Product Profiles: Acrylic Primary Colors

Ask the Expert: "I want to work in acrylics with just three colors, plus black and white. Which are closest to true primaries?"

A: There are a few colors that look reasonably close to true primaries, but the ones closest in mass-tone (straight from the tube) appearance aren't necessarily going to provide all the mixing solutions you'll need.

It's usually best to select a warm and cool version of each primary for the best range of secondaries, but working even more minimally can present an interesting challenge.

When two bright colors are mixed, the resulting mixture is never as intense as the components. To yield brilliant hues it's necessary to select a very strong and concentrated palette.

We've selected Zinc Yellow Hue (#10229), Quinacridone Red (#10065) and Phthalo Blue (#10354) for our minimal primary palette.

The resulting mixtures lack the full brightness of single-pigment secondaries, but the oranges, greens and violets achieved from our limited assortment would still be useful in any palette.

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