The objective of colour mixing in painting is to create the largest
number of options from the minimum number of colours and to be
able to mix the colour you want. The ability to succeed depends
initially on the quality of the colour. Winsor & Newton was founded
in 1832 by two artists determined to improve the range of colours
available to painters and provide colours of greater permanence.
Serving these aims decade after decade requires the understanding
and application of colour theory by Winsor & Newton to their ranges.
In this section, the practical applications of colour theory are
discussed, with reference to the colour names and characteristics
of the different media.
||Basic colour theory
For reasons of simplicity, we are taught when young that the three
primary colours - red, blue and yellow - are all that are required
for colour mixing. In fact, in pigment form every colour has both
a masstone and an undertone which is different to the next colour.
Looking at the illustration on the right.
For example, a blue pigment will have either a red undertone or
a green undertone in comparison to another blue pigment. French
Ultramarine is a red shade blue whilst Prussian blue is a green
shade blue. The undertone or bias of each colour however, is relative
to the next one. For example, Indanthrene Blue, is red shade in
comparison to Prussian Blue, but both would be classed as green
shade blues. The colour bias is often most easily seen in a tint.
||So, red, blue and yellow alone are not the whole story and in
fact six colours provide a wider base for colour mixing: a red
with a yellow bias,
a red with a blue bias, a blue with a green bias, a blue with
a red bias, a yellow with a red bias and a yellow with a green