Paint Techniques and Colour Tips

A question I received was about how to make colours paler. I thought that it would be good to write an article on this subject. Learn more?

You can achieve a lighter colour by painting in a few different ways. The pale colors are usually used for areas that are highlighted or where light hits the painting.

1. Paint a thin coat of paint on the surface and allow the white to show through. It works best if you paint on a light surface. You will, in general.

2. Add white to the color to create a pastel version, also known as a tint. It works great except for when you use red. Addition of white will result in pink. This is not the color you were looking for! The main question that I got was this.

Red highlights when using

You can achieve the same result as Point 1 by painting the highlighted area white and letting it dry, then adding a thin red layer over the top. This technique will also work for other colors.

You can add highlights to areas that have been painted by adding a layer of white. If you’d like some red to come through, use a very watery mixture. Acrylics are opaque and a thick layer of white can make the surface look chalky.


Applying additional layers of red paint to darker parts of an object is another alternative. The colour will appear richer when you apply extra layers. The richer colour areas enhance the highlights in that area even with only one coat of paint.

This is an excellent effect. Try it on some spare paper. Paint the highlight with just one coat, while the darker and middle areas get more paint layers to create a more vibrant colour.

You will get good results if you add the shadow shades of a red.

What you’re painting will determine the shade of red. You could make a shade of purple by mixing some blue. If you want a neutral colour, add a bit of green (for example if the color is red).

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