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Welcome to one of my favorite parts about painting – playing with color and making beautiful charts to reference and hang in your studio!

In this video, I show examples of different kinds of color charts, share how they are useful to improve your color mixing scales and get to know the colors in your palette, show how to tape off a chart and make a two-color color study. I also share some of my top painting book picks for beginners.

As a reference, here is an example of how I taped off a 9 x 12 color chart…

 

Materials & Supplies

  • Paints (I’ll be using oil paints, but you can use acrylics, watercolors, gouache) in any colors!  I would suggest using colors that you want to make a part of your regular palette.  You need at least two colors and white.  I used Burnt Sienna, Veridian, and Titanium White.
  • If you’re using watercolors or gouache, you just need a brush and a mixing surface.  If you’re using oils or acrylics, you’ll need a palette and a palette knife, preferably one with about a 1″ blade.  A brush is okay if that’s all you have.
  • Paper or a canvas panel (I use a 9×12 canvas panel)
  • Paper towels
  • 1/4″ masking tape or 1/8″ masking tape (Again, this is optional.  It makes the squares nice and straight, but you can still make a color chart if you don’t have it.)

The thing I love about color charts is that they are a way to work with paints and learn when you’re not feeling particularly inspired to paint a specific subject.

 

 

Making Color Charts | Printable Materials List

 

Art Books for Beginners (or anyone)

Here are links for the books I shared in the class.  They are great for artists of any level, but I found them very helpful when I was first starting out.  They are approachable and don’t get too technical.

  • Daily Painting – This book is my favorite all-around painting book for beginners.

All three of these books are similar in that they provide instruction on painting in broad strokes and learning to simplify scenes and focus on the most important elements.  I am still trying to relax when I paint and not fiddle too much with the detail!

All of these books are good for landscape painting specifically if that’s your area on interest…

  • Paints (I’ll be using oil paints, but you can use acrylics, watercolors, gouache) in any colors!  I would suggest using colors that you want to make a part of your regular palette.  You need at least two colors and white.  I used Burnt Sienna, Veridian, and Titanium White.
  • If you’re using watercolors or gouache, you just need a brush and a mixing surface.  If you’re using oils or acrylics, you’ll need a palette and a palette knife, preferably one with about a 1″ blade.  A brush is okay if that’s all you have.
  • Paper or a canvas panel (I use a 9×12 canvas panel)
  • Paper towels
  • 1/4″ masking tape or 1/8″ masking tape (Again, this is optional.  It makes the squares nice and straight, but you can still make a color chart if you don’t have it.)