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How to Blend Paint Colors

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What Do Blended Colors Look Like?
Blending Paint Colors

Top: The two separate colors (Sennelier oil paints: Turner's yellow PY93 and Tuscan earth PY119). Below: The colors blended together.

Photo ©2010 Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

If the terms "blended" and "blending" make you think of a "blender", that kitchen appliance a lot of people have alongside a kettle and toaster, then you're a bit off track when it comes to blending colors as you're not aiming to have the colors mixed up together completely.

Rather, with paint, blending colors means creating an area between two colors where they gradually mix, so you get a gentle transition from one color to the other. How large this area is, depends entirely on what you're painting. It can be a narrow, relatively quick transition, or a slow and wide one. What suits the subject.

As with painting color charts, it's time well spent to do some sample blending in a sketchbook. Both for practice and later reference. Blending colors is something that gets easier the more you do it, and it won't be long before you can do it without consciously thinking about it. So let's make the first move...

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