All the Colored Umber Mixes


Using the Golden Open Paint, there is no preparation. They are used directly from the tube and thinned to the proper consistency on the wax palette when you paint. If using the Traditions Acrylics by DecoArt, you will first need to prepare the individual colors for extended blending, then make the colored umber mixes. To prepare the paint, watch my video


I only have to mix my Umbers about once a year. They will keep forever in a screw top container and I thin them to such transparencywhen I paint that a small amount will paint many paintings. My formula for my yearly batch is as follows: On a large wax pallette squeeze out….
1. 2 -2oz. tubes of Yellow Oxide +1/3rd of a 2oz. tube of Red Oxide to make an yellow orange.
2. Slowly add about a 4th of a 2oz. tube of Carbon Black until you have an golden toned brown.

Mixing of the Yellow UmberYellow Umber
3. Place half of this mix into a sealed container.
4. Divide the remaining half in half again. You will use one to develop the Red Umber. The other will be used to develop the Green Umbers.


Into the other half of the yellow umber mix and add enough more Red Oxide to make the brown redder than the original. Then add enough more Carbon Black to make the value of the mix darker than the original mix (value= 4). Place half of this mix into another sealed container.

Yellow, Red and Dark Umber

CREATING A DARKER BROWN MIX: Into the other half of the redder brown mix, slowly add more Carbon Black until the mix is both darker in value and cooler in temperature (value=2.5) Place this mix into the 3rd sealed container.

CREATING THE BLUE UMBER MIX:  On your wax pallette, squeeze out 1- 2oz tube of  Anthraquinone Blue + 1-2oz. tube of Viridian + 1/2 of a 2oz. tube of Carbon Black. Mix together well. Fill one of the 2oz. screw top container with the Blue Umber mix. Leave the rest on your palette to create the green umbers.

Athraquinone Blue, Viridian and Carbon Black being mixed Blue Umber

CREATING A YELLOW GREEN TONED UMBER MIX: Place the rest of your remaining  Yellow Umber mix on your wax palette. Slowly add the Blue Umber mix that is on your pallette until you have achieved an olive green that would be the value between the Yellow  Umber mix and the R ed umber mix. Place half of this mix  into anotherair tight container.

Yellow Green and Green Umbers

 GREEN UMBER: Into the remaining Yellow Green Umber mix, slowly add the Blue Umber mix until you have a more bluish green that is similar in value (or slightly darker) than the Red Umber Mix. Place this into another air tight container. If there is still Blue Umber on your palette, place it in yet another container as you will need it to create future mixes.

The only other color that I use for my “Colored Umber” layers is Carbon Black.


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