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Watercolour Painting => Watercolour Colour Mixing Questions => Topic started by: BeaSue on November 22, 2013, 06:05:17 AM

Title: Mixing Black
Post by: BeaSue on November 22, 2013, 06:05:17 AM
I would like to paint a deep black background--one that has a bit of a sheen (like a grand-piano-black), such that it will reflect some of the colors of the focal objects.

I know I can work with a rich mix of burnt sienna and ultramarine blue. Do any of you have other, favorite color mixes to make black? The ready-made blacks are too flat and dull.

Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Mixing Black
Post by: Germa on November 22, 2013, 07:11:22 AM
I don't know if it works in wc too, but with oils, my favourite black is 4 parts ultramarine, 2 parts alizarin crimson and 1 part cadmium yellow.
Title: Re: Mixing Black
Post by: BeaSue on November 22, 2013, 12:32:02 PM
Thanks, Germa! I have all those colors, and will experiment.

In doing some research, I have also found these recipes:

Phthalo Blue + Alizarin Crimson
Prussian Blue + Alizarin Crimson
Prussian Blue + Burnt Umber
Viridian + Alizarin Crimson

I'll have some fun doing some mixing and experimenting.
Title: Re: Mixing Black
Post by: doina on November 22, 2013, 12:58:38 PM
I usualy paint a first bakground of dark burnt sienna, and then a second coat of a mixture of ultramarine + alizarin + veridian. Good luck, Doina
Title: Re: Mixing Black
Post by: scouserl41 on November 22, 2013, 02:01:29 PM
I'm the same in oils, mix a deep purple with Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine Blue then add yellow until it turns jet black.
Do look at your subject and decide if it's going to vanish into the background though. Sometimes its better to lighten up the background to make the subject darker. I have had success lightening the background locally around the subject to give a "Halo" effect. That can really make a subject pop.
Play around with it and see what happens.
Brian
Title: Re: Mixing Black
Post by: MSWcrane on January 16, 2014, 05:12:38 PM
Ditto, Ultramarine 4 parts, Alizarin Crimson 2 parts, Cadmium Yellow 1 part or as much to make the black you want, that's my favorite black mix. 
Title: Re: Mixing Black
Post by: BeaSue on February 21, 2015, 06:51:20 AM
A recipe suggested in the current issue of PMP's online magazine:

Quinacrodone gold + Prussian blue + viridian + Alizarin crimson

You can vary the ratio of blue or crimson, depending on whether you want a cooler or warmer dark.