Mixing clay is like mixing paint. Choosing the right color scheme or combination is one of the key elements in designing great polymer clay pen blanks. I recommend using a color wheel and other color theory to better understand important details about your color choices.
The first color wheel developed by Sir Isaac Newton (1666). It currently has twelve standard colors (yellow, green, blue, violet, red, orange, blue-green, blue-violet, red-violet, red-orange, yellow-orange, and yellow-green).
SECONDARY COLORS (primary color combinations):
- orange = red + yellow
- green = blue + yellow
- violet = red + blue
TERTIARY COLORS (primary + secondary color combinations):
Polymer Clay Variations
Neutralize colors with (complements) which are opposites on the color wheel.
Other ways to adjust polymer clay colors include adding value (add white), decreasing value (add black), making rustic tones (add brown) or dusty colors (add gray). Here are more specific formulas to alter the original polymer clay colors.
|Pearl: 1 part color + 1 or more parts pearl|
|Pastel: 1 part color + 1 or more parts white|
|Muted pastels: 1 part color + 1 or more parts beige|
|Translucent: 1 part color + 1 more parts translucent|
|Metallic: 1 part color + 1 part gold or 1 part silver or 1/4 part copper|
|Deeper colors: 1 part color + 1/16 part black|
Contrast and Context
Contrast refers to the lightness or darkness of the background definition of a clay design. Context relates to how color behaves in relation to other colors and shapes. Depending on how you plan to design your clay patterns will determine which colors you want to use to border your cane designs.
INTERACTIVE COLOR WHEEL: Adobe Kuler
If you can't make the color you are looking for with polymer clay, try adding mica powders to your polymer clay!