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How do you mix a teal colour with acrylics?

Updated February 21, 2017

Teal colour comes from the distinctive blue-green patches of colour observed on the male nuptial plumage of the teal, which is a common duck, similar in size and habits to the mallard. This blue-green hue has become very popular, especially among jewellery designers and interior decorators. It is possible to buy paints that match the aqua colour, but you can create your own teal colour by mixing together basic acrylic colours.

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  1. Add a small amount of white to one of the plastic cups. Mix with a tiny bit of water to make the paint more fluid.

  2. Place some blue paint in a second clean cup and then some green paint in a separate plastic cup. The ratio of blue to green should be around 2 to 1. Use the filbert brush or a clean lolly stick to stir the paint. Work quickly because acrylic paint is quick drying.

  3. Apply some paint to the paper to see how the colour looks.

  4. Adjust the colour by adding more blue or green to the mixture.

  5. Add a dab of cadmium yellow to increase the teal effect. The yellow actually deepens the hue of the mixture by reacting with the blue to create a green and with the green to create a yellow green. A small amount of white can also be added at this time, if a lighter colour is desired -- or add a minute quantity of black to create a slightly darker shade.

  6. Add a small amount of acrylic medium to increase the flow of the mixture. The addition of water will not increase flow.

  7. Tip

    Two species of ducks, the common and green-winged teal, naturally exhibit an iridescent shade of green. For an iridescent effect use metallic acrylic paint instead of basic acrylic paints. Acrylic paints darken as they dry, so it is best to make the mixture slightly lighter than the desired colour.


    Acrylic paint is a quick drying medium, so use what you mix. However, unused paint can be stored in a sealed container for longer periods of time.

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Things You'll Need

  • Acrylic tube paints including ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, permanent green light, yellow cadmium light, and zinc or titanium white
  • 4 mixing containers (clear plastic cocktail cups are excellent)
  • Filbert brush

About the Author

Henri Bauholz is a professional writer covering a variety of topics, including hiking, camping, foreign travel and nature. He has written travel articles for several online publications and his travels have taken him all over the world, from Mexico to Latin America and across the Atlantic to Europe.

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