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New artists might be awed at all the colors there are to choose from in art supply stores. At first it will seem overwhelming to you, and you will wonder if you will ever learn to match colors as you see them. As time goes by, and you practice your painting, you will automatically see things differently than you once did. When you look at nature, you will begin to see things through the eyes of an artist. You will note that flowers and leaves on trees are certain shades and shadows would be this or that color. You will begin to notice how the light is being cast and the angles reflected. You will view sunrises and sunsets recognizing the subtle changes in shades and colors. Perspective will also become important to you.

You will find a medium that works best for you. Either watercolors, acrylics, or oils are the mediums from which to choose. I prefer acrylics as they are the easiest to use and clean up brushes and hands. Watercolors are runny. Oils are harder to clean up and take a very long time to dry once the picture has been painted.

You can purchase an Extender to use with acrylics to make them not dry quite so fast.

Buy the best quality artist brushes you can afford. Cheap brushes are no bargain if they keep shedding their bristles onto your canvas. Keep your brushes clean and standing up with the bristles on top and reshaped each time you clean them.

Use an empty coffee can to hold your clean brushes.

Use sturdy plastic plates as an art pallette for your colors to be mixed. Plastic devilled egg plates make good art pallettes too.

Keep three jars of clean water and a roll of paper towels nearby. You will need to replace your water when it becomes too murky from cleaning the paint off brushes in between colors.

Mix your colors with an art knife which resembles an icing spatula. A butter spreader would work for mixing colors, too.

When beginning to paint on canvas, purchase only the neutral colors of black, white, brown and the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue. You can mix all other colors from these six basic colors.

To get a darker shade of any color, mix in a touch of black until you get the desired darkness.

To get a lighter shade of any color, just keep adding a touch of white until you get the desired shade.

When painting the sun or moon, use the tip of your index finger to swirl either into the center of the area representing it.

Use a fan brush to paint trees, bushes, or grass. They come in various sizes.

You can add your signature with a fine liner pen. Always sign your name in the same way and in the same area on every painting you do. Your signature becomes what others will look for on your paintings to identify your artwork.

Apricot = Mix 2 parts Orange + 1 part Yellow

Aqua = Mix 5 parts Sky Blue + 1 part Leaf Green

Avocado = Mix 4 parts Yellow + 1 part Leaf Green + just a touch of black

Beige = Mix 3 parts white + just a touch of Brown

Burgundy = Mix 5 parts Rose Pink + 1 part Violet

Chartreuse = Mix 5 parts Yellow + 1 part Leaf Green

Copper = Mix 1 part Yellow + 1 part Brown + 1 part Red

Coral = Mix 3 parts Rose Pink + 2 parts Yellow

Dusty Rose = Mix 5 parts Rose Pink + 1 part Violet

Flesh Tone = Mix 1 part Peach to 2 parts Beige
You can get a darker Flesh Tone by adding a touch of Brown until you reach the desired shade. For the darkest flesh tones add touches of Black until desired shade is reached.

Gold = Mix 10 parts Yellow + 3 parts Orange + 1 part Red

Grape = Mix 1 part Sky Blue + 6 parts Rose Pink

Grey or Silver = Mix 1 part Black + 1 part Blue
Mix in some white to get desired shades.

Hunter Green = Mix 5 parts Dark Green + just a touch of Black

Lavender = Mix 5 parts Pink + 1 part Violet

Leaf Green = Mix 1 part Green and 2 parts Yellow
Mix in touches of White to get various shades of light being cast.

Light Brown = Mix 7 parts Red + 2 parts Yellow + 1 part Blue

Lime Green = Mix 5 parts Yellow + 1 part Green

Maroon = Mix 4 parts Red + 2 parts Burgundy

Mauve = Mix 5 parts Rose Pink + 2 parts Orange + 2 parts Red + 2 parts Black

Moss Green = Mix 2 parts Violet + 3 parts Yellow

Navy Blue = Mix 1 part Sky Blue + 1 part Violet

Orange = Mix 6 parts Yellow + 2 parts Red

Peach = Mix 2 parts Orange + 2 parts White

Pink = Mix 1 part Red + 2 parts White

Plum = Mix 1 part Violet + just a touch of Red

Raspberry = Mix 3 parts Rose Pink + 1 part Red

Rose Pink = Mix 2 parts Red + 1 part White

Rose Red = Mix 8 parts Red + 1 part Blue

Ruby Red = Mix 1 part Red + just a touch of Black

Rust = Mix 8 parts Orange + 2 parts Red + 1 part Brown

Silver or Grey = Mix 1 part Black + 1 part Blue
Mix in touches of White to get desired shades.

Sky Blue = Mix 1 part Blue + 2 parts White

Teal = Mix 1 part Blue + 1 part Green
Teal can go towards the Blue side or the Green side by simply adding a touch more of either color until you get the desired shade.

Turquoise = Mix 6 parts Sky Blue + 1 part Yellow

Violet = Mix 1 part red + 1 part blue

White Shadows = Mix a touch of either Pink or Blue into White until desired shadow color is reached. Mountains especially need these white shadows.

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