Creating Beautiful, Harmonizing Neutral Colors In Watercolor

Advanced Color Wheel – Part 3

In this lesson, we’ll complete our advanced watercolor color wheel by mixing neutral grays and browns for the inner most ring. Neutrals are often seen as boring and un-interesting. But, they have many uses in a painting. Not the least is as a contrast to the brighter colors which helps bring emphasis and focus to the colorful shapes and subjects.

Mixing neutrals with the colors from your palette provides a subtle range of color that easily harmonizes with the brighter colors in the painting. This effect alone will support unity in the painting.

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Neutral colors – grays and browns – often seem dull, boring and un-interesting. But, these “mouse-colors” play a number of valuable roles in a painting. Perhaps the most important is in supporting the overall unity of the painting by enhancing color harmony.

This is Part 3 of Creating a Color Wheel From Six Colors.  Make sure you’ve completed Part 1 and Part 2 before moving on to this one.

In completing the first two steps of the Advanced Color Wheel, you’ve probably discovered  that a  limited palette of color can provide an unexpected range of bright and not-so-bright colors.  This same limited palette and the bright mixtures it creates have the capacity to create a very wide range of neutrals as well. This lesson builds on the work in Part 1 and Part 2 by using complements to create beautiful, harmonius neutrals.

What you’ll need:

Related Lessons

Advanced Color Wheel Project

Color Wheels and Triads