Monday, 16 April 2018

Nine Colour Mixing Grid

I've been sorting through some large sheets of paper and came across this chart from many years ago. I was always frustrated that a normal mixing chart only showed one or maybe two possible mixes, so I created this one to show 18 possible mixes.


The grid is 27cm x 27cm, created with 9 rows and 9 columns of 3cmx3cm squares. Each square is divided again to create 9 1cm x1cm squares. It's a fiddly to draw up and an even bigger fiddle to paint, but rather interesting. On single square can not really show the full range of possibilities - especially with interesting mixing neutrals like phthalo blue and cadmuim red, which creates Indian red hues, Prussian and indigo hues and a lovely mixed black. (I'd recommend using pyrrol scarlet rather than cadmium red as a warm red though)

It was made with a warm and a cool red, yellow and blue as well as three secondaries - orange, purple and green. 

The diagonal line of squares from top left to bottom right just show 9 variations of each of the 9 colours, which were lemon yellow, cadmium yellow deep, perinone orange, cadmium red, crimson red, imperial purple (mixed from PB29+PV19), ultramarine blue, phthalo blue and sap green. 

I'd use very different colours today - but this is just one of the many and varied charts I created to test out colour palettes. More mixing charts can be seen here, gouache mixing charts and wheels with a split primary palette here and some sample triads here.

5 comments:

  1. Your blog and guides have been so helpful to me as I am exploring the world of color mixing! I was wondering if you could provide a tip on how you actually mix your harmonies (or color bar codes as i like to call them). How do you achieve each hue starting with the full value on the left of one color and the full value on the right with another color? I hope that makes sense! :)

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    1. For horizontal mixing charts, as shown in my website, I start with the full strength colour at each end, work out what the mid colour would be and gradually work towards it from each end. Exactly how much of each colour pigment is needed varies - there is no recipe as some colours are more powerful at tinting than others - so you just have to do it to test out the colour mixes. You can decide how many steps you want to take. An odd number is nice actually so you can put the mid colour (I call it the 'visually equal mix') in the middle.

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  2. For some reason, I feel like playing Sudoku.
    Great chart. I think you should make this into a fabric and then a shirt. You could wear it in Porto!

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    1. That would be fun :-) I have a number of fabric ideas....

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  3. Wow - really ambitious and beautiful as well!

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