No this post isn't about how to mix fancy cocktails. Sorry, I don't have any expertise in that area, but I do know a thing or two about the art of mixing inks or paints. It seems like it should be a no brainer, but these simple tips can actually save time and prevent waste. And that's what we're all about, right? Waste not, want not!
These tips are noteworthy whether you are using printmaking ink, oil, and/or acrylic paints. And they are especially handy if you're making a big batch of a specific color.
First and foremost, KNOW YOUR COLORS! A good understanding of color theory is a must. Only trouble is, it's a bit complicated. So, more on that in a future post...stay tuned!
For the second tip, I'll start by showing you a mistake I made. In the following photos, I was trying to create Tiffany's Blue. I got the ratio of colors wrong and I broke the most important rule ever for mixing light colors! And that leads me to my second tip: IF YOU WANT A LIGHT COLOR, START WITH LIGHTS AND MIX IN THE DARK! (Do the opposite if you want a dark color.) See my giant goop of yellow? I should actually have used that much white and only a lil' dollop of yellow.
Third, A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY! That's right, you definitely want to mix inks a bit at a time. Trust me when I say it's a big time saver! When making this color, I was going back and forth, back and forth; too dark back to too light, and repeat. You only ever want to go forward when mixing inks. One toothpick tip's worth of phthalo blue makes a huge effect on a dollop of white.
Now, let me take you through another mistake. I took my cadmium yellow and added the white, a bit of phthalo blue, and a touch of cadmium red, all at once! A BIG NO NO!!! As you can see from the photo above, I was way off my mark. I kid you not, I spent three hours mixing this one color! I even made way too much ink because I had to keep making corrections! And that leads me to my fourth tip: MIX THE COLORS ONE AT A TIME! So the photo below is a perfect example of what not to do.
After I had finally corrected all of my mistakes...voila! I had my color, and I had some tips I learned the hard way! Here's to hoping you can learn from my three hours of wasted time! Keep to the tips!