Blue & yellow don’t make green

I read a lot of books and love reading about art in all its forms.  I’ve recently purchased this book and it’s so useful that I thought I would share it with you.


I learnt about this book from reading a blog by Carol Marine who’s book Daily Painting inspired me to get on with one of my promises to myself in 2014.  Carol talks about colour, both in terms of understanding it and creating a vast number of colours from a small number of tubes.

The author, Michael Wilcox, has studied the history of artists’ pigments and the use of colour through the ages.  In this book he gives you an understanding of the colour bias wheel and exploring the basic palette’s range.  I already knew about quite a bit about colour theory, but this book goes into a great amount of colour mixing detail which is so helpful.  It shows you how you can achieve a huge range of colours from just six colours and white .  Those colours are Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine, Cerulean Blue, Lemon Yellow and Cadmium Yellow Pale.

Unfortunately I think this book is now out of print, however, you can still find it on places like Amazon marketplace.  If you wish to explore the possibilities of making many colours from a small number of colours I suggest that you get this book. It might even save you lots of money on expensive tubes of paint!   Here’s a few pages to whet your appetite.





2 thoughts on “Blue & yellow don’t make green

  1. Fantastic book! The six-primary system *really* works because no paint pigment is a pure primary; they all lean towards a secondary. Understanding this makes the difference between joy and frustration for the artist.

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