Mixing Basics in Watercolor: Blue, Red, & Yellow


Mixing Basics in Watercolor:  Blue – Red – Yellow.

Going back to basics with my new watercolor palette and realizing all the colors that can be created by using three simple basics.  For all three of these simple, loose, impressionistic flowers, I used the same colors:  Cobalt Blue, Permanent Rose, and Lemon Yellow.

For the first I mixed Permanent Rose with just a drop of Cobalt Blue for the flowers and Cobalt Blue and Lemon Yellow pretty equally for the green.

For the second I mixed Cobalt Blue with just a drop of Permanent Rose for the flowers and Cobalt Blue and Lemon Yellow with an emphasis on the Cobalt Blue in places nearer the flower.

For the third I mixed Lemon Yellow with just a drop of Permanent Rose for the flowers and Cobalt Blue and Lemon Yellow, but only a tiny bit of Cobalt Blue to lighten up the green.

And there are likely hundreds more color combinations in various shades that could be achieved by simply using these three basic colors.

It’s fun and easy and creates such clean, bright, un-muddied results when you keep it simple.

I also used one brush for everything – the Rekab 320S #2 Squirrel Mop (which I could only find by ordering from Australia, but LOVE it – also recommended by Debi Riley),  It is so versatile, but I really had to learn to use it after using inexpensive synthetic brushes at first.  This brush holds a lot of water and paint.  It also can come to a fine point and do small lines with a light touch, and can make fat, wash strokes too.

So if you are even thinking of giving watercolor painting a try…. three colors, one brush (you don’t have to order from Australia – but find a nice natural hair medium sized brush to achieve results you will really enjoy) and some paper (I recommend you start with Cold Press 140lb Arches) is really all you need to create some beauty and experiment with this wonderful hobby.

Thanks to the inspiration of Debi Riley on Watercolor Basics!  So much to learn from such talent!

Enjoy the journey!

Cheers & Hugs,

55 thoughts on “Mixing Basics in Watercolor: Blue, Red, & Yellow

  1. It’s so much fun to take time to play and experiment, these turned out so lovely Jodi. I always paint with a very limited palette with acrylics, but haven’t tried it with watercolor. I need to experiment more 🙂 Question, how do you mix a good pink? Mine are always too orange or too purple…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I typically use Permanent rose or opera pink. Can’t mix from red as I don’t use white in watercolor. Pink (rose) really worked for my “red” here.


  2. Love all three paintings, Jodi!! ❤🎨👍 Your colors are so vibrant!! Are you using Winsor and Newton paints? And I will have to invest in a better brush. 😃 Debi is a wonderful inspiration, isn’t she?!! 💙🌼

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jodi, the simplicity of color creates so much MORE!!!! all these have sparkle and glow, and wonderful variations within the colors. Great work!
    and I also thank you for the Debi Riley promo bit too, 🙂
    I’m glad you are finding that the Rekab is growing on you, and you’re getting accustomed to its size and flow.


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