When you go to a party, do you spend the entire evening talking with one person or do you mingle with the crowd? One person may give you a single point of view but conversations with others may present multiple ideas and insights. The same is true of color. Stay with your tried and true colors and it will become ho hum after a while, but reach out to new colors and your universe expands!

When formulating colors for a new painting, I paint swatches on watercolor paper then mix those colors together to see different prospects. I realized I was reinventing the wheel for each painting and needed a color resource. I spent two weeks putting together numerous charts mixing all my yellows with reds, yellows with blues, yellows with greens etc. and placed them in archival sleeves in a notebook. This way I could quickly see all my colors and all my combinations.


I found this exercise to be indispensible. The physical act of mixing colors gave me an awareness of new color possibilities and now I had an illustrative reference to work from. It was a process well worth the time and energy. Much like mixing with the crowd.