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Some Background

Back in 2014, I made a "wand" out of a wooden dowel, and some glue gun glue for the handle. The "wand" part was a single pre-made colour, but for the handle, I mixed together a few different colours to create a nice brown-ish colour. Once I was satisfied, I began to happily paint the handle, unaware that I had not mixed enough of the colour. Once I began to run out, I attempted to re-mix the colours in roughly the same ratio as best I could remember, but obviously it wasn't exact.

I ended up having to do this at least twice, as far as I remember. I managed to get the colour pretty close, almost indistinguishable, but by the third time, I simply mixed a massive amount and painted over what I had already done.

While this was not the end of the world, it dawned on me that there must be a better way than simply eyeballing amounts and relying on memory to determine ratios.

Question

How would a more experienced crafter/painter ensure that, if they needed to mix a new batch of a custom colour, they mixed colours in the proper ratios each time?

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    Mostly, I go with the "mix a (relatively) massive amount" method, which is fine because I use watercolors - if there are leftovers, I let them dry out, and then I can use them for the next project by adding water. I have no idea what people do when painting a large canvas with oil paints or acrylics, other than maybe "don't mix your own colors, buy them instead". – Martha Jul 12 '16 at 23:36
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    There are things called paint mixing cups that have different measurements all over the sides. Those are really good, and I know some people do it by weight. They get a cup, put it on a scale, then pour paints in to the right weight. So it could be like 9g or blue, 7g or red, and 2g of white to make light purple, – DripKracken Jun 10 at 14:54
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It would be helpful to know the order of magnitude of your volumes.

I paint miniatures and so milliliters are often enough. In this case my paints are in dropper bottles and I count the droplets I add to the mix.

For bigger volumes I would use a transparent bottle and make a level mark for each colour I add. So next time the marks could be reused in the same bottle to get the same ratio.

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    I see, ok so your dispenser (the dropper bottles) dispenses discrete amounts, which you simply count/keep track. That makes a lot of sense. The transparent bottle idea is excellent too, I will keep that in mind. Thank you! – Paul Richter Apr 26 '16 at 21:13

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