The Best Way to Make a Watercolor Glazing Chart

Watercolor glazing charts! This specific type of color chart is an excellent way to tell how colors will look when you layer them ontop of each other. For example, layering yellow on red can create orange! This can be a very handy reference when you’re painting. In this post, you’ll learn exactly how to make a watercolor glazing chart.

Let’s get into it…

What is a glazing chart?

A watercolor glazing chart shows how different colors look when they are layered (glazed) on top of each other. A glazing chart is made by swatching each color you want to test, letting it dry, then layering the second set of colors on top, across to see how they appear for reference.

How to read a glazing chart:

Reading a glazing chart is very simple. The X and Y axes show the names of the pigments that are being tested. To see what two colors would look like when glazed on top of each other, simply find the two colors on the X and Y axis and where they meet on the chart. 

How to use and read a watercolor glazing chart

How to make a color glazing chart step-by-step:

Drawing the grid

The first step to making your glazing chart is drawing the grid. For this step, I used a HB pencil and ruler, you can also use a stencil to speed up the process. I was planning to test 6 colors so I drew 6 rows and columns with squares being 1 x 1cm with 0.5cm in between each square. The image below shows how it turned out:

Also, make sure to label the X and Y axes with the colors you are going to test. If you’re testing the colors in your palette, you can label the X and Y axes with the same set of colors. 

To simplify the process, I only used 6 colors for this tutorial, they are:

  1.  Hansa Yellow Light
  2. New Gamboge
  3. Pyrrol Scarlet
  4. Quinacridone Rose
  5. Pthalo blue
  6. French ultramarine

These colors are from the Daniel Smiths Essentials Set. 

Painting the first glaze

Now that you have your grid it’s time to swatch the first layers! Starting with the Y axis, simply swatch each color across the chart according to its label. 

My chart was labeled: Lemon yellow, New Gamboge, Pyrrol scarlet, Quinacridone rose, French Ultramarine, and Pthalo blue.

Always be sure you rinse your brush thoroughly when switching colors.

The image below shows what you’ll end up with:

Adding the second layers

Before adding the second layers make sure the first swatches have completely dried. You can use a hairdryer to speed up the process.

Now it’s time to swatch the colors on the X-axis. Simply glaze over the first layers in the opposite direction according to the labels. The diagram below shows the results:

You can see how the colors change depending on which pigments you use to glaze. For example, glazing French ultramarine over Quinacridone rose creates a purple color!

If you enjoyed this tutorial be sure to read the article’s below to learn more about watercolor mixing and color charts:

– The ultimate guide to color mixing charts

– Watercolor Mixing and everything you need to master it

Now that you know how to make a watercolor glazing chart it’s time to grab your supplies and make one of your own! 

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