How to Mix Oil Paint to Get Charcoal Grey


Many professional artists mix their own black paint by combining two dark complementary colors. In this manner, they get a rich, dimensional black that more closely resembles the shades of black we see in the natural world. By extension, these blacks also make richer greys. Whether you are crafting, painting a landscape, a stage set or game figurines, some experimentation with color mixing will serve you well through many projects.

Things You'll Need

  • Palette
  • Paint brush
  • Cadmium red paint
  • Pthalo green paint
  • Titanium or zinc white paint
  • Squirt a small dollop each of Cadmium red and Pthalo green onto a palette.

  • Use a swirling motion with your brush to mix the green paint into the red paint.

  • Continue adding more green into the red until you get a dark color that is nearly black.

  • Add a dollop of white paint to the palette. Position it so that you allow enough space for it to spread as you mix it.

  • Mix the near-black into the white using the same technique as in step 1. To prevent a muddy result, always mix dark paint into light paint, rather than the other way around, according to artist Michael Bunn of Mithril Modelling Guides. Continue adding the dark paint to the white paint, mixing as you go, until you achieve the shade of charcoal grey you want.

Tips & Warnings

  • A palette can be a paper plate, piece of glass a plate or piece of wood.
  • If the paint has excess oil leaking from it, soak it up with a tissue.
  • Michael Bunn advises to avoid mixing more than three colors to achieve a color. They are likely to turn muddy if you do.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit three paint brushes on pallette image by Horticulture from
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • How to Mix Oil Paints to Get Violet or Purple

    Color theory tells us that red and blue make violet. A budding artist's first attempts to blend purple from red and blue...

  • How to Mix Turquoise Oil Paint

    Mixing oil paints is not a precise science. Ask six painters to make the color turquoise for you, and you will end...

  • Charcoal Painting Tips

    Charcoal is a dark grey--almost black--drawing medium made from the carbon residue. It is a soft, brittle and lightweight drawing material. With...

Related Searches

Check It Out

12 Tiki Essentials to Turn Your Bar Cart Into a Tropical Paradise

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!