Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Color Wheel & Terri Sproul's Mixers

One of the most frequent questions I get about Terri Sproul's Mixers is "How did you get that color?" It's simple, I mixed the Mixers! A little color theory will give you all the tools you need to take 4 colors and some Enhancer and make lots of colors for painting! A note to all my artist friends: while these colors are not the true colors to get a color wheel that would result in you being able to make a "mixed" black, it does allow the hobbyist to expand their color range with the Mixers. 

To create *most* of the mixed colors that you see here, I used Shimmer Red,
Citrine Pearl and Tanzanite Pearl. When I started in on the purples, the Shimmer
Red was not getting a purply purple [the dots outside the circle] so I switch to
the Pink Sapphire--a color I had previously determined made a great purple.
From there start with the basics--equal parts of each color to make the secondary:
Citrine+Shimmer Red=Orange
Tanzanite+ Pink Sapphire=Purple
To create the tertiary colors, add equal parts of the following:
citrine+green=yellow green
citrine+orange=yellow orange
red shimmer+orange=red orange
pink sapphire+purple=red purple
purple +tanzanite=blue purple
tanzanite+green=blue green
To make browns, I previously experimented and found that
bronze and shimmer red mixed with some Enhancer made a
lovely shade of brown.

for a darker shade of brown, add more enhancer
Likewise, to lighten a color add a small amount to clear lacquer.
The color on the left is what resulted with the amount of brown
that I added to the lacquer, I wanted a lighter shade still and added
a small drop of the mixed shade to another dollop of crystal
lacquer, this resulted in an almost skin-tone shade of brown.

 I hope this helps decipher some of the mysteries of color mixing and allows you to feel free to try it! Mixing colors is a ton of fun and allows you to have a range of colors to paint a fun stamped image or an entire painting!
For the project below, I used my mixed browns to paint the bunny and bear. I painted the star with citrine and gold dust to get that extra shimmer. I painted the flowers with the sapphire pink and citrine centers. Once that was dry, I watercolored the backgrounds with the Mixers as well. To create a watercolor wash that won't rub off on your fingers, mix 2:1 water to Gum Arabic and then add in your Mixer--I used Tanzanite for the sky and added a small bit of citrine for the grass.  The Mixers and Sakura act as a resist to the wash! To stamp the image and the sentiment I used Archival Ink from Ranger which does not smear with the water color washes.

Thank you for looking! I hope you try mixing your Mixers!


  1. Wonderful card Leslie! I loved looking at your different color combinations too.

    Hugs XX

  2. Great card Leslie - Love the color wheel :)

  3. Love your work with all of the colors.... great tutorial.