When I paint, most of the enjoyment comes from creating new color blends.

Its really not painting a scene, that most likely, a million others have done before.

No.  Its the thrill of creating, by chance, inventing a blend that is Unique.

That…. remains the most amazing thing for me.



Goethe quote, Prussian blue pb27 watercolor, Daniel Smith Lunar Black, color mixes for beginners, love what you do, debiriley.com
Color, within my heart


Color – In My Heart

Watercolor paints are super fun and so easy to mix.  It only takes less than 5 minutes.

Its not hard.

It doesn’t have to take up …. All Day.



Exploring  Creates Knowledge

I love the sense of endless possibilities….when I am mixing blends of colors.

Its a passion, this Testing and experimenting with watercolor paints in …Different ways.  A friend at the Daniel Smith store nicknamed me the little scientist, after seeing my 30 + sheets of nothing but color blends and tests!



But.  What are the Benefits and Rewards?  You ask!

Here are some benefits that I’ve discovered:

  1. a much faster learning curve about  color
  2. able to choose the appropriate paint and its category for the  task at hand
  3. able to convey moods, feelings through color use now
  4. able to steer clear of MUD most of the time
  5. able to assess objects & formulate the ratios/paints needed to create similar colors



ultramarine blue Pb29, azo yellow watercolor, color mixing watercolors, use test strips, debiriley.com
Ultramarine Blue pb29  Green blend  … so Lovely!


watercolor strelitzia, bird of paradise watercolour, mixing greens in watercolor, botanical leaves, ultramarine blue pb29, winsor lemon py175, prussian blue pb27, debiriley.com
Strelitzia  FRESH GREENS watercolors 


6.  Fast 5 minute sessions of color mixing is fun.  And do – able.

The results are seen straight away, unlike waiting til the cake comes out of the oven to see if it actually tastes alright!

Yes, a wee bit of “Now” is in that statement.


color mixing for beginners, watercolour test strip, watercolor paint color mixes, debiriley.com
Color watercolor test strip


I use Test Strips of the same type of paper I’m working on.

Or simply tape off about 1/4 off the bottom  (or a side)  of the watercolor paper to use for my lovely ‘Tests.’

Sometimes my tests, become an art work… by accident.


maple trees watercolours,debiriley.com
Red Dragon Maple Trees in watercolours debiriley.com


Red maples was an accident.

I was testing Daniel Smith Naples Yellow with Perylene Green.   And then,  Red maples…… beckoned.



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Color Mixes using 3 Tubes of paint-       pb28; pv19; py175


Bold and powerful.   Or pale whisper thin washes.

The play of color and tone is wonderful. And it is, so very very useful and entirely “Productive.”

In so many different ways!


Watercolor easy color mixing chart, Beginners watercolor mixing, debi riley art, debiriley.com
Watercolor Chart: 3 Tube Mixes


Lunar Black Daniel Smith watercolors, Debi Riley art, mixing green, debiriley.com
Sea of Greens… Lunar Black + Prussian + Phalo Green


Lunar Black… a Daniel Smith paint creation,  is always on my palette.

It does what nothing else can do.

Its a wild guess every time its used as to just how it is going to granulate, texturize.

Sinking to the deepest crevices of the paper to work its magic.  Sheer delight.


mixing Orange in watercolours, debiriley.com
Orange Mixes


color mixing for beginners watercolor, watercolour chart 2 debiriley.com
watercolour chart  (R red)  (Y yellow) (B blue)




Partner posts:

Love of Color

Paul Klee color possesses me 

Color Mixing Watercolors 

Prussian Blue pb27  

Fluted BLUES, vase in watercolors 

Fresh GREENS,   fresh start! watercolors