Help mixing lights

I am painting this still life I am having some trouble mixing these lighting effects , what colors do we use to mix lights.. any advice will be much appreciated, critics.... I usually use lemon yellow and white 


  • hebrew1985

    Assuming you are using Geneva or W&N with slow dry medium, Mark has a good free video on the procedure for mixing any colour. If you internalise this process and put it into practice no colour will be a problem.

  • I agree with @dencal
    The only formula is observation and mark’s color mixing instructions.  This is true for everything including “flesh tones”.  Or burgers and fries. 😀. 
    [Deleted User]
  • @dencal yes I do but there are some colors that cannot be mixed in that pallet such as the bright lights , usually use lemon yellow to show the effect of lighting , most of marks paintings don’t have major light effects such as that reference photo I posted 
  • edited September 2020
    This is a great still life exercise. @PaulB does paintings of things like this and they are marvelous. It may be useful to take a look at his work. 

    Some suggestions that may help:

    If you are trying to match the colour and values in the photo then your dark background needs to be darker. That will make the lights look brighter. The cup and the burger box also need to be darker and much lower in chroma. Squint at the reference photo and you'll see that they almost disappear because they are so dark and gray. Now squint at your painting and you'll see that they are way too bright and high in chroma - they need to be darker and grayer so that you hardly see them when you squint. Same with the fries - they are way too uniformly yellow in your painting and there's no gradation in value from dark at their left hand side to bright at their right. 

    As for the process of seeing and mixing colours,  @dencal is right - I see no value or colour in your reference photo that could not be matched using Mark's limited palette and his colour matching method. It just comes down to very careful colour checking using the method demonstrated in Mark's free videos. It can be time consuming and tedious but when we are just starting out in realism there's no better way to learn to see and mix colour

    Hope this is helpful.  :)
    Mayeolihebrew1985[Deleted User]
  • @tassieguy thank you , how do I see @PaulB work I clicked on his name and only a duck comes up
  • edited September 2020
    Hi, @hebrew1985. Click on his name and then click on 'discussions' on the right side of your screen and you will see a list of his posts. Click in the items in the list to see his work. The particular works of his I had in mind  are on Instagram. :)

  • @PaulB have been coached by SB also
  • You might want to start with less chroma and color-check for value.  Most subjects are "grayer" and more neutral than they appear due to the high-contrast.  Start with several puddles of neutral-gray in a range of values, then tint them....rather than puddles of pure "hue" then attempting to shift the value and chroma.

    Natural objects are often low-chroma and neutral-ish, manmade objects are higher-chroma or high contrast by comparison.
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