Mixing colors with limited oil paints

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If you ever wanted to try and paint with oil paints but don’t want to invest in several tubes of paints you can purchase only four colors to get you started. You will be amazed what colors you can mix with only three primaries and white.

I was kindly given this Winton Oil paint sampler from The Art Savings Club. In the sampler I also received an A5 sheet of Clairefontaine Oil painting paper to try.

Winton oil paints are the second best oil paints that are manufactured by Winsor & Newton. I have been painting with these paints for years. It is affordable and archival, meaning it will last for many years on your finished artworks .

The sampler colors received: Permanent Rose, Lemon Yellow Hue and Phthalo Blue. These all came in 4ml sachets. A bonus was the Liquin Original 8ml sampler. Liquin is a painting medium to thin your paints down and it also allows your painting to dry almost overnight.

In the sampler I received an A5 sheet of Clairefontaine Oil painting paper to try. “It is a linen like paper with control of absorption of oil and it prevents the oil colors from showing through”. Meaning you will not get any oil stains or colors on the back of your sheet of paper.

In the photo below I swatched the paint colors. With each swatch in the first section I used it straight to get the original color value. Then added a little bit of Liquin. This helps to spread the paint but also makes it more transparent. Next to it I added a little amount of Titanium White. In the last section I added more Titanium White. I did this for each of the colors. Titanium White did not come with the sampler but I highly recommend that you start off with a small tube. 

On the photo above you can see the swatches I did as mentioned. You will however also note some basic color mixing.

By making a triangle and mixing one color into the next it is very easy to create many different colors from only the three colors on hand.

Mixing blue into yellow you get various shades of green. It all depends on how much blue you add to the yellow or how much yellow to the blue. To the right of the triangle I mixed in only a touch of blue to the yellow that gives an almost Sap Green color. Below that a lot more blue was added to the yellow and gave a vibrant yet darker green, almost like Viridian Green.

Mixing yellow with a touch of Rose give a beautiful light orange as you can see on the left side of the triangle. Below that I mixed Rose with a touch of yellow and that gives a nice vibrant red.

The last two colors at the bottom, blue mixed with a touch of Rose give a very dark blueish purple, I then added Titanium white. The final color I added much more blue and that gives a nice rich purple and then I also added some Titanium white.

This is all just indications of what you can mix with only using three main or rather primary colors. Within the secondary mixes you can mix up several different colors.

Below is what my palette looked like while I was busy mixing up some colors. 

If you do decide to go ahead and take the leap. Try and get your hands on one of these samplers or buy only four colors. I highly recommend these specific colors: Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, French Ultramarine Blue and Titanium White. mix many more colors. So by having only three colors and a white you can mix almost any color under the sun. 

As I have always painted with Winton oil paints and some other brands I would highly recommend it. There are a large number of colors to choose from and they are also budget friendly.  As you continue with your oil painting journey you can invest in more colors with time. To check out the Winton section of the online store for Art Savings Club click HERE. The Clairefonteine paper is one of the top brands in the art industry with superior quality. I highly recommend it.

Full disclosure: I did receive the samples free of charge from The Art Savings Club. The above is my own opinions and I have no affiliation with the art store. I do however buy all my art supplies  online from them. They are located in South Africa. They are friendly with excellent customer service.

I hope you found this post to be helpful.

If you want me to do more color mixing posts or product reviews please comment below. 

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