making color wheels with homemade watercolor paints

by | Nov 17, 2021 | Artistic Endeavors, Watercolors | 7 comments

Before I dive headlong into holiday content, I wanted to share the last installment of my series on making handmade watercolors.  To me, experimenting with the paints and exploring the color palette is one of my favorite parts of playing with paints.  Whenever I feel stuck, I just start making color wheels and charts and that gets my hands and creative brain moving.

You can find the first three parts (including videos, a printed recipe, and supplies list) here…

mineral artist’s pigments from Choosing Keeping

handmade watercolor binder recipe & video

making handmade watercolors

I have a huge assortment of pigments to choose from, but I decided to start with five colors that would give me a small palette to experiment on and play with.  This was my first time mixing homemade watercolors, so I knew there would be a learning curve.  As I shared in the previous post, the good news is that the endeavor resulted in useable watercolors!  That’s a good start. I did learn that I need to mull the darker colors a bit more to make sure the pigments are fully coated in the binder and I need to get a better feel for what “good mixed watercolor paint” feels like.  I know what it feels like out of the tube or off of a cake, but what should it feel like as I’m mixing it?  I’ll learn…

making color wheels with homemade watercolor paints | miss mustard seed

I find the process of making color wheels to be incredibly relaxing!  If you’re intimidated by paint and color, this is a great place to start.

making color wheels with homemade watercolor paints

Here is a video showing my process of making these color wheels with my limited handmade palette…

To explain it a little bit further, each page has a circle featuring one color.  That color is then mixed with two other colors to create a wheel.  In the example below, the green was mixed with burnt sienna on one side and dark blue on the other.  The middle wedge of each side is equal parts green and the other color.  Then, one wedge is more green and the other is more of the burnt sienna or dark blue.  It’s shows a range of colors that can be created with just three colors.

making color wheels with homemade watercolor paints

making color wheels with homemade watercolor paints

I repeated this same process, mixing color wheels, with all five colors.  I ended up mixing all of the colors together, so I could really see the capabilities of this limited palette.

making color wheels with homemade watercolor paints

As tools for making the color wheels and circles, I was using the Iris circle drawing tool by Makers Cabinet and THIS STENCIL from StencilGirl.

THIS is the notebook I’m using and the seller is once again shipping to the US.

The fountain pen is the 3776 Celluloid fountain pen by Platinum.  I’ll be sharing more about luxury fountain pens as well as some great bargain ones for those who are interested in getting them for Christmas presents.

I ended up closing the first page before it was dry and making a mess of the opposite page, so I decided to add a vintage postcard to cover it up!  I added a little splotch of color in the correspondence section.

making color wheels with homemade watercolor paints

Whether you make your own homemade watercolors or you’re testing out a new palette, one of the best ways to get to know your colors is by making color wheels.  It’s a no-pressure way to start painting and learning.

making color wheels with homemade watercolor paints

You can find a free video workshop on making a two-color color chart with oils HERE.

For those interested in testing the watercolor waters, I bought a $16 beginner palette to test out for you!  I’ll be sharing that soon.


  1. Irene Kelly

    I just love your thought process and organizational skills with all your painting techniques and paint skills But want to see more Christmas decorating around your home ! I just live your color palette of all the blues you use. Blue is my favorite color also but still have not used it in my Christmas decorating. I guess I’m old fashion with the reds and greens. More holiday recipes and decorating.

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh yeah, lots of that is coming. In fact, I was just working on it today! I was just slipping this post in before we got into all of the Christmas decorating, recipes, and crafts.

      • Irene Kelly

        Tks looking forward to all your new ideas !

  2. Elena M.

    I look forward everyday to open your site to see if you have anything new in the family room downstairs – are you going to decorate for Christmas there? I’d love to see the table, chandelier and the new cabinet you purchased in its place – can’t wait to see what you do there with the beautiful color you chose for the walls!!

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, thank you! The basement family room project has been at a stand-still for a while just because we’ve had so many other things going on! I still need to finish the painting and chair rail, but I’d love to at least get the mantle dressed for Christmas. I did paint the metal fireplace surround last week, so I guess I made some creeping progress!

    • Rita

      I’ve got to try this. Looks like a lot fun and good beginner process. Like you said – it’s just playing and learning as you go. You’ve have really ignited a creative spark in me. Thank you for sharing all these processes.

  3. Laura Hale

    Thank you Marian for the watercolor info! Your pigments look so beautiful. The color wheels are a piece of art by themselves. What a wonderful way to relax: mixing all of those lucious paints.


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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