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step mixing colors

hi guys , so i don't quite understand what colors and how much paint is used to make all the steps, im on a fixed income so pre mixing  lots of paint could be costly,  what is the best way to accomplish this in a economic way. I would imagine even saving all the mixes as one would leave me with a large jar of tan or darker paint and my knowledge of mixing is minimal to turn it   into a usable color... leaving me a lot of color i wouldn't be able to use..or do I just not get it?


  • @willy, this is a very common problem, I had exactly the same questions.

    First let me reiterate that DMP is a learning methodology, so what you do now will likely not be what you do in two years.  As Mark says, you'll develop your own habits and process, and by then you'll know things like what steps you might need in advance, or what steps you don't need to pre-mix at all, how many steps to mix, how much paint you'll really need, and so on.  It's important that you follow DMP now, because it gives you good training for what comes next.

    So all this means that right now, you will mix too much paint.  Or too little.  Because you have may not have yet developed a sense of how much paint it is going to take to fill that shape on the canvas.  As you progress, you will know exactly how much to mix for each step, what the steps should be, and so on.  So one day, you won't waste any paint.

    And you can always scrape up the leftovers and jar it, for when you need that muddy purple color in the future.  This can make good background colors for still life, by the way.  The important thing is that if you save old paint, make sure you also use that old paint some day.  Then it's not wasted.

    Here's what I did:

    At first I thought "look at this guy mixing giant puddles of paint", and then thought "this is the same guy that sells paint", so I was suspicious and ended up mixing much less than Mark does.  So while I don't waste any paint, I do spend a lot of time mixing and re-mixing the same colors.  So I choose to gladly mix more paint as I need it, rather than waste it.  This means I am constantly mixing paint, but I think that's exactly the skill I want to perfect.  I don't want to perfect my storage of excess paint skill.

    On the other hand, mixing good quantities allows you to paint quickly, without constant breaks to make that same green again.  Watch Mark paint, and (despite the video editing) you can see that he makes rapid progress where he's just painting, and not mixing much, and that's the fun part.
  • dencaldencal -
    edited September 2017

    Welcome to the Forum.

    I know exactly how you feel. Get used to the behavior of paint and mixing by doing your own color wheel.

    Start with Mark's slow dry medium and mix up about half a tube (14ml) into a small plastic or glass snap cap container, probably 35 or 50ml size. These are available for a couple of dollars a dozen at craft and dollar shops.

     These are 12c each or less for a quantity purchase. Select for a good airtight seal and fill to minimize airspace.

    Mix your basic five tube colors. Should be usable for a couple of years if you keep them closed and full with glass marbles.

    Mix your string of values for a color group (object) in tiny 10ml snap caps, (about two teaspoons) number them from light to dark. These will remain usable for a couple of weeks, a month in cool weather. Use the left over to stain your next canvas. Mix 'tween values on your palette as needed. I find it useful to have a complementary color for shade values and a black made with burnt umber and french ultramarine blue.

    Often for a short session I paint directly out of the snap caps and throw my brush in an oil bath til next time.

    This procedure is tedious at the beginning but freedom reigns there after.


  • SummerSummer -
    edited September 2017
    Welcome to the DMP forum.  Yes, save your leftovers, you'll figure out what to do with them that suits you best along the way if you follow what you learn in the tutorials and elsewhere.  There is no getting around acquainting yourself with the tutorials; and they are simple enough.  I recommend that you choose the least ambitious still-life or photo project that you can think of at first.  It is recommended that you start with three objects that do not have any intricate patterns.  I believe we have all had to get used to the idea that some paint will be wasted.  If you begin painting with Geneva paints you will be fortunate because you won't have to mix an elaborate medium to use with them.  You will come across a helpful color guide that you can print out and attach to your easel that will be invaluable for mixing your colors.  Using this color guide will result in your wasting a lot less paint, I'm sure.  Judging from your profile picture, I'm sure you'll do fine.  Have fun.  Summer  

  • We have the same problems with mixing steps. All I can tell you is to watch Mark's videos about mixing colors starting with "How To Paint Realism" and "Choosing Color Groups" There is no shortcut to learning to mix colors and the way Mark teaches it also teaches you how to preserve values which is more important and harder to learn if you already know how to mix colors. As far as the cost is concerned, that can be an issue. Right now has 21 ml tubes of SoHo Urban Artist oil colors on sale for less than $1.00 to $2.79 each and free shipping on orders over $35, They aren't the best Quality but cheap enough for almost anyone. You'll need (these are SoHo names) Crimson Red or Primary Red; Burnt Umber; Titanium White; Ultramarine Blue or Primary Blue; Cadmium Yellow Pale or Primary Yellow. These lower quality paints tend to dry quickly so you'll need to add Slow Dry Medium. You can find the formula in the Supply List. It's at the top right of DMP Home Page.

    { Hey Jerry, with all the endorsements I've been throwing here, ya think I could get an extra discount on my next order? }
  • PaulB said:

     I choose to gladly mix more paint as I need it, rather than waste it.  This means I am constantly mixing paint, but I think that's exactly the skill I want to perfect.  I don't want to perfect my storage of excess paint skill.

    Right on! :)
  • Some of these people have several paintings going at a time. If you don't want to store it start another painting.  I bought the little 4 oz canning jars to store the small amounts left over which after watching Marks video I can turn into a usable color I want later because of the limited palette, His videos show you how so you don't waste paint.   
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