Mixing acrylic paint to achieve a specific color starts with the science of the acrylic paint and is followed by hit or miss. You can always go to a paint supply store and buy a tube of hot pink, but simply pouring it out of the tube won't give you the intensity that Barbie pink requires.
That's where hit or miss comes in. Getting the exact hot pink color means adding a bit of this, a bit of that and a dash of a third color. Mix them together until your desired color is achieved.
Understanding Acrylic Paint
Acrylic paint tends to be opaque. It doesn't have depth when it is squeezed from the tube. Adding a bit of white or a lighter shade of the original color brings complexity to the original color.
While white is used to increase opacity, black is not. It makes your original color muddy. Adding brown or dark blue to intensify the hue gives you a more vibrant color.
Improving an Original
You've been lucky enough to find a tube of hot pink acrylic paint. When you pour a dab onto your palette, it just doesn't have the pizzazz you're seeking. Your secret agent is silver. Silver adds the sheen that simple white or red lack.
- Squeeze a dab of white onto your palette.
- Squeeze a dab of silver into the white and mix with your
- Put a dab of red onto the palette but not near the white
- Slowly incorporate small dabs of the red into the
white/silver and mix it.
- Continue to do this until you've achieved the shade of hot pink you want.
Drying and Adjusting
Once you've achieved the hot pink your work of art requires, test it. Smear a bit on a piece of paper and watch it dry. Paint dries darker than what you see on the palette. If it retains the hue you desire, you're ready to paint. If not, add a bit of white to lighten it.
Your hot pink will most likely need adjacent hues in the same tone to make your picture two- or three-dimensional. Create them by darkening the pink by adding red or make it lighter by adding white and a dab of silver. Your entire family of pinks is then ready for your brush.
Painting on canvas or on a decorative object gets more complex when you layer colors. Since acrylics dry quickly, use your hot pink as a background and layer your other colors to add dimension to your art. Paint the darker colors first and then add the lighter colors. Finish with another dab of hot pink to tie your work together.
Modern Art, Modern Colors
Paint manufacturers are now realizing that many artists want vibrant colors and don't want to spend their time mixing them. You can now purchase neon colors, such as sizzling pink, and work it to the sheen and dazzle that your work of art requires. Just know that a little silver added to the puddle of color on your palette does the trick.