Friday, February 21, 2014

The Premix Color Challenge

I'll be hosting this week's painting challenge on Daily Paint Works. It will run for the week starting Saturday Feb. 22nd. Here's a link to find out more about them.
This is what I submitted for my challenge below.  Have fun!

The Challenge

This week's challenge is to premix your colors on your palette for each object before you start painting. The task is to make all the hard color decisions on your palette beforehand. I used solid objects for this challenge.

Here's my take on it:

Paint one object at a time. Simplify what you see (in your mind) into a few key colors. Premix your paints on your palette with as few colors as a midtone, a lighter color and a darker one. I use a palette knife to mix my colors and then hold each color up to my blank canvas and look over to see if it matches the color of my object.

The lighter color will be darker than your highlight and your darker color may be (but not always) the same value as your shadow. Paint your object starting with the lightest part and work out from there. Try not to blend your colors. See them as spots of color.

Repeat the above steps for each object.

To tie the painting together, look for small areas of reflected color from adjacent objects and apply with one or two strokes.

Just as an example, I've included a chart of the colors I mixed on my palette for my painting.

If you normally don't paint like this, then this may be a fun exercise.


  1. What a great challenge and very clear, helpful instructions! - I'll try to o he challenge on DPW...

  2. I am looking forward to taking on this challenge. Thanks Robin!

  3. Is this the way you usually paint? It is going to be hard but I am going to try it. I think it could teach me that thing you mentioned about moving from one color spot to another.

  4. I do spend a lot of time getting the colors right on my palette. I don't necessarily premix my colors but I will figure out color relationships this way. This works for me because it allows my paintings have a look I like.