Mastering Color

master color, warm and cool colors,

How many of us painters want to finally, master color? I can’t see you nod, but I’m fairly certain that a lot of you did!

Color simply enchants us.

It makes us want to sing, to dance, to paint, to create. Color makes us feel Good!

Yet frustrates us to no end, when there’s mud happening, the colors are wrong, and everything turns to disaster!




mastering color, color mixing techniques, warm and cool colors,
Mastering Color,


Color Control

In order to finally master color, I needed to learn how to Control color’s  very, unique pigment personalities.

Staining, Opaque, Transparent, Granulating paint categories each have ‘breed’ quirks and traits unique to them.

You either harness and Direct those traits into avenues you choose, or let them run all over you.

So, Yes. It matters!


Long ago, I finally became completely fed up with color controlling me. It had the upper hand with me and my paintings, so I set out to learn…. Why?!

What were the problem paints; why were they problems;  and how to avoid them. As well as how to “resolve” rescue,  renew them once I had well and truly mucked the area up!



My Featured Color Painting

In this painting, there are many things to glean from it.


  • Imagination…. being unlocked. Setting creativity free
  • Techniques used… Wet into Wet, Charging, leaving areas dry and white
  • Harnessing the Color Categories…. applying Stainers over/into a base layer of Opaque paint is a wonderful method of creating lively, lovely textures and patterns!
  • Temperature Control, Dominance …. a Cool dominant painting
  • Tonal Values …. there are certainly 3 needed tones, Light Mid Dark    Plus, the tonal values are working in sequence – darker in foreground – lighter into the distance
  • Color Mixing secret … colors were gently poured onto the canvas, in a directed approach
  • No Mud … no brush, no fiddling, no monkeying about. Paint was applied and then Left Alone!




Paints Used

Permanent Alizarin Crimson a Stainer; Ultramarine Blue a Granulator; Buff Titanium an Opaque

Acrylics  on a spray misted,  damp Canvas


Freedom combined with Control….. walking a tightrope here and enjoying the process




Over the next Term, as I continue with my Atwell Gallery “Master Color” course, I plan to share some of my lesson plans with you.

We’ll discuss paint brands, categories, lightfastness, student vs artist quality paints, and alot more.

Its going to be a very informative next 2 Terms sharing COLOR Mastery secrets !













Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at and,

8 thoughts on “Mastering Color

    1. thanks Jodi!! yes its a new twist at Atwell art centre; I’m honing in on Color, and digging in to my forte of using the Daniel Smith watercolors pigments I’ve loved for decades – so excited!
      you’re right, this was an acrylic. good eye Jodi 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. As you can see I have been catching up Debi. So happy to see you are on the way to recovery. Loved all of these last few posts which are full of your masterful words of wisdom and wonderful images to accompany them. Warmest wishes for a speedy recovery. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thank you Andrew!!
    I’ve been so-so on my WP posts lately, but pretty appalling on the correspondence end of it. So sorry, but I’ll be improving on that! I know I’ve missed heaps of your posts and comments, but will go through, and get to them. slowly…. And yes, I feel nearly all healed now and nearly, as good as new! 🙂 Cheers, Debi


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