Friday, June 3, 2011

Book Review - Polymer Clay Color Inspirations, Techniques and Jewelry Projects for Creating Sucessful Palettes, by Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio, Part 1

I read and worked from this book in February 2010.
I'm hoping this book teaches me how to look at color in a more precise manner. I wish to use color an another tool, a technique to enhance my creations. Here goes!
After reading the pages on color theory from which I've retained maybe 30%, I did the first exercise Package ColorTesting (page 31) which was to mix white with other colors, stack them and bake. I was surprised how much or how little white can change a color. they say that that is due to the strength of the color. Next it was hue or value, which is how much black or white there is in a color. I made a grid, Value Grid (page 33), from white to black to use as a gauge for the other colors. Then I made the Pivot Tiles (page 34) which are a grid of one color with their secondary values of white, gray and black. You end up with 12 blocks with the true color in the middle. She made her tiles very big, I used a quarter of the clay she called for and still arrived with a grid I can use. The exercise showed me what adding color to another can do. Some are surprising, like add gray to yellow and get kacki green. Since I wanted usable beads, I moved to the next one and made a Pivot Bead Strand (page 36). Once I figured out what she wanted it was easy enough. I still have so much to learn about how this medium will act. The instructions are clear but I re-read them 5-6 times and then proceeded from one step, re-read then the next. The results are quite nice.
In the next chapter, the authors talk about mixing color to approximate colors found in what they call a collage. Essentially, you regroup images of favourite things in similar colors. Then you change the colors and do another collage. You end up with a collage with primarily blues, or reds or yellows. She recommends having these collages in all the colors. the following entry follows this thread of thought.
Then I tried the Color Mixing  (page 60).  Using a circle cutter to measure the clay. Each is conditioned and sheeted to the thickest setting on the pasta machine. Using the blue collage, I matched up and created the blues. First is a water mist blue. The recipe = 1 part blue, 1/4 p. red, and 1/2 white. It did not capture the soft violet in the water. I figured adding red would get me the violet but then there was too much. It's close but not cigar. Second, is the anemone dark blue (looks like snow at dusk). This one was really long to get. I underestimate the strength of the red to the blue. It still isn't perfect but it's very close. So my final formula is 1 p. blue, 1/8 p. red and 1/4 p. black. In the process I found the original color of the first blue tryout and that is 1 p. blue, 1/3 p. red, 1/20 p. black to which I would add 1/8 or 1/4 p. white. The dark turquoise is 1 p. blue, 1/8 p. yellow and 1/2 p. black. The  medium turquoise is 1p. blue, 1/8 p. yellow and 1/8 p. white. I'm getting better at this.
Now to try the yellow collage. The perch dark yellow  turned out much harder than it looked because I added black thinking I'd get a darker yellow and I got green. Will I ever learn? Anyway, final results are; 1 p. yellow, 3/8 p. red, 1/4 p. white and 1/8 p. black. Next! The orangey rock formation happened on the first try, either I was lucky or I'm getting better; 1 p. yellow, 1/4 p. red and 1/8 p. white. This one I called African water which is a pale olive green, sort of. The recipe is 1p. yellow, 1/8 p. red, 1/2 p. white and 1/16 p. blue. She also talks about mud color which is made by mixing all the primaries together. Care needs to be taken here because the proportions of the colors are not the same for each because some colors are stronger than others. One rule, the red will always be stronger and therefore needs less to achieve the desired color. Yellow is the least strong color.

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