Mixing the Ochre Palette.

Mixing the Ochre Palette.


Here is a simple Ochre palette that’s great for landscapes and portraits.

You can read all about it or duck over to my youtube channel and watch me mix it in person.


The Ochre Palette


Start with Cadmium Mid Yellow and mix in a little violet.

This will give you a Yellow Ochre

Use this Yellow Ochre as a base colour for all further mixes.


Mix in Red to give Red (or orange) Ochre


Blue to give a great greenish hue for foliage


Cobalt blue is great for Aussie landscape skies.


For shadows a violet wash (or glaze) on completion of the work.


These ochre mixes are also good for flesh tones when you tint them with white.  Flesh always has a little green and red in it.


(A tint is any colour lighter than the original.  A shade is any colour darker)


(Black and Yellow make a good olive green).


Mixing Colour


To darken a colour, use the colour on the opposite side of the colour wheel


eg  To make a darker green, you would add a little red.


Darker blue – add a little orange.   Yellow – add purple


Adding a colour on the opposite side of the wheel takes the light (or temperature) of the colour down and greys it out a little.


Try not to add black to darken a colour.  Only when the colour has been taken down to it’s maximum can you then add a tiny amount of black to deepen the shade.


If a painting is predominantly one colour, a tiny touch of the colour on the opposite side of the colour wheel can really give great impact.  This is called it’s complimentary opposite.


Warm & Cool colours


The colour wheel is divided into two parts: Warm and Cool

The colours which contain a greater proportion of red or yellow are considered warm.

Those having a greater degree of blue are cool.

Warm colours appear to advance, while cool colours recede.

About the Author:

Rhonda Armistead is a contemporary Artist from Lismore in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, Australia. Mediums include, Oils and Acrylics on Canvas, Reduction Plate Lino Prints, Etchings on Acrylic Plates, Drawings, Sketches in Pencil and Charcoal and Fine Line Pen. Her paintings include Portraits, Landscapes and Contemporary Abstract pieces. Commonly, she explores the intrinsic biodiversity and nature studies of the Region along with expressive portraiture and dramatic combinations of both, usually with an underlying message encapsulated within the symbolism and aesthetic of the work. Rhonda also produces a range of hand crafted jewelry under the name of "Web of Life Designs" All her works are an intimate conversation between head, heart and hand.

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