Neutrals are found throughout nature and can really add a realistic touch to your artwork, however, you don’t just want to add black or brown when shading. Here are some tips on mixing and using neutrals.
Mixing your own neutrals:
Browns are actually made from mixing complementary colors on the color wheel. Mixing different amounts of complementary colors can create either a cool or warm brown, and gives the artwork a much richer feel that just plain pre-packaged browns don’t have.
Grays are obviously created by mixing white and black, but can also either be on the cooler or warmer side by mixing additional colors in.
Shading with neutrals:
A big mistake that beginners make is shading with black. This gives the shadow unrealistic emphasis. Instead, try shading with a neutral in the same color range as the object you’re coloring. For instance, when coloring a red flower, try mixing red and green to create a red-tinted brown for the shadow.
So there you have it – the basic principles and tips for using color in your artwork.
I really suggest just playing around with color and experimenting though, seeing what color schemes and techniques you can come up with. After all, art is about experimentation. Once you work through this, for a more in-depth look you can check out this article by Hubpages. And if you have any other questions or tips you’d like to share, be sure to let us know in the comments!
If you need some color ideas to copy, please check out my color palettes in my color inspiration section!