Warm and Cool – Part 1

Since I’m off to a convention and have been so incredibly busy, I decided to take this opportunity to start a blogging project. O_o

I’ve wanted to do this experiment for a while now. I heard theories about warm and cool colors, how they relate, how to mix them, what to use them for, and what to avoid. I figure it’s all good advice, but there’s nothing like finding out for yourself.

I have warmer and cooler versions of the primaries in my gouache palette. I generally choose the tint that suits the painting better. Should it be more scientific than that? I know warm and cool are relative terms; putting a cool red next to a cool purple might make the red look warmer. But in general, I can pick out which tubes are warm and which are cool.


My attempts to color-correct the scan didn’t go so well… but I think you get the idea. The warm colors are Flame Red (PR170), Permanent Yellow (PY1), and Prussian Blue (PB27). The cool colors are Cadmium Red Purple (PR108), Lemon Yellow (PY3), and Ultramarine Blue (PB29).

During the next few weeks, I’ll show you my experiments with warm and cool primaries. I hope to learn a lot and share it all with you. I just might end up making lots of different shades of “mud,” but even that can be useful… especially if you’re painting dirt.

7 thoughts on “Warm and Cool – Part 1”

  1. Sounds like an interesting project Meg, I can’t wait to see what follows and at the very least there’s nothing wrong with creating great “mud”. ;)

  2. Rita, mud can be so useful. I’ll be sure to tell you all I learn.

    Casey, thanks. Glad it’s not just me who can see it. ;)

    Ced, I am so jealous.

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