. In this text, I will write about the importance of mixing in the entire mixing cup.

To me this is a mystery, but it is something that the vast majority of people who are new to my courses do. When two colors are to be mixed with each other, they first take a little of one color and move it to a mixing cup. Next, they take a little of the other color and, carefully using only the brush tip, make a symbolic movement to blend the two colors together.

The colors don’t get mixed with each other this way. The result is rather what is usually called a loaded brush: Two different colors in the same brush. Maybe there will be a text about loaded brush a little later here on the blog.

The video below describes how I often see the beginner mixing paint, I do my best to imitate the technique. But I find it difficult to achieve the right degree of incorrect color mixing. For increased credibility, I have chosen to use the lid in a simple tin box. This type of tin box is the most common. They are not good, but very common. The lid of such a box is what most people use as a mixing cup.

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Now some of the readers are sure to say “but the result is nice”. Yes, there are nice effects that occur with two different colors in the same brush. But that is not what is sought in a color mixture. When making a color mixture, the goal is to create a new color from two or more colors.

The second video is intended to show how I think you should mix color. The two colors are mixed with each other until a new color has emerged. Continue mixing until you have a homogeneous new color in your cup. Use the entire mixing cup.

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If you already have another color mixture in the cup, use another clean cup. Do not use another part of the same mixing cup for a separate mixture. If all your mixing cups are occupied by other color mixes, you should get a larger palette with more mixing options.

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