Watercolor Mixing Chart: Answers to All Your Questions and Tips for Use!

The Watercolor mixing chart is a useful tool for artists of all skill levels, from beginners to professionals. It can be challenging to know which colors will mix well together, and it’s hard to get the right balance of pigment without wasting supplies or painting an entire canvas with one color. This article provides the answers you’re looking for, with product reviews and tips on how to use this handy tool!

What is Watercolor painting?

Watercolor painting is a method of making art by using pigmented dyes that are dissolved in water and applied to paper or fabric. The liquid, known as the solvent or vehicle, can be plain water or it can be mixtures of several kinds of liquids such as glycerin, honey, and even beer!

Watercolors have been used for centuries: since ancient Egyptian times, artists were adding colors to their mediums. Back then they had some options when selecting paints but nowadays there’s an enormous array available on the market: from student grades all the way up to professional quality ones. You’ll find within this list everything you need to know about them (including our own recommendations).

The main thing that sets apart Watercolor materials is translucency, as a result of which paints allow light to pass through them. This quality is what gives Watercolors their unique and breathtakingly beautiful look!

Mixing colors

Mixing colors is the most basic thing in Watercolor painting; it’s a simple process that can give you great results. Still, there are several things to keep in mind while creating your mixes and below we’ll explain all of them:

– When mixing two or more wet paint on a palette using clean water always use less color than you think you need. It gives you more time for corrections during blending;

– If possible choose paints with similar consistency and viscosity (for example sap green light vs sap green medium). This will make the creation of smooth transitions easier;

– To create darker shades add black or gray instead of browns, yellows, oranges, etc.;

– Avoid big changes between neighboring.

Primary colors and secondary colors

Primary colors are those that cannot be created by mixing other pigments. They include red, yellow, and blue. Secondary colors are the result of blending two primary ones together: orange (red+yellow), green (blue+yellow), and purple or violet (red+blue).

As you can see there are only three secondary colors but this doesn’t mean there aren’t more combinations possible since in Watercolors tertiary ones exist! Those come about when an adjacent pair is mixed together; for example, a mix between red-orange paint and orange one will give you a reddish-orange color, etc.

The majority of paints on the market don’t use these scientifically defined names to label themselves though so it might take some time before you get used.

How to make a Watercolor mixing chart?

First, you’ll need a color wheel and some paint samples. If you want to get professional results it’s recommended that you buy at least 12 different colors (though if budget is an issue go for the best six). It will be easier to find matching shades this way!

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Once your collection of paints is ready select three primary ones and mix each secondary one out of them.

Take cardstock paper or any kind of sturdy thick white paper and make two circles twelve inches in diameter by drawing using a pencil or around a glass or bowl with such diameter.

The paper should be divided into twelve sections like the face of a clock; begin in one corner and number them counterclockwise with roman numerals (I, II, III)… Apply some masking tape onto the back to keep everything together and then place your first sample exactly at three o’clock:  mix it using equal parts from primary red, yellow, and blue paints.

Repeat that process until you reach nine o’clock where green is placed (use two drops each time).


To make Watercolor mixing chart in the form of a rectangular grid you’ll need a smaller amount of paints. First, mix one primary color and divide it into four parts (for example red). Mix each secondary color from these primaries: orange is half red plus half yellow; green is one-fourth blue plus three-fourths yellow; purple (or violet) is half red plus half blue.

Afterward, create a square grid with four columns and five rows which will give you twenty squares in total! Apply your colors accordingly to the order they appear on the color wheel: white or black for neutrals, complementary.

The printable Watercolor color mixing chart

Now that we have the color wheel, all you need to do is print it! Just download and save in electronic format. Then just make a copy on stiff cardstock paper (ideally matte finish) and start using it!

We hope this blog post has given you some new ideas on how to create a Watercolor mixing chart. If you need more help, feel free to reach out and we can chat with you about our printable pdf or premade charts. Happy painting!

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