What is the Mother Color Technique?

What is the Mother Color Technique?

Almost every painter wants to achieve color harmony. There are many ways to do this, but one of the most popular is the mother color technique. But what is this technique, and how can you use it? Read on to learn more:

Defining the Mother Color Technique

The mother color technique is a method that relies on using one color—a mother color—that is incorporated into every other color in a painting. For instance, if you’re painting a snowy landscape, your mother color would be white, and you would mix that white into all of your other colors. This technique can be used with nearly any kind of painting, from watercolor to plein air.

How to choose your mother color

Since your mother color will be incorporated into all of the colors in your painting, choosing the right one is important. In theory, you can choose any color you wish, but it’s often best to choose your focal point color. With the snowy landscape example above, the focal point of the painting would be the snow. As such, the white from the snow was mixed in with all of the other colors.

Only mix a small amount

If you want to try your hand at the mother color technique, be careful not to use too much of your mother color. You need to achieve color harmony while also having enough contrast between each color in your painting. In that respect, mix only a small amount of your mother color with each paint color. You can always add more later.

At Creative Ventures Gallery, we cover many artistic techniques. Check out one of our many classes or workshops to get started on your artistic journey.