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Color Mixing Fails

2123 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Oregon Newbie
This must seem like a hopelessly lame question, but I feel compelled to ask it anyway, I have tried to attach of photo of some tulips, but so far, I haven't seen any sign that it is truly attached.

Anyway... I've been trying to match the sort of orange sherbet color of the orangey tulip, and I just can't get anything close. I've tried various combinations of these colors (all W+N, Holbein, or Daler-Rowney artists colors)... warm orange; permanent rose; alizarin crimson; cadmium red light; indian yellow; naples yellow; jaune brilliant; winsor lemon.

If you have any suggestions for other colors I might try, or especially what combinations might work the best, I'd really appreciate it.

My thanks in advance.


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I've found that the Winsor & Newton Quinacridone Magenta and Quinacridone Gold allow me to mix colors I can't get with the "standard" colors. I also like the Gamboge Hue as an alternative to the regular yellow colors. I'm pretty sure that I could get a close match for those tulips with the colors I currently like to use. Right now I have no use for Permanent Rose, Alizarin Crimson, or Cadmium Red Light because I can't mix them to get the flower colors that I want.

I'm tempted to buy the whole set of Quinacridone colors from Daniel Smith because the ones I've tried so far mix so well.

By the way, I'm still not able to come up with a color to match a California Poppy in the early springtime. I think I need a brighter white watercolor paper and something that is a bit fluorescent to get the orange to match what I see when I look at one of those flowers.

This is the best photo I have to attempt to represent the color:
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I like Antwerp Blue and Hooker's Green, also for mixing interesting colors. I have a couple of other yellows that I can't think of the names of right now.

I can do at least 90% of what I want with the colors that I've mentioned so far. And believe it or not, I'll occasionally use colors from a Prang Oval-16 paint box. Not the best quality paint, but at least most of them are bright, clean colors.

I have a bunch of other colors that I purchased years ago and I'll occasionally use some of them. I haven't found a need for colors like Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, and quite a few others are supposed to be the standards. I mix with the ones I've mentioned and can usually get the color that I want.

What I really want is to have the colors that printers use for full color printing, like magazines. They get by with cyan, magenta and yellow, plus some black to darken things. Except I would skip the black. I like colors that I can mix and still get bright results. A lot of paint colors don't mix all that well to make nice colors and I don't usually like using most colors right out of the tube without mixing something else in.
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