Color is fundamental to painting and learning about how individual colors mixing together is an essential part of learning to paint. Painting up a color chart gives you an at-a-glance visual reference for each color or pigment. Painting a chart for individual colors in your paintbox, and mixing charts, gives you an instant visual reference.
This is a 20-year-old handmade acrylic color chart painted on a piece of wood. It's survived a lot but the information on it is still valid.
Each color swatch has the name of the color written at the top in pencil. There are three values of each: straight from the tube, a touch of white, and a bit more white.
This watercolor chart hasn't aged very well over the past 20-odd years. It's faded and the unevenly painted swatches become even more evident. These originally all went from dark to light in tone, but some light tones have faded completely. The brown paper tape used to stretch the sheet of watercolor paper before the chart was painted is still evident on the sides.
This color chart was painted using the Printable Art Color Mixing Worksheet. This watercolor chart was painted in preparation for a painting of a Kona Hibiscus. It shows beautifully what a range of colors can be mixed from just two.
This color chart of purple and yellow hues was painted using the Printable Art Color Mixing Worksheet.
This color chart of purple, black, and orange hues was painted using the Printable Art Color Mixing Worksheet.
This color chart of green and red hues was painted using the Printable Art Color Mixing Worksheet.
One of the things we have to learn when color mixing is the impact of any color that's already on the canvas, especially if we're using a transparent color. Some artists prefer to use a few primary colors to make what they need rather than buying many different tubes of specific colors.
The creator of this color mixing chart observed that the chart is also helpful for new painters as they learn which brands to use for the desired effect.
"I was getting unpredictable results and odd colors, so I decided to make my own color wheel as well as charts experimenting with different undercoats. The transparency/opaqueness of the different colors and brands make the final effect drastically different depending on the color of the undercoat, so I made test patches of each paint I thought I'd use with each background.
"I like to do a 'practice' 8x10" painting with my inexpensive paints before doing a 16x20" version and wanted to make a key to tell me what paints to use to make the colors I wanted."