Mixing color groups

This has probably been discussed before, but I haven't found it yet.

Mark seems to mix all of his color croups at once in the beginning of the painting process.  Then he draws from the mixed color groups as his palette while painting.  The long open time of the Geneva paints or use of the SDM makes this approach possible.

Has anyone tried mixing only one or two color groups at a time, then painted only those areas of the painting that contain those colors?  What would be the advantages and/or disadvantages of an approach like this?  

I've been trying other approaches that requires mixing-as-you-go but they don't seem to work well for me.  I think my personality is more suited to Marks more methodical workflow, so I intend to come back to it.  I'm examining the possible variations now.


  • dencaldencal -
    edited August 25

    I am content to mix one colour group of say nine values in a string and tackle one object.
    I also mix a chromatic black, an off white and a greying complementary colour.
    By using snap caps I am able to start and stop a session without the pressure of paint skinning.
    One group at a time avoids the marathon mixing sessions.
    One group at a time creates space in the session for thoughtful gazing, review and cleanup.
    One group at a time establishes a relaxed workflow.

  • @mstrick96
    If you think that color groups are the way to go. And you're using Geneva Paint then that seem logical. I wouldn't do it without Geneva or DMP medium. The are many different even simpler approaches to mixing color. 
  • Since outdoors landscape colors have a much lower chroma than pure paints from the tube, I've been reversing the process. Using white, Paynes gray (cool dark) and Burnt Umber (warm dark) I mix the approximate value, then mix a little color into it rather than strings of color (hue and chroma). Since landscapes are green and blue dominated, I typically include a base green like Chrome green or Sap green on the palette.  And a Cyan or Phthalo if the sky is dominant.  Where I am the sky can have a definite green-bias near the horizon with very little chroma.
    The World is much "grayer" than we initially perceive.  I find many landscapes "fail" due to excessive chroma and poor control of value.
  • I started out mixing color strings but since then I mix paint for individual objects as I go.  If I have clean paint in the pallet when I go to the next object and the paint is still open I will use that paint for the next object.  Because it takes me so long to comply painting I inevitably at some point scrape the pallet and start fresh with all new piles of blue yellow red burnt umber and white.  
  • @dencal
    I like the idea of the snap caps. Do you take the paint out of them for each session and then put it back at the end of the session?  Or perhaps draw only part of it out as you need it?

  • @KingstonFineArt
    I use both the Geneva paint and I have some I've made up with the SDM.  I like the long open time no matter how I try to mix my colors.
  • @TedB
    That sounds like an interesting approach.  I'll have to give that a try.

  • mstrick96

    Snap caps 10ml size. The entire nine group values are premixed. Two or three values opened and in use at any one time. Paint stays in the container, except where I might need to mix a half tone, or adjust temperature on the palette/canvas. Essentially I paint directly from the snap caps and close them as soon as I move to progressively lighter values.

  • edited August 25
    I'm in the process of editing a video that deals with summer color. It's of Judith Reeve of https://www.attentiveequations.com mixing adjusted 'set' palettes. I can't go into too much detail but the resulting paintings are outstanding. When the video drops on YouTube I'll post the link.
  • edited August 27
    Oh, I can hardly wait!  :) I like her paintings. 
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