Smashing Color Game-Player:
Exploring Color and Contrast

Choosing the right colors for your projects is critical since their relationship changes as colors are combined into a work of art.

Optical blending – colors mixing in the eye – can either steal the light from your design or enhance its luminosity.  This is especially true when reducing canes in polymer clay, choosing weft and warp colors in weaving, painting in the pointillist style, and deciding on plants in landscape design.

Over the course of this two day master class, we will learn about the three ways that colors mix together, experiment with simple tips and tricks to help you avoid disappointing surprises, practice controlling color shifts, and explore techniques that use optical blends to add sparkle to your work.

The first part of the class will be focused on building a strong foundation in 21st Century Color principles and experimenting with the interconnected relationships between three kinds of color mixing:

1. Additive mixing with light using the computer.
2. Subtractive mixing with pigment using polymer clay.
3. Partitive mixing (or optical mixing) using a variety of media including paper, fibers, and polymer clay.

Once the color basics are covered the adventure begins!

P1020969During the second part of the class, you will get the chance to mix a collection of colors in your personal palette, try out various methods of auditioning color combinations, and then explore the creative process of moving colors around until the colors come alive. Learn how to focus on color placement and value contrast – the magic keys to making your designs work at a small scale. 

The last part of the workshop will feature polymer clay as the perfect medium for learning about optical mixing.  As you put together a collection of simple striped color studies, you will begin to see color in a whole new light. You will have the option at the end of the class to either continue exploring optical blending or design and create a small project using your striped cane studies.


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Kit Fee : All materials will be provided in the class fee.

Note: Premo colored clay for color studies will be donated.

Level:  All levels. All Media.

Materials Provided: Polymer Clay, Watercolors, Acrylic Paint, LEDs

Materials to Bring: Work surface, blade, favorite art supplies, tablet or I-Pad

Class Length: Two Days.  Fourteen hours of instruction.

Instructor Fee: $195/student plus travel and lodging. Home stay is fine. The total cost per student is dependent on site expenses and is determined by the hosting organization.

Polymer Guilds: Contact Maggie for group/guild pricing. Note that this workshop can be combined with a one-day add-on  workshop for polymer clay artists who want to apply what they have learned.

Class Size: Minimum – 8 students. Maximum – 24 students.

Classroom Requirements: Demo table and chair. Dedicated convection oven, whiteboard or flip chart with markers.  Additional chair for each student at demo table if possible.