How do you keep track of your mixed acrylics?

gerbera now

When I went back to work on my daisy painting, I immediately had trouble mixing and matching the green. It was way off from what I started with. I realized that the more I mix my colors, the more trouble I’ll have matching them later. I had time that day and went to the art store. The woman there was very helpful and I was asking a lot of questions! I asked her how she kept track of colors she mixed. Her only advice was to keep a swatch of the color, which I already did.

When I told her I was painting a flower, she recommended “Hookers Green,” which is a leaf green. I was using phthalo green, which not surprisingly was very blue. I wasn’t so sure of the color when I first put it on (bottom right leaf in the photo below), but I decided to go for it and covered all the leaves. Then I started adding the details of the leaves. I had mixed shades of the Hookers Green using the Brilliant Yellow Green, which was the base color of my painting. I thought painting the leaves would be easy, but I was wrong! I think I started to get the hang of it. Painting in watercolor and acrylic is very different!

leafygreen leafy1 leafy2

This time when I mixed my paint I used the disposable palette sheets I bought at the art store. These are perfect for me, because I hate cleaning up. I also bought a palette about the size of the sheet, to support it. When I was done, I was scraping off the paint I wanted to save, when I realized I could write on the sheet to label the paints and the mixes. This is so helpful! I have a terrible memory and sometimes don’t return to painting for several days (or even weeks). I guess I answered my own question. But I would love to hear other ideas! 🙂

palette sheet

I’m trying to figure out what section of the painting to attack next. Finish the leaves? The center of the flower?

5 thoughts on “How do you keep track of your mixed acrylics?

  1. yes! I have trouble with mixing up the old colors too…it’s probably one of the reasons I don’t paint as often anymore. I used to mix extra and keep it in old film canisters or other little containers with lids. Now I just make sure I have a good base layer and when I remix next time I figure it’s ok if it’s not exactly the same. I think the layers of varying color add interest. I use old magazine pages as my palette but had never thought of writing the color names/notes on there. Brilliant!

    1. I agree, having varied colors does make it more interesting. Mine was so off base that I didn’t think it went with the original green, but I covered all the leaves and worked from there. I never seem to mix enough. Lol! Thank you for your comment! Magazine pages is a great idea!

  2. I’m with you on the greens! I’ve always had trouble wih leaves. The more you misplaced, the worse it gets sometimes. I use hookers green almost always now and only mix in my browns and yellows sparingly. On your daisy… It POPS! Gorgeous work.

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