Q: Please explain the expression “to muddy up” one’s painting. How do I prevent this from occurring?
A: “Muddying up” one’s painting usually means adding too many
neutral colors—such as grays and browns—to the painting. I would
suggest referring to a color wheel when you are painting. When
complementary colors are painted side by side, they generally tend to
enhance each other. Mixing two complementary colors, on the other hand,
will create a muddy, neutral color. If you use neutral colors
appropriately throughout your painting, you won’t have problems with
“muddying up” your painting.