Saturday School – Contrast, Contrast, Contrast

Saturday School – Contrast, Contrast, Contrast

To contrast two colors you need to compare them. If their properties are very different, then the contrast is high. If  not, then the contrast is low. Since color has three properties – hue, value and saturation – you need to compare  colors in each of these areas.  Let’s compare two checkerboards. Hue – Both the checkerboards are made out of two colors of blue, so the hue … more→

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Back To School

Back To School

Treat yourself to a box of 64 crayons and clear some space in your studio.  Its time for the return of Saturday School! Starting next Saturday, September 11th, I will be expanding on the exercises in Lindly’s and my book, Color Inspirations.  Last year we covered Chapters 1 to 5.  This year we will start with some crayon warm-up exercises and then  move … more→

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Color Scales Triangles Video

Color Scales Triangles Video

The first round of color scales I made used two primary colors, for example Red to Yellow.  It didn’t take long before I started making value scales – taking a color to a white and then taking a color to a black. After awhile, I started making color scales using complementary colors to find the earth colors and neutrals in the middle of the color … more→

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Documenting Your Color Mixes

Documenting Your Color Mixes

Taking some time to make and document color mixes is the best way to learn how to mix colors instinctively.  Playing scales on the piano trains the ear, making color mixes trains the eye. Color scales are my favorite way to record my color mixes but I encourage you to come up with your own system for keeping track of your color mixing experiments.  Here are … more→

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Mixing Color Scales Video

  The idea for the Color Scales came when I was struggling to keep track of all the test mixing I was doing when I first started using polymer clay in the mid ’90’s.   I decided there had to be a better way to organize all the little bits of clay and tried all kinds of systems before hitting on this one.   … more→

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New Twists on Pivot Beads

New Twists on Pivot Beads

The Polymer Penguin’s pivot beads take the idea in a whole new direction. Zjet’s Flickr site has some gorgeous collages and shows more of her many colored pivot beads.  The color coordinated caps add a beautiful finishing touch. Dora Arsenault strung multi-colored pivot beads into an eye-catching necklace.   Dottie McMillan, author of Artful Ways with Polymer Clay, and Creative Ways with Polymer … more→

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Project #3 Pinched Petal Necklace

Project #3 Pinched Petal Necklace

There are many ways to play with this project.  Jeanette Kandray sent a photo of her  necklace on the collage that inspired it.   Its not a rainbow skinner blend. Instead it is more of a value study from the dark purples though the pinks with the yellows of the collage captured in the yellow used for the center cane.   Note that Jeanette … more→

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Call for Photos: Pinched Petal Necklace

Call for Photos: Pinched Petal Necklace

I’ve seen some wonderful images posted online by artists who have already made the Pinched Petal Necklace project in Chapter 4.  Here’s a gorgeous one from Nora Pero’s flickr site. I especially love the tomato red centers! I would like to post a sampling of Pinched Petal necklace photos on Saturday for the Weekend Extra. If you have photos you would like to … more→

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Exercise # 5 Instinctive Mixing

Exercise # 5 Instinctive Mixing

When you are instinctive mixing it helps to imagine  the direction that you want to move the color.  Once you know the direction,  you can find the path.  The “path” is the imaginary line that runs between the color you have and the color that you want.  If you extend this line across the color sorter, any color along that line can be used to move the color to where you want it to be.   … more→

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Using the Tasting Tiles

Using the Tasting Tiles

The rally was lots of fun. Pioneer Courthouse Square was filled to the brim with people carrying 350 banners. I love my city! Here are my Kato tasting tiles, including four muds made with equal parts of the various three primaries. The set-up for the muds is different from the book. I cut the squares of each primary color in half diagonally. Note that … more→

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Kato Clay Tasting Tiles

Kato Clay Tasting Tiles

 Here is the first step in making the tasting tiles using Kato Clay.  I used Yellow, Blue, Turquoise, Magenta and Red. Greens:  The first mixture of Yellow with Blue came out slightly muted. That is due to the Blue clay’s bias toward magenta. The Yellow with Turquoise  came out very clear. Oranges: The mixtures of the Yellow/Magenta and the Yellow/Red both came out … more→

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Studio Tool #1:Tasting Tiles

This is the first of two Studio Tool exercises in the book.  We originally had more of them, including a fan deck of Skinner blends, but due to space limitations we had to cut them out. I will try to add instructions for the missing tools at the point in the book where we wanted them to be. The Tasting Tiles are … more→

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Tracking Peak Color

Tracking Peak Color

 I live in the Pacific Northwest.  We don’t have the same kind of fall leaf season that I grew up with in the Northeast.  I remember as a kid coming up over a hill and seeing a panoramic view of mountains lush with color. The colors were so bright I remember thinking, “The leaves are all the colors of Fruit Loops!” In Oregon, our mountains are evergreen … more→

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Project #2 Ruffle Flower Spiral Brooch

Project #2 Ruffle Flower Spiral Brooch

                  Middle Value Muddle To make this project, we ask you to pick a light value clay and a dark value clay based on colors from your collage.  If you are having trouble seeing the values, try making a black and white copy of your collage using a color copier. The grayscale will be better … more→

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Exercise #4 Color Inspiration Collage

Exercise #4 Color Inspiration Collage

I began making color collages when I moved into my first out-of-the-house studio in 1996.  I finally had lots of wall space and decided to pull out the basket with postcards, greeting cards, clippings, art catalogs, and memorabilia that I had saved over the years and get them up on the wall. At first they went up willy-nilly, but when I stepped back I realized … more→

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