Live Lessons: Color Theory and Mixing

Color theory and mixing with acrylics
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This lesson series features:
2 Hours of Instruction
2 Videos

About This Lesson Series...

Learn the basics of color theory and how to mix colors using both warm and cool primaries. Expert color mixer, artist, and instructor, Ashley Hurst shares his expertise in this fun and informative hour-long crash course.

Resources for this Lesson...


Color Theory Cheat Sheet

Here's what you'll need...

Your Choice of Paint Type...

  • Cadmium Yellow and Lemon Yellow
  • Cadmium Red and Alizarin Crimson
  • Phthalo Blue and Ultramarine
  • Titanium White and Ivory Black
  • Palette Knife and Palette

Lesson Discussion

  1. Awesome sauce! I’ve been changing the natural color of things since I was old enough to spit English peas and blueberries into my little fists said my mom, I have a tendency to believe her cause I still have to fight myself not to spit them to this day lol.
    I Absolutely LOVE COLOUR I love to play with it, change it, use it, be used by it! COLOUR ROCKS MY WORLD! I have actually come here to hopefully learn a bit more about the enemy of mine drawing. When I first found you years ago I couldn’t even draw a stick man well lol. But from your free demos I drew the most gorgeous Apple with Prismas, my roommate, companion, actually wanted to frame the darn thing. That’s when O knew as soon as finances would allow I was in and here I am. I’m very excited please forgive the NOVEL.

  2. Cad yellow light or medium?
    Cad red light or medium?

    You can now purchase Liquitex non cad colors that are a pretty good match. In California, they led the way to labeling paint with Cadmium. I appreciate this as I work with adults and children with special needs and toxins are pretty important consideration.

    Thanks for the informative lesson!


  3. Watching this, I was reminded of a little “time waster” game on my phone called “I Love Hue” in which a bunch of colored blocks are mixed up and you have to put them back in the correct order. It can be quite challenging, and it’s an interesting lesson in how your perception of colors is affected by the colors surrounding them.

  4. Thanks so much, I enjoyed watching this, I learned so much about colour that I honestly never knew before. I have a habit of buying all sorts of paint/brands/lines…based on price and what they look like. I never realized I could make so many colours from six simple tubes! I also have a colour wheel that I never fully understood so your video helped a lot!

  5. Excellent, I honestly struggle with color mixing. I think the limited palette will take some time but will be worth it in the long run. I have been given to buying what I need. Now I really am understanding that I don’t need to do that…..

  6. I love this class. It helps a lot seeing Vicent Van Gogh paintings in the end to complement evrything you guys talked about through the class. Thank you!

  7. This is my first lesson that I am watching from the virtual instructor, love it!
    I teach primary grades of art so it is a bit high for them but I like it for my own art practice

  8. This was great! I’m fairly new at all of this, and this was simple to understand and very informative. I followed along using Prismacolor pencils because I don’t have paint yet. I used ultramarine, Spanish orange and poppy red for the warm, and indigo blue, canary Yellow and crimson red for the cool. My mixed colors came out about the same as the paint colors. I was even able to make the browns and grays. Thank you for this.

    • Hi Pandora,

      Primary colors (or the paints and other media available as the primary colors) come from naturally occurring pigments. They cannot be mixed by combining any other colors together.

  9. As you were showing the Van Gogh paintings and got to the sunflowers, the whovian in me was coming out lol I was wishing that for fun it said for Amy above his name on the vase lol. I really want to say thank you so much for everything you do on here! color theory has always confused me and using colored pencils always intimidated me but your courses and live lessons have helped me so much in overcoming those draw backs, it still intimidates me some but I’m getting past it little by little. your showing me that when I slow down and take my time instead of rushing through that I will get a much better result and also to keep working at it as it won’t look nice right away. Everything both you and Ashley do here is so very much appreciated by so many so thank you so much!

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