Beginner Tips for the Lukas Aquarell 1862: 12 Paint Palette

How to Watercolor Paint with a 12 Pigment Palette

Chances are, if you’re new to watercolor painting you’d like to paint with professional pigments, the trouble is because you’re exploring the medium it’s hard to drop a couple hundo on paints if you’re not sure you’ll like watercolor.

If you’re like me and doing a little research you’ve probably also heard people say you only need a few colors but no one really explains how to work with a limited palette.  So as a beginner, the small palettes make sense to you, but you feel way over your head.

Today I’m going to teach you how to grow the Lukas Aquarell 1862: 12-paint palette to 39 total Lukas pigment colors by only mixing two or three of the above primary colors because it really is that easy.

Lukas Colors You Can Mix Yourself

These are the colors that you can create using only the 12-paint palette. All of these colors match pigments created by Lukas.

How to Mix the Paints

If you haven’t mixed paints or put them on a palette before I would definitely check out my How to Mix and Prepare Your Watercolor Paints guide first. If you have mixed paints before, let’s dive right in!

Mixing Recipes

These mixes are generally a 50/50 ratio. Some of them take some playing around with because some colors are stronger than others, (for example in the first mix you’ll definitely need more yellow than brown). The really cool news is these colors almost exactly match the Lukas pigments you can find in a store so you’re basically your own pigment creator right now. (High five!)

 2-Color Mixes

The colors on the left are the colors you mix, and the pigment in the hexagon is the desired outcome. 

  • Naples Yellow Reddish (1036) = Permanent Lemon Yellow + English Red Light
  • Permanent Yellow Deep (1048) = Perm. Lemon Yellow + Cadmium Red Light
  • Permanent Orange (1047) = Cadmium Yellow Light + Cadmium Red Light
  • Dioxozine Violet (1142) = Magenta + Ultramarine Light
  • Indathrone Blue (1126) = Magenta + Cyan
  • Indigo (1122) = Ultramarine Light + Payne’s Grey
  • Phthalo Blue (1124) = Ultramarine Light + Cyan
  • May Green (1170) = Permanent Lemon Yellow + Cyan ***
  • Sap Green (1165) = Cadmium Yellow Light + Phthalo Green
  • Permanent Green (1163) = Permanent Lemon Yellow + Cyan ***
  • Verona Earth Green (1158) = Cyan + English Red Light
  • Olive Green (1176) = Yellow Ochre Light + Oxide of Chromium
  • Caput Mortuum Deep (1052) = Ultramarine Light + English Red Light
  • Burnt Umber (1111) = Cadmium Red Light + Raw Umber

*** These two mixes involve the same colors. For the lighter green use much more yellow. For the darker green use more blue. 

3-Color Mixes

This mixing chart works about the same except the ratio is 1:1:2. In otherwords, mix about 25% of the pigments on the left and 50% of the pigment on the right to achieve the color in the hexagon.

  • Gold Ochre (1023) = 25% Cadmium Red Light + 25% Raw Umber + 50% Yellow Ochre Light
  • Indian Yellow (1024) = 25% Permanent Lemon Yellow + 25% Cadmium Red Light + 50% Permanent Lemon Yellow ***
  • Cadmium Red Deep (1080) = 25% Cadmium Yellow Light + 25% Cadmium Red Light + 50% Magenta
  • Purple (1094) = 25% Ultramarine Light + 25% English Red Light + 50% Magenta
  • Prussian Blue = 25% Cyan + 25% Oxide of Chromium + 50% Ultramarine Light
  • Green Yellow (1152) = 25% Permanent Lemon Yellow + 25% Cyan + 50% Yellow Ochre Light
  • Cobalt Green (1169) = 25% Yellow Ochre Light + 25% Oxide of Chromium + 50% Phthalo Green
  • Burnt Sienna (1109) = 25% Permanent Lemon Yellow + 25% Cyan + 50% Magenta
  • English Red Deep (1055) = 25% Cadmium Yellow Light + 25% Phthalo Green + 50% Magenta
  • Burnt Green Earth (1104) = 25% Cadmium Red Light + 25% Raw Umber + 50% English Red Light
  • Ivory Black (1182) = 25% Ultramarine Light + 25% Payne’s Grey + 50% Raw Umber
  • Alizarin Crimson (1064) = 25% Cadmium Yellow Light + 25% Cadmium Red Light + 50% Magenta
  • Cinnabar Green Light (1171) = 25% Cadmium Yellow Light + 25% Phthalo Green + 50% Permanent Lemon Yellow

*** Did you catch that? This one is about 75% Permanent Lemon Yellow. 🙂 

In Closing

I hope that was helpful! Painting with high quality paints can make an enormous difference in your paintings and I hope this tutorial helped give you some confidence dipping your toe into color mixing with professional paints. If this was useful for you I also made a free guide you can print out for a reference; or, if you want to paint a guide yourself you can buy the template in the store available in 300gsm, 140lb cold press watercolor paper. Both options are available below. 🙂 



Template printed on 9x12, heavy-weight 140lb/300gsm watercolor paper. 


Join our mailing list to receive this free template to paint at home! 

Whoop! Whoop! Your freebie is on the way!

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