What's the deal with "Convenience Colors," anyway?

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What's the deal with "Convenience Colors," anyway?

In the world of art, every stroke of the brush and every hue on the canvas tells a story. As artists, we are constantly exploring new techniques, experimenting with different mediums, and pushing the boundaries of our creativity. One aspect that often gets overlooked in this process is the choice of colors on our palette.


Traditionally, artists have relied on primary colors – red, blue, and yellow – as the foundation for creating a vast array of shades and tones. The art of mixing these primary colors to achieve secondary and tertiary colors is a fundamental skill taught in art schools and practiced by artists of all levels. However, in recent years, a new trend has emerged – the rise of "convenience colors."


Convenience colors, also known as pre-mixed or ready-made colors, are commercially available pigments that mimic specific hues found in nature or commonly used in artwork. These colors come straight from the tube or jar, eliminating the need for mixing and allowing artists to work more efficiently. But what are the benefits of using convenience colors, and how do they compare to mixing your own shades using primary colors?


Time-saving: One of the most obvious benefits of convenience colors is the time they save. Instead of spending valuable time mixing and adjusting pigments to achieve the desired shade, artists can simply squeeze out the color they need and get straight to work. This is particularly advantageous for artists working on tight deadlines or those who prefer a more spontaneous approach to their artwork.


Consistency: Convenience colors offer a level of consistency that can be difficult to achieve when mixing colors manually. Each tube or pan contains a precise formulation, ensuring that the color remains consistent from one painting session to the next. This is especially important for artists working on large-scale projects or series where uniformity is key.


Accessibility: While primary colors can be mixed to create a wide range of shades, some colors are notoriously difficult to achieve through mixing alone. Convenience colors fill this gap by providing access to hues that may be challenging or impossible to replicate using traditional methods. Whether it's a vibrant cerulean blue or a deep magenta, these pre-mixed colors expand the artist's palette and open up new possibilities for creative expression. For instance- do you honestly think you could mix up Opera Pink on your own?


Convenience colors for specific purposes: Beyond replicating natural hues, convenience colors are also available for specialized purposes, such as skin tones, landscape colors, or metallics. These tailored pigments cater to the specific needs of artists working in different genres or styles, allowing them to achieve lifelike portraits, realistic landscapes, or eye-catching metallic effects with ease.


However, it is important to note that convenience colors are not without their limitations. Some artists argue that relying too heavily on pre-mixed colors can stifle creativity and limit experimentation. In a situation like that - you should try taking a class! An art class is still the best way to break through a creative rut, and keep those creative juices flowing. We won't let you stagnate with your palette - traditional or "convenience color" based. 


 Color is your primary tool as an artist. As with any tool in the artist's arsenal, the key is to experiment, explore, and find what works best for your unique style and vision.



In conclusion, convenience colors have become an increasingly popular option for artists seeking efficiency and convenience in their creative process. Whether used alongside primary colors or as standalone pigments, these pre-mixed hues offer a range of benefits, from saving time and ensuring consistency to providing access to a wider spectrum of colors. So the next time you're stocking your palette, consider adding a few convenience colors to your collection and see where they take your artwork! Have questions? Head on in to your Friendly Neighborhood Art Store, and ask us! We are always here for you!


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