Mixing Blacks and Darks with Watercolor

by 8 comments

Mixing Recipes – Blacks and Darks with Watercolor.

In this article, I will teach you how to mix blacks and darks with watercolor.

So, I am obsessed with color. When I first started painting, I would buy any color I saw. It wasn’t until after I got serious about painting that I studied color.

Well, what a surprise I realized I had wasted a lot of money on colors that I could mix on my own. This helped my paintings by creating a color harmony that you can’t get by just grabbing colors that do not relate to each other.

Mixing Charts

Black is one color I never buy anymore. The blacks and darks you can mix are much livelier than the premixed tube colors.



UB – Ultramarine Blue

BS – Burnt Sienna

DP – Dioxazine Purrple

AC – Permanent Alizarin Crimson

PG – Phthalo Green

PB – Phthalo Blue


Mixing 3 primary colors can create black.

For the chart below, I added two examples of using the three primaries (red, blue and yellow) to get a black.

These can take a bit of practice to mix. The trick is to mix 2 primaries first, creating a secondary color (orange, green and purple) first and then add small amounts of the last primary to it.


UB – Ultramarine Blue

PS – Pyrrole Scarlet

HL – Hansa Yellow Light

QR – Quinacridone Rose

NG – New Gamboge

PB – Phthalo Blue


You may not have these exact colors but experiment with the ones you have. One trick to mix good darks is to stick with transparent colors.

Do you have a favorite color mix for black? 

Do you have a color that you use for your darks that you would like to share?

Are there any colors you would like to know how to mix?

Please share below, I would love to know. 

I hope you have enjoyed this article.



PS:  Don’t forget to leave your comments below, and if you enjoyed this article, please share!


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Written by Krista Hasson

I share because I love to help people. I hope that you can experience the same joy and confidence that painting has given me. My mission is for you to have the tools and the foundation that you need. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you, so your journey with art can be a joyful and rewarding one!

Let’s hang out online.


  1. Judith Baxter

    Thanks Krista …. I’m very poor with colour this has been a plus for me!

    • KristaHasson

      I am glad to hear it is of value Judith. Thank you for your comment 🙂

  2. Gail Jongkind

    Thanks for the great combinations…my favourite so far is
    indanthrone blue (Daniel Smith) and alizarin crimson.

    What I would love to see is a green chart..I have trouble finding bluish greens.

    Cheers, Gail

    • KristaHasson

      You are welcome Gail. Thank you sharing your favorite :). Green mixes are on the list … stay tuned

  3. Jeannette Habit

    Million thanks! Krista. A fantastic lessons & charts about mixing watercolor by you.
    Much appreciated!!!

    • Krista Hasson

      Thank you Jeanette. I am glad you liked it 🙂

  4. Jeannette Habit

    Million Thanks! Krista
    Much Appreciated.

    • Krista Hasson

      You are very welcome Jeannette, my pleasure 🙂

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