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How to Mix Acrylic Craft Paint Colors

As a beginner painter it’s best to start with black, white & primary colors. You can create an array of shades and tones with just a handful of paints! A color wheel can help out but it’s just a matter of experimenting.


I suggest just the inexpensive acrylic craft paints. I use Apple Barrel from Walmart. You can also get small bottles at the Dollar Tree sometimes. You’ll need a brush and something to mix & experiment on to see your colors. You can use just a paper plate, cardstock, multi-media paper, cardboard, canvas etc. Here’s the list…


*Black, white, red, blue & yellow. (Get the brightest & purest forms. Example, get bright yellow & not yellow ocher).


-Brush, just a small one like a ¾” flat or small round.

-Paper or styrofoam plate. (You could also use a tupperware lid or container).

-Jar with water

-Paper towels

-Something to paint on. You can just use the paper plate, canvas or what I mentioned above… cardboard etc.


The most important concept to mixing paints is, dark into light NOT light into dark!

The reason being is you will waste a lot of time and paints.

Here’s an example: If you put a dab of black into white you will create a light gray. If you put a dab of white into black it will still be black. It will take a LOT of white paint, into black, to create gray.


Red & blue = purple

Yellow & red = orange

Blue & yellow = green


Try mixing some ombres. These are beautiful & you will be amazed at the colors!

Here’s an example; Let’s say you want to paint an apple. Take your primary red & paint the shape of an apple & fill it in. Now put a dab of blue into red. This will have a purple tone. Put a stroke or two on one side of the apple. This will look like it’s shaded & not hitting the light source.

Now put a dab of red into white. This will make pink. Put a few strokes of this on the opposite side of where you put the darker shade. This will make your apple pop! It should appear that the light is hitting one side. Congratulations, you just made an ombre!!

Imagine the possibilities of mixing colors using ombre effects for something like a sunset with yellows & orange!

Here’s a video I created for you on how to mix paint colors. I hope you find it helpful:)

You’re welcome to join me on my Facebook business page for free paint nights, Tuesdays at 7pm est. I use a lot of just basic primary colors to help you create gorgeous paintings!!

I would love to see what you come up with for color mixes & painting creations! Tag me on Instagram at amyparkerart.

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