Thursday, 25 May 2017

Understanding Colour – Blue is Blue, Right?

Blue is one of the most common hues used in a painting. How do you know if you are choosing the “right” blue for your painting? How will the blue react if mixed with another colour?

What blues do you have in your paint box?

I have 11 blues – 2 Ultramarine (2 different manufacturers), 3 Phthalo (Thalo) blues (3 different manufacturers), and 2 Turquoise (2 different manufacturers) along with Cobalt, Cerulean, Indanthrene and Indigo. Winsor & Newton Cotman is their student grade and Academy is Grumbacher’s student grade paint.

You can see how they are different from each other. Even the same “blues” are different from the various manufacturers in the chart below.

I also did a value study of the Cerulean Blue.


In my last UnderstandingColour post, I discussed Complimentary Colours. The compliment of blue is orange. I created a chart using three colours which fit into “orange” – Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Orange and Cadmium Red Medium. I mixed each of the blues with each of the oranges. If you do this exercise with the blues in you paint box be sure to keep your brush and water clean so that they don’t contaminate other mixes. You can see how you can get a wide range of colours.

Give it a try and see what your blues will do.


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