So what is one of the biggest challenges of all beginners in painting?
Getting the right color! Well, easy, you tell me, I can just buy a 48-tube paint set from Amazon and be done, I have all I need!
You are right and wrong at the same time. 48 set is not cheap, and at the same time, no real professional brands make such a big set for professional artists.
Because pros know a life hack…they only need 7 or 8 paint tubes to mix ANY color they need.
Saving money, getting better results, and upskilling!
And here I go, today I will show you how to make your own mixing chart and share a free printable acrylic color mixing chart PDF so you can immediately learn to mix acrylic paints and forget about spending money on useless huge paint sets!
What do you need
- A4 watercolor paper(I use Canson, you can choose any heavyweight watercolor paper you like) or printer paper
- Paint set you are using most often OR 7 tubes: yellow lemon, cadmium yellow, crimson red, cadmium red, ultramarine blue, cerulean blue, white.
- Paper towel
- Jar with water
- Flat brush
- Pencil, eraser, ruler.
How to Make Your Own Color Mixing Chart
- Download and print (with no borders) my Mixing Chart OR draw yours:
- get A4 watercolor paper.
- I need 12 rows (as many as I have colors) and 13 columns (all colors again + a column for swatches of the paint mixed with water). You can technically have as many columns and rows as you want, but be aware that if you have more than I do in my demonstration, you can spend days finishing it 🙂 My color mixing chart is created using Winsor&Newton Galeria acrylic paint set.
- So I divide the sheet into pretty equal squares.
- Write down the brand in the corner as you can make such mixing charts for every brand you use.
- Write down the list of colors
- Squeeze paints on the palette
- Start with coloring first the diagonal line of pure colors. So where lemon yellow meets lemon yellow we fill this square with this pure color.
- Now proceed to work on every color mixing it with others, with white and with water
- Work first on the lower left part of the mixing chart where we mix pure colors of full opacity without adding water or white to them. You will get nice, dense, opaque colors and the paint will cover perfectly each square.
- Once done, move to the upper right part where we will place all lighter mixes. We mix both colors with
Clean up, mark with dots the colors next to their names, and let your mixing chart dry!
In addition to the mixing chart, I recommend creating your own color wheel to have visual examples of warm, and cool colors, tints, tones, and shades for each color.
I have a whole separate big article on how to mix popular colors with acrylics: How To Mix Acrylic Paint? – Your Complete Color Mixing Guide.
Acrylic color mixing chart PDF (FREE to download)
Get your own free printable color mixing chart and create mixing charts for paint brands you use often.
The PDF is very straightforward, you can print only the first page, and use 2 and 3rd page only as an example.
Follow the instructions above to fill in the chart with color mixing swatches.
This printable also includes color wheel example, some templates of color mixing chart with names for a few popular brands and sets like Liquitex, Golden, Winsor & Newton, Pebeo and Daler Rowney.