I’m Color Blind, Any Tips On Mixing Color?

I received an email from a really enthusiastic student who wants to paint, but is color blind. How can this student keep track of the colors he needs and the different mixes?

Dear Darrell
thanks again for the free DVD video. i have watched the dvd that you sent me and to be honest i was amazed at how you have managed to explain how to paint water. You make it look so easy. i enjoyed the dvd. I would love to paint the waterfall, but i need to ask you a question please. The question is i might struggle a little when you mix colors together. I’m color blind and not sure what or how to manage this. I was wondering if there might be an easy way for me to remember what are the colors used and they are mixed. Mick.

Hi Mick,

Several of my students are color blind and what I tell them is this …..

Get two paper palette pads and a grease pen.

One palette pad can be an 8″x10″ pad and put your colors down on them. Next to each, write down what color each is on the pad of paper. I use initials

Titantium White is TW
Yellow Ochre is YO. Etc….

I always have them lay down their paints in the same order. And if you’re not using a particular color for what you’re doing, just skip over that spot.

Then use something like a 12″ x 16″ paper palette for mixing.

As you mix each color, write down the formulae to the mix with the grease pen.

Wheat or cream would be …. Wheat=YO+TW

This way, you always know what paints you’re using and the mix.

Furthermore, if you’re unable to finish a painting you can set the larger palette paper aside on a shelf or in a drawer and you have all of the recipes there for you. Just be sure to write down the name of the painting on the palette paper.

Darrell