How to mix the color garnet

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Garnet is a rich, deep color in the red-blue family
Garnet is a rich, deep color in the red-blue family (Image: perles image by G.g1 from Fotolia.com)

Mixing oil colors for painters, professional and amateur alike, can be challenging. One color not frequently available in a tube is garnet, the color of the jewel. This reddish-purple hue is much easier to blend than many new artists think. Garnet is an obvious purple on the red side and really requires only two colors to create it. Purple comes from red and blue so it's really just a matter of blending paints from these two families to create garnet.

Things You'll Need

  • Color wheel
  • 1 paint brush or paint knife
  • Palette
  • 1 tube alizirin crimson
  • 1 tube cobalt blue
  • 1 tube burnt umber
  • Paper towels
  • Empty jar, glass or cup
  • Solvent

Preparing your materials

Fill your container with solvent and be sure your palette, brushes and palette knife are clean. If not, wipe off excess paint from the painting utensil using a paper towel and swish it in the jar solvent. Wipe off the excess solvent and paint with a paper towel and repeat until the utensil is clean.

Use the color wheel to locate the shade of garnet you wish to capture on canvas. Hold the wheel next to the object and simply observe where the wheel and the fabric seem to blend together. Mark that spot on the wheel.

Use the color wheel to find where garnet is located.
Use the color wheel to find where garnet is located. (Image: Color guide to match colors for printing image by Piter Pkruger from Fotolia.com)

You'll see that garnet falls between alizirin crimson and cobalt blue, closer to the crimson. The primary color that is closest is the color you'll begin with. Squeeze as much of the alizirin crimson and the cobalt blue as you feel you'll need for this painting onto the palette leaving enough space in between to mix the garnet. Generally, a tab the size of a quarter is more than enough unless you're covering the entire canvas.

Using the brush or palette knife (whichever is more comfortable for you) take a dab of the crimson and place it between the original tabs of paint and clean your brush or knife.

Take a dab of the cobalt blue and blend it with the alizirin crimson.

Continue this process adding more alizirin crimson and cobalt until you achieve the shade of garnet you're after, being certain to clean your painting utensil in between. Keep the color wheel next to the palette to help you match your paint to the color you marked off on the wheel.

Create a darker shade of the garnet by adding a touch of burnt umber. When painting you will always need a darker shade of the hue to create shadow.

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