I've been trying a few new things lately and in doing so have learned what I like and what to keep. My last four paintings were more gray and I think a little too muddy. I typically use a palette knife to pick up and mix my colors but lately I've been using my brush. I don't think I've gotten the hang of it. When I mix my colors with a palette knife each color is more distinct and clean and I like that. What I also found helpful is to mix my colors right next to each other on my palette. In this way I see color relationships before I put anything on the canvas.