View Full Version : How to mix traditonal Oil colours!

Aged P
04-21-2006, 05:23 AM
Obtain the required colours from a reputable site. Colour chart or similar.
Bring it in as a Reference image.

Select from it, with the picker, the colours you used to use and put a squirt of each on the canvas.
A big pile of Titanium White is not really neccessary, but it's really nostalgic!

Export the canvas as a .jpg.
Bring it back in as a reference image.

You then have a tiny inexhaustable palette of all your old colours in the top corner of the window. Plus infinitely subtle shades of them available via the colour wheel.

The attached is a sort of French Impressionist selection.

04-21-2006, 10:27 AM
A wonderful tip, Aged P, thanks!

- Gita

04-21-2006, 12:04 PM
This is a really good idea. Thankyou for sharing it.

04-21-2006, 01:00 PM
nice one 8)

04-25-2006, 05:18 PM
Nice point Aged P. I was inspired to seek out a good color chart of pigment colors as a result of your post and came across this.


I wonder if a study in color like this would enhance color mixing in ArtRage? One of the things I have always found a bit fishy about RGB is that if I take Blue and smear it into Yellow I don't get green like I would with pigments. Rage team can you shed light on this?

04-25-2006, 10:10 PM
Uhoh... caught out!

There's a note on my whiteboard - do REAL colour mixing...

ArtRage uses the standard digital model for blending colours - it's sort of an interpolation between the colours - sort of additive, sort of averaging. If you mix red with blue you get a lighter purple.
In the Real World, pigments mix in a very complex manner. There is a subtractive component - where adding blue to red gives a deep dark purple. Most rich colours when you mix them end up looking like grey-brown mud. But the subtractive component varies according to the amount of thinner in the mix as well.

So for the moment we're stuck with the standard digital colour blending model. We're definitely going to look at other models down the line. Throw away your colour-blending wheel if you're using ArtRage - we dont use that model I'm afraid.

Aged P
04-25-2006, 10:22 PM
When I used the real nitty gritty pigment powders for tempera it was very apparent that chemical changes took place between some of them. Which meant often that some Blues and Yellows made Black, plus an unpleasant smell!

Also a lot of impressionist stuff was done with "optical mixing", a whole bunch of unmixed colours on the same brush.

I think you are taking on a task as difficult as ArtRage on it's own. but you're the only team that are likely to acheive it!

The site that Fashmir posted seems the definitive place for colour.

04-25-2006, 10:26 PM
Yeah, colour mixing is a dark art.
I made some interesting discoveries while I was working on the marker-pen colour mixing that will help out. The 'standard model' for mixing marker pens is to use an arithmetic 'multiply'. And that's more-or-less what we were doing in ArtRage 1.x
But I discovered something different in ArtRage 2.x marker pens which I think gives a much better colour mixing model. I'm going to use something similar when I work with the water-colours.


04-26-2006, 04:04 AM
Thanks Andy for your response to this. I am excited at the possibilities in the future for more genuine color blending. I know it must be a phenominal task to accomplish, please rest assured I am a patient man. I am fascinated by the tool you have already created. I'm looking forward to your watercolors.

04-26-2006, 04:39 PM
Here's a quick additional tip on this topic:

If you look in the menu on the Colour Picker, under the Custom Picker header you'll find an option to 'Create Custom Picker...'.

If you select that, you'll get a neat little picker pane with an outline that matches the colour picker's main area. Drag that around until you see something you want to capture in the white lined area and press the tick button. That will then capture that part of your canvas as a custom picker and you can get to it from the colour picker's Custom Picker menu.

What this means is that you can mix colours on the canvas, then sample them with that function and use them as a colour picker whenever you like. When you're working with a custom picker, the slider to the right of the main picker area turns in to a luminance slider so you can adjust the brightness of the sampled colour.

I'll post screenshots soon.

04-26-2006, 05:25 PM
mattrage's technique is the closest to the Autodesk Combustion paint palette that i'm aware of. i've already used the custom color palette thingy, its awesome!

04-27-2006, 03:21 PM
I remember coming back from a short evening painting course a while back where I'd found I had a wonderful ability to mix random colours together to end up with varying shades of "mud", often in quite unexpected ways, and we were all discussing the possibility of having the option of natural colour mixing in ArtRage at some point. It's definitely a very different model, with its own challenges in real life. I hope some day to actually get the hang of the real thing!

04-27-2006, 05:02 PM
Having cut my artistic teeth on mixing real oils and acrylics, I would be a huge fan of natural mixing. Perhaps it could be optional? <I know not what I ask>

04-27-2006, 06:15 PM
It's definitely something we'll look at for a later release.
There are two components to the colour-mixing: Colour mixing together with colour to produce a new paint colour which is applied, and also the way light is transmitted through the paint to colours on layers beneath (paper and other paint).

The second one is easiest - semitransparent media work like subtractive filters. The first one is very tricky and the colour properties can change with the type of media as well.

Aged P
04-27-2006, 06:54 PM
How hard can it be?

If you start off with a Fresh Egg tool and a screen area of polished glass, plus Mullers in graduated sizes. A dozen or so Glitter based real pigments to grind down, it should be a breeze. Don't overlook transparency of some but not others, chemical interaction, tonal changes that occur if it isn't used immediately and the fact that the only really impressive blue is genuine Lapis Lazuli.

I would love to see you succeed with this, but I suggest you start off by finding The Philosopher's Stone, then perhaps The Holy Grail. Carry on with a genuine form of Alchemy. You will then have done the warm up session!

Good luck guys.

04-27-2006, 10:27 PM
Hehe. I have some ideas...

04-30-2006, 10:38 AM
As a painter allergic to solvents, Artrage is for me!

Should anyone be interested in the theory of mixing pigments, ie subtractive colour mixing, try "Blue and Yellow don't Make Green" by Michael Wilcox. You will discover just where the "mud" comes from. (I have no proprietory interest, it just revolutionized my colour mixing with paint)
It will also throw light on why digital mixing is so different.

05-26-2006, 06:35 AM
The following pages have some nice colour charts which may be helpful.


and a smaller chart


05-26-2006, 09:21 AM
This can be quite handy as well.

06-29-2006, 06:04 AM
You may already have seen this, but just in case you haven't:

As a start, go the impasto page and watch the demo video.


06-30-2006, 12:48 PM
WOW! :shock:


If Art Rage could eventually do stuff like this i'll eat my hat.

06-30-2006, 02:30 PM
Don't eat it, Sethren, just post it in the "hats of the earth project" thread. =]

- Gita

07-01-2006, 05:55 PM
I'll keep that in mind! :D