In this edition of the pcPolyzine Beginner's Corner, we'll share some ideas for creating new colors of clay!
This is probably the most common technique to create a new color. By blending different colors of clay in various ratios, you can create some of the most beautiful new colors. Be sure to play around with the ratio—some colors pack a punch (like reds)! Also, when mixing colors with white, pearl, or translucent, be sure to start off with a smaller amount of the other color to ensure you don't go overboard.
Another great option for creating amazing colors is to use alcohol ink along with your clay. Many times, artists use translucent or white clay as the base for their new creation. Be mindful of starting off slow with these inks as a little can go a long way. In general, the more ink you use, the darker the shade you'll create. When using alcohol inks, make sure everything is dry before baking.
Pigments are perfect for coloring your clay! These are basically ground-up colors and can be very vibrant in your clay. Typically, these don't have a sparkle or shimmer. Be aware that pigments can be pricey and a little can go a long way. You can also mix the pigments prior to combining them with your clay to create even more color options.
Many times, acrylic pants are used as an embellishment on top of your clay—like in the silkscreen technique, for instance. But you can also use these paints to help color your clay. This may take a bit of trial and error since there are some types of acrylic paint that just won't dry on your clay. Some artists use acrylic paints when making faux stone. As with alcohol inks, be sure your paint has dried before baking.
Similar to pigments, mica powders are great for creating beautiful new colors. These shimmery powders come in many forms and some even shift in color! Some polymer clay artists even use loose eyeshadows as coloring agents for their clay.
Typically, these pastels come in a rectangular shape and you can get them in a variety pack with many different colors. The quality of the chalks will determine how much you need to achieve the new clay color. Use a craft knife or other tool to scrape some chalk onto you're clay and mix until you've achieved the specific color. If you only need a bit of the color, you can also use a paint brush to dust your clay.