Four Formulas for Mixing Black

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  • I came across this article on mixing ‘blacks’ in watercolor.  It’s short and hits the basics, so good for beginners, but also gives you some options for warm and cool darks.

    Four Formulas for Mixing Black

    love this thank you


    Love Craftsy — nice article!

    Our own Tonya L has written a good post on mixing black/darks, as well.

    THANKS 🙂  I’ve been stuck on burnt sienna and french ultramarine but will try the others 🙂

    Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine is my stand-by.  I usually have a well of it mixed up, but I do like making mixes that reflect the colors I’m using through-out the painting.

    Looks interesting, Sandra. I need to get a few more of the colors before I can try this.

    It’s a good thing to mix your blacks – but I admit to using more Payne’s gray than I should, lol.

    I almost never ever use black and when I do it is often the linework or ink… Amazing how different we all are.  Both of these articles are tucked away.  I tend to use mixes of Primatek Hematite, or Graphites, to Paynes Blue, or Sepias.  When do you guys use them?

    I almost never use black pigment, except for Payne’s Gray or occasionally neutral tint, and most of the time that is if I’m in a hurry (like with my daily Postcards for the Lunch Bag, often) or if the color just seems to be Payne’s Gray.  A lot of animals and birds are that bluish-gray-black color and I can’t see trying to mix it if you’ve already got it.

    If I really need ‘black’, I usually use a pen.  The rest of the time, I mix it in various ways. I have an ice tray with 3 or 4 mixes of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna in different concentrations, and often use that, but as often as not, I’ll try to mix black using colors I’m using elsewhere on the canvas.

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