One of the things I always stress to students at paint and sip parties is that we are trying to keep things simple.
After all, most of these painting classes are for beginners, so the last thing I want to do is overwhelm my students, as it could keep them from wanting to take more classes and get into painting.
There are so many colors out there, and they can all be created by mixing the most basic colors. The first thing I discuss are the primary colors, and then I move on to a few of the other colors paint and sip students will be using for their artwork.
In this article, I am going to discuss the primary colors, as well as a few more that my students enjoy painting with.
Understanding Primary Colors
Many of my sip and paint students are surprised to learn that they can make just about any color simply by mixing the three primary colors. These primary colors are red, blue, and yellow.
When you mix red and blue together, you get purple. Mixing red and yellow creates shades of orange. Mixing blue and yellow creates green.
All artists, myself included, are guilty of using specific colors rather than mixing what we need from primary colors. It is easier and takes less time. But, it isn’t always convenient to carry around a whole bunch of different paint tubes.
The 9 Colors I Bring to All Painting Parties
When teaching sip and paint parties, I don’t like to bring all of my paints to the event. I find it a lot easier to bring the colors that are going to be used most often, and if we need others, we can mix them using the primary colors.
My go-to for red paint is cadmium red medium. I also use cadmium red light and cadmium red dark on occasion. Cadmium red medium has a yellowish hue. It is a warm red, and it is quite opaque.
There are many shades of each color, including blue. I tend to use phthalo blue, as it is quite intense and very versatile. This color is also transparent.
Using this shade of blue takes a bit of getting used to, but my paint party students all find that it is their favorite shade to work with. It can be mixed with white to create lighter shades of blue, and it can be darkened with a bit of burnt umber.
Another option is ultramarine blue, a color I always have on hand. Like phthalo blue, ultramarine blue is transparent. It has a high level of tinting strength, although phthalo blue has an even higher level.
I get painting students to use cadmium yellow medium most of the time. If you need a lighter shade, simply add a bit of white paint. To darken, add a bit of purple, which will produce a shade of olive green which can be quite interesting.
Did you know that white is a shade of grey and the full spectrum of color? No paint palette is complete without titanium white.
This opaque, bright white paint has a lot of power, so you don’t need to use a lot of this color.
Titanium white has long been considered a mixing color, and it is often created so it will blend easily with other colors.
Black is another shade of grey and is thought to be the absence of light. I like to use Mars black because it is nice and opaque.
You only need to add a tiny bit of Mars black to darken other colors. It can take a bit of practice to get used to using this color, but it is worth it.
You can also use ivory black, but many people dislike this color. This is because it is made out of charred bones!
I like to use a versatile brown, which is why I tend to use burnt umber most of the time. This color can be used to darken the tone of various other colors.
Another brown option is raw umber, which is much like burnt umber. The biggest differences are that raw umber is a bit lighter, and it is a cooler shade of brown.
Mixing shades of green can be difficult, and it is really hard to be consistent in the paint blending. This is why I choose phthalo green.
This green is a bluish-green. It can be mixed with other colors, such as cadmium yellow, to create many different shades of green.
We all know that mixing red and yellow makes orange. But, if you want to save time and money, I suggest getting yourself some cadmium orange.
This is my go-to whenever I need to use a bit of orange in a painting. I do show paint and sip students how to make orange but also offer the alternative of cadmium orange.
Here is my favorite color. There is nothing like some purple to make a painting pop, and it is popular at painting parties.
I usually recommend using dioxazine purple. This is a nice, dark shade of purple, and it can easily be lightened with titanium white to create other shades, such as mauve and lavender.
Other Colors I Bring to Painting Parties
I like to use many other colors in my paintings. I also use other colors when I teach at painting parties.
I love to show students how to use Payne’s grey. This is a very versatile shade of blue-grey that is a combination of blue, black, and sometimes a little bit of red.
Other colors I bring along to paint and sip nights are yellow or golden ocher. This is a good color to use when painting autumn scenes, as it is a yellowish brown.
As you can see, you don’t need to have a full palette of paint colors to create paintings that are vibrant and full of color. All you need are a few of the basic colors.
You can mix the primary colors to get any color of the rainbow. If you want lighter or darker shades, simply add white, black, and other dark colors.
Before we jump right into painting during paint and sip events, I always get students to practice mixing a few colors. I advise that you do this as well. The more you do it, the easier it will be.
Check my guide on painting tips for beginners to learn more useful tactics to use.
Sari Green is a semi-professional artist and professional writer. She has been hosting paint & sip parties for the past couple of years, and truly enjoys helping other people to create their very own masterpieces. She loves to create, and you never know what she’s going to come up with next!