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How to Make
A Color Chart


Sample of a Color Chart (133kb)

One of the first assignments in my beginning painting class was to make this color chart. As I developed my own palette, I changed these colors and made new charts to correspond to the new colors. I have always found that this chart helps prevent me from getting into a rut and always choosing the same color combinations.

Print out the sample chart that I have supplied in the above link. (The page is actually supposed to go horizontally to be read correctly). Notice that there is a dark black line going stepwise down the page. Above the line are pure colors, below the line, are the pure colors plus white.

If you look carefully at the chart, you will see that there are many different kinds of grey, any of which can be used. You don't have to limit yourself to just one. The same is also true of the very dark colors. You can try ultramarine blue and burnt umber, thalo green and permanent rose (or alizarin crimson if that's what you have. Experiment a little. Don't just grab the colors you've always used.)

I recommend that you paint your own chart using your own colors. This way, you can make the chart using the colors you like, the colors you make will be 100% accurate (which, of course, my color chart isn't due to limitations in scanning, printing, etc.) And finally, you can only learn about color by actually mixing the paint yourself.

This table shows small sample of how these colors would be combined. It is a portion of the above color table. The part in yellow represents the portion of the color table that is above the black line and is therefore pure color.


Cad Yell Lt

Cad Or

Cad Red Lt

Perm Rose

Yell Ochre

Raw Sienna

Cad Yell Lt

Cad Yell Lt + White

Cad Or + Cad Yell Lt

Cad Red Lt + Cad Yell Lt.

Perm Rose + Cad Yell Lt.

Yell Ochre + Cad Yell Lt.

Raw Sienna + Cad Yell Lt.

Cad Or

Cad Yell Lt + Cad Or + White

Cad Or + White

Cad Red Lt + Cad Or + White

Perm Rose + Cad Or.

Yell Ochre + Cad Or

Raw Sienna + Cad Or

Cad Red Lt

Cad Yell Lt + Cad Red Lt + +White

Cad Or + Cad Red Lt + White

Cad Red Lt + White

Perm Rose + Cad Red Lt + White

Yell Ochre + Cad Red Lt

Raw Sienna + Cad Red Lt.

Perm Rose

Cad Yell Lt + Perm Rose + White

Cad Or + Perm Rose + White

Cad Red Lt + Perm Rose + White

Perm Rose + White

Yell Ochre + Perm Rose

Raw Sienna + Perm Rose

Yell Ochre

Cad Yell Lt + Yell Ochre + +White

Cad Or + Yell Ochre + White

Cad Red Lt + Yell Ochre + White

Perm Rose + Yell Ochre + White

Yell Ochre + White

Raw Sienna + Yell Ochre

Raw Sienna

Cad Yell Lt + Raw Sienna + White

Cad Or + Raw Sienna + White

Cad Red Lt + Raw Sienna + White

Perm Rose + Raw Sienna + White

Yell Ochre + Raw Sienna + White

Raw Sienna + White

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Copyright © 2000-2007 Susan Savad
Last Modified October 10, 2000