How to mix 2.5Y with the
Digital Munsell Book of Color

The paints used:

• Michael Harding Burnt Umber

• RGH Cremnitz White (Paste)

• RGH Cadmium Yellow Extra Deep

• Vasari Terre Verte Warm

• Vasari Adobe

There's no special magic in these colors.

One of the tremendous advantages of using a standardized target color is that you can mix almost all colors from a variety of starting paints.

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, this means you don't have to run out and buy any new paints to hit this mix. Or most others. A properly mixed 2.5Y will look the same no matter what colors it's mixed from. It will also look the same next time you mix it.

Each paint maker has their own formula for each paint they in their product line. Michael Harding's Burnt Umber is more transparent and chromatic than Williamsburg's Burnt Umber. Having Munsell to mix to allows me to hit the target no matter where I'm starting from, not that it makes any sense to go crazy with that power. 

The best thing to do is use your favorite brands, get to know their mixing qualities, and get to paintings as quickly as you can. 

Confused about what 2.5Y 8/10 means?

Hue: Munsell notation can seem confusing at first. There are 10 major hues, and each is divided into 4 sub hues, numbered 2.5; 5; 7.5; and 10. The hue designation always appears first. In this case, the major hue group is Yellow and the sub-hue is 2.5, and is written 2.5Y.

Value: The way Munsell describes how light or dark a color is, in a scale of 0-10, with zero being pure black and 10 being pure white.  This number appears second in the notation, giving us 2.5Y 8/...

Chroma: Possibly the hardest quality of color to learn to see, and also the most important to achieving a sophistication in your painting, chroma indicates how intense a color is, from a true neutral gray to the most vivid hue in that hue and at that value.  

Once you get familiar with the notation you will be mixing very accurate color very quickly. Adding in the number indicating how intense this color's chroma is, we get 2.5Y 8/10. The maximum possible chroma at this value is 12, so we're really close to the limit.



Mixing 2.5Y 6/8

This mix is slightly less chromatic than 2.5Y 8/10, but it's still very close to the maximum chroma possible at its value, maximum chroma topping out at nine at the sixth value. 

Let me know if you have any questions that are preventing you from jumping in and mixing lots of colors.