Mastering Colour 2: Pigments and Possibilities – double primary hue chart and colour wheel

Learn about the classic double primary palette and how to use the bias of individual pigments to create a full gamut of colours from just 6 pigments. Then create a hue chart to keep as a reference guide for the rest of the course.


By understanding the role of colour bias in colour mixing we can access thousands of colour possibilities from just a few carefully selected pigments. The first part of this lesson explains the purpose of the double primary palette and the wheel. The second part generates a useful reference chart or ‘recipe chart’ that can be used as a starting point for colour mixes throughout the other lessons in the mastering colour course.

Contents: Slide talk, practical demonstration and skill building exercise.
Running time: 1 hr  33 mins
Time required for exercise: 60 – 90 mins

Materials List

Materials and equipment required:

One 9 x 12” board or A4 sheet of paper
2 x Pins
Printed image of colour wheel template if possible or a protractor
A small flat paint brush, around 1cm or ½ “ wide is ideal, a round brush would also be fine
A palette knife of any size and shape you like to use
Paper towel for cleaning/drying brushes
Plenty of clean water if you’re using acrylics or watercolours

Just one from each line of the following list of colours
• Titanium white
• Any bright greenish yellow – Cadmium lemon yellow, bright yellow lake, bismuth vanadate, Lemon yellow (not Michael Harding’s lemon yellow though – be sure to use his cadmium lemon!)
• An orangey yellow – Indian yellow red shade, cadmium golden yellow, cadmium yellow deep, gamboge, Yellow lake deep
• An orangey red – Cadmium red light, vermillion, possibly napthol red if it is an orangey shade
• A purplish red – Quinacridone pink, opera rose, permanent rose, alizarin claret, permanent alizarin, alizarin crimson, (or perhaps even magenta though that is a bit too purple really)
• A purplish blue – Ultramarine or cobalt blue
• A greenish blue – Phthalocyanine blue lake, phthalo blue green shade, Windsor blue, cerulean blue

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