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Hello, I too am new

Hi everyone.

I'm new to painting with oil and I am at the very-frustrated-I-don't-know-how-to-mix-the-colour-I'm-seeing (or thinking I'm seeing) stage. Most times I can't quite figure out what the colour is that I'm looking at, it's that bad. I figure I'm over-thinking things and it's making me disheartened that I'm not getting off to a good start.

I've made a colour-checker but the only time I've tried to use it was indoors, whilst looking out of the window to paint the houses opposite mine. The problem I encountered was that I was unable to match the intensity of the lighting outside from where I was painting and the vibrancy of the colours were difficult to pin down and identify.

I'm seeing too many colours and can't figure out which ones to concentrate on and try to mix. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can make this any easier for myself? I have watched all of Mark's awesome videos that he's been extremely kind enough to put up for free, but I'm still not achieving the desired results. I know that Mark is due to post a video on choosing and mixing colour groups, so I hope this turns out to be the help I'm so desperate for.

Apologies if my first post has turned into whinings of a crazy, frustrated painter. I am marking this as 'Day 1' of my odyssey into becoming the painter I know I can be and hope you wonderful people can help me arrive at my goal.

Much love,


  • David

    Set up a shadow box, still life with one or two objects - dark with one light top right.

    You will see color, in a simple and controllable way.

    One color group at a time - Draw, Mix, Paint.


  • Welcome David.
    Denis is correct. If you want to learn how to use the color checker, set up the shadow box and lights just as Mark shows. You will be amazed at how great it works.
  • Agree with Denis and Ronna. You can do it!!! :-bd
  • Thanks for your friendly, helpful comments. I will certainly go and build myself a shadow box and post back my results. And thanks especially for clarifying the oft overlooked message that the name of Mark's website conveys - simply draw, mix, paint.

    Here goes...

    David :)
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] admin
    edited June 2013
    Balance your whites and balance your blacks. You can't stand inside and aim the color checker outside where it's sunny and expect it to work — it won't. I forget which video explains how to balance your whites and blacks but I'm sure one of our super helpful forum members will post a link to it here. :)
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