5 Types of Watercolor Charts: Overview

I once worked with someone who observed that I am a “box-checker”. You know, one of those people who like to follow steps, makes sure everything is buttoned up and all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. 

I think in a lot of ways the whole box-checking thing gets in the way of being creative and I’ve long ago figured that it must be why I was never able to channel my creativity into becoming the kind of artist that creates beautiful and emotionally moving pieces. The ones that you see in galleries, you know?

But I’ve found other ways to be creative and that’s ok with me. Things that allow me to to be artistic, but still check boxes so that in the end it all works out! For example, learning about different types of color charts and deciding to investigate them one by one like I did in this blog series. And like the box-checker that I am, this series would not be complete without a little summary of the different types, right?

Making Sense of Color Charts

I know we can find examples of these color charts as visual images all over the internet but without some sort of explanation to accompany them, I found it pretty confusing! In fact, when I began studying them, what I thought was a basic color chart turned out not to be so basic after all.

Now that we’ve got them all sorted out in a blog series, I’ll summarize them each here with a photo, a name, and a sentence about why you’d want to study and paint them for yourself.


5 Types of Watercolor Charts

Basic Color Chart
(aka Palette Color Chart)

A collection of the colors in your palette, useful as a legend of swatches

Value Scale

Not really a chart, but a scale studying the darkness and lightness of colors, important for understanding how to create contrast and depth in paintings

Color Wheel

The best, most straightforward place to start learning about color mixing and color theory

Check out the post to download my color wheels

Color Mixing Chart

More exploration into color mixing, especially useful in uncovering the many possible colors available within your palette

Check out the post to download my 36-color and 144-color mixing charts

Two Color Mixing Chart

Really get to know your colors by studying the combinations created by mixing only two colors at a time.

While there are definitely more technical and detailed explanations for these charts out there, this is just how I processed the information and thought would be the most helpful way to share it with you.

So with that, this post concludes this blog series. Box. Checked.

Now, I just have to figure out what to write about next!

Thanks for reading,

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