Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Colour of Mud

Remember playing with paints as a child? Remember being bitterly dissapointed when mixing yellow with blue gave you a yucky muddy colour instead of the lovely bright green you had in mind? This is the dark side of colour mixing.

This bucket is full of the rinsing water from my last colour runs. The towel is the one I've used to clean up spills.
Red plus blue plus yellow makes BLACK! That's the theory. In real life you don't get a lovely dark glossy black though. It's usually an imperfect muddy black because the proportions of the primary colours aren't quite right. So what?
  • The good news is that if you want a subtle shadowy effect, you can get it by mixing colours that are not pure primaries--that's why the green in the your paint pot turned out muddy all those years ago.
  • The bad news is that you need to be careful in combining colours. What looks like a lovely contrast can turn into a muddy mess once the different colours are mixed together.

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