02 May 2021

Beginner's Corner: Colors

In this edition of the pcPolyzine Beginner's Corner, we'll look at the basics of colors and some great ways to choose the right combination!

When it comes to polymer clay, choosing the right color is key. There are many resources and design theories that are available to help you choose the best colors for your project. However, 
it may sound elementary, but I believe a good place to start is with the color wheel for primary, secondary, and tertiary colors.

Primary Colors  
Primary colors are those colors that can't be made form combining an other colors together. The three primary colors are Red, Yellow, and Blue.

Secondary Colors
The next set of colors are known as secondary colors. These colors can be made by mixing two primary colors together. They include:
  • Orange
  • Green
  • Purple

Tertiary Colors
As we continue exploring the color wheel, the next colors are called tertiary colors. These colors can be made by combining a primary color and a secondary color. Tertiary colors include:
  • Red/purple
  • Red/orange
  • Yellow/orange
  • Yellow/green
  • Blue/green
  • Blue/purple
When mixing colors together to create secondary and tertiary colors, be mindful that the ratio of each color used in the blend will determine your final mixture. By adding more of one color versus the other, you can create various shades and blends that will be perfect for your polymer clay creation!

Now, let's talk about what colors go together. This is where I find I struggle the most. I love blues, greens, and teals, but seeing other colors and their combinations can be a challenge for me.

Complementary Colors

One good tip is to use colors that are complementary. To determine which are complementary, choose one color from the wheel and then use the one that's directly opposite from it. For example, if you choose green, the complementary color on the wheel is red. These two colors work well together when creating works of art.

Contrasting Colors
Another option is to choose colors that contrast one another. Typically, one color is light and the other is dark. For example, black and white. By choosing colors that contrast with one another, you're sure to create an eye-popping piece of work.

Analogous Colors

Finally, you can create beautiful art by choosing colors that are analogousmeaning they are located near one another on the color wheel. For example, you may choose to work with blue, purple, and a shade of red in your work.

Overall, just be creative and explore the world of colors and how to best pair them. You never know, you just might stumble upon something amazing!

Color wheel images courtesy of worqx.

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