This was a question I have been asked a few times, especially when a learner wants to be able to paint something specific like hair for example. Learners can get very hung up about techniques and how to learn them. Techniques need to be thought of as ways to apply or remove paint to create a visual effect, that is all they really are. Some techniques are extremely simple although at first glance you may not be able to tell how the painter achieved the effect. Some techniques are more complex and require more of a knowledge of materials.
Many learners are quite surprised when I tell them that you can get by with just three paint colours. These paints, the primary colours are red, blue and yellow and in theory you can mix any colour from them. Is it true? Can you have too many paint colours?
The Importance of Colour Mixing
When you are learning to paint it is important to learn how colours are created. You can only really gain a knowledge of colours by mixing them and for this you need to just work with the primaries. I recommend that all beginners work with primary colours and mix all the colours themselves.