Ever need to mix the perfect green for a cat’s eye? (Or anything that’s an olive green?) With a little basic color theory, you can mix ANY color you want!

A little side story: while working on these two pieces I was on the phone with  my Mom. She was SO EXCITED that I launched my Commissions page finally! And excited that a bunch of applications came in right away too! And that there are a bunch of pieces that sold in the big SALE currently going on. I mean, seriously. This is a milestone. Mom doesn’t do computer stuff and watch my videos or anything. She was giving me advice on pastels. Celebrating a MILESTONE here. 🙂

If this photo doesn’t convince you that eyes are what makes a drawing work…nothing will!

Tutorial: How to mix the perfect cat’s eye green hue

Quick question: what do you think about the thumbnail? I’m not worried as much about what it looks like here embedded in the blog, but in the grid you see on YouTube. Would it catch your attention more than my usual?

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Mixing colors for wet media

Watercolor, gouache, acrylic, oil….anything that is mixed on a palette before being applied—mix them on the palette. A warm yellow will turn a cool green into an olive color, desaturating it.

Mixing colors for other media

If your media doesn’t get premixed on a palette – think alcohol markers, colored pencils, pastels – then mix ON the paper. Either apply and blend like shown with pastels, or layer them atop each other in glazes. 

Note: you can use this for watercolor too – if the color isn’t olive enough that you mixed in the palette, paint a thin wash of yellow on top of the green to glaze it.

What colors do  you struggle with mixing?

I’d love to help out – what color do you need to mix, and in what mediums? 


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  1. Pastel:
    1. Mom’s random pastels
    2. Clairefontaine pastel mat pads
    3. Faber Castell Pitt Pastel Pencils  (I’m looking for softer ones. Not sure on these)
  2. Gouache:
    1. Scrap board
    2. Daniel Smith Gouache 
    3. Joybest airtight palette 
    4. Jack Richeson travel brush set 

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  1. Phyllis

    beautiful! you really captured the eye! love it!

  2. Lori Spitzer

    Great video and tips, Sandy! TFS –
    Lori S in PA

  3. Kay

    Thank you, I do enjoy receiving your emails and watching you on you tube. I live in Yorkshire UK, and I have used watercolour in the past, but I’m now enjoying using colour pencils to create my art. I find it very relaxing in this mad world we are living in.
    My very best wish to you and your Mom.

    Kay xx


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