Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mixing Colors

A lot of people are surprised when they see my work and discover they were not painted.  They have a difficult time understanding how it can be done without involving paint whatsoever and so each week I will share with you how this is done through various techniques I use.

This is what the clay I work with looks like.  They contain pure pigments and come in a variety of colors.

You can use these colors straight out of the package or mix your own.  I have my own "recipe" book for my clay so when I mix a color I like, I will bake a sample and glue it onto my "recipe" cards for future reference when I want to make that exact color again.  I have each recipe numbered -- on my card and my left-over mix stored in ziploc bags.

I create my color recipes by first making sheets of colored clays all in the same thickness.  I use a pasta machine for this and I can adjust the settings to whatever thickness I want.

I then use a tool like a cookie cutter to cut out my pieces.  For instance, recipe #12-3 calls for 2 parts Kato Ultra Blue and 1 part White.  I cut out 2 circles in the blue and 1 circle in the white. When I mix those together, I end up with the exact color I want.

I can then do a blend of colors.  For instance, I started with choosing my own mix of primary colors:

YELLOW (a nice golden yellow)
RED (I choose a magenta pink in this case)
BLUE (a turquoise shade)

For the project I was working on, I wanted a little more control over the secondary colors so I mixed up my own blends for those and now I have 6 colors that are all balanced.

I took a strip of each of those colors and placed them side by side (like in a rainbow) and ran them through my pasta machine several times and created this blend.

And this is what I created from the above blended colors.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will try to answer.  


Sandy said...

Nicely done - wish I were as disciplined as you were for the recipe cards. Love the tutorials that you're doing!

Deb Mac said...

Yes, very well done. I have a book all printed out ready for me to organize my colors, but just haven't started yet.

Question: I am using Premo at this time. Do you have a good recipe for a rich Christmas red?

2 Good Claymates said...

I don't use Premo any more now -- only Kato clay however, when I was using Premo mixed with Kato last year I mixed a nice one up combining Kato red with Premo red pearl -- you could try mixing the Premo Red pearl and cadmium red?