I think my interest in mixing color began when I started studying plein air and alla prima painting recently. In my usual style of indirect painting my colors were the result of multiple layers of paint, not mixtures on my palette as in direct painting. Last year I spent a long time creating color charts and mixing colors straight from the tube to paint little squares and create various color wheels. I've continued this practice and have a handy square of gessoed matt board nearby to note my favorite color mixes and label them. I've never done that before. And while the changes in my palette and color choices are not too dramatic, I am having lots of fun mixing new colors and trying them out.
Here are some of the color charts I made last year. I chose this particular exercise because of the emphasis on grays and cool versus warm mixtures, very important for plein air. The 6 colors are comprised of a warm and cool red, blue and yellow. All the colors are mixed to achieve the different shades, tints and grays. The grays were the result of mixing the compliment and adding white. I am looking forward to warmer weather to get out and try some plein air again.
I enjoyed this post over at the Underpaintings blog about a limited palette vs open palette. Interesting read!