Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Mixing primary colours in your projects.

As an added little nugget of knowledge to go with the Distress Ink blending tutorial i did the other day, i wanted to share a quick tip about colour mixing. I was prompted to write this after an excellent question from Sarah C . She asked what colours would i advise getting if she wanted to buy maybe just a couple of colours to get started with. This is such an excellent question for many reasons.

Firstly, opinions on this will differ, but differences of opinion encourages debate which leads to more all is good! :)

Secondly, the cost can be a major factor when getting together a starter pack for a new craft subject. By the time you buy the applicator, the foam pads, and lots of the ink pads, you can be looking at a pretty penny. Having two kids, and still awaiting that lottery win, i know than any tip to cut costs comes in handy at times.
So then...Primary colours: This will be something probably all of us will have done at school at some point, however like a lot of our school knowledge, it gets lost in life unless really needed. What many people forget is, that when you blend colours, you get other colours! Like me, you will often be reminded of this fact by accident, or when you blend colours into each other and are rather pleased with the colour you've produced without meaning to!

The primary colours are red, blue and yellow, and from these, you can get a whole range of other colours.......take this colour circle above, the primary colours are in the middle, then as you come outwards you see what colours they can be mixed into. The colour variations then come into their own according to how much of one colour you mix with another.

Red mixed with yellow will make orange, blue with yellow makes green, blue with red makes purple.....and so on. This has limitless boundaries, which you can explore to your hearts desire.
So don't think that just because you only have 3 colours in your paint pots or ink pads, that's all you have......go have a play and discover some new colours! :)
Before anyone says that this only works with paints, it does work with distress pad inks too...I've just tried it to double check. :) Just make sure that you check your pad before you want to use it for a single colour again, as you may have some blended colour on there which will of course alter your single colour.
Below are the three colours i just tested....Fired Brick (red), Broken China (blue) and Mustard Seed (yellow).

I experimented with a couple of mixes, you can of course take this as far as you want....
There is a wealth of info out there on this subject, and I'm sure many people will have a vast knowledge on colour mixing. Above is just the little tip I've learnt along the way, mostly from people like Maddy who is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to colour and arty stuff.
Another tip Maddy just reminded me of, you can dab the distress pads onto a Teflon mat or anything plastic, like a CD cover, then use that as a mixing pallet. Then transfer the ink to your work.

For those wanting to learn more on this, Google things like "Primary colours", "secondary colours", "colour theory", "colour mixes"...things like that. This is what i love about crafting, you come across a subject you are not too knowledgeable in, and you go and learn so much about it that you end up being able to pass it on to others.
Personally, i think every craft room should have a colour wheel or chart, it is such a handy thing to have for that little reminder about achievable colours. (Something i confess to not being very good at.) Better still, go and make your own funky colour wheel. Whether it's a masterpiece of a million different shades, or a piece of A4 card with just a few mixes on it. That way, you gain the experience of mixing the colours yourself whilst creating a very useful tool.
So once again, a big thank you to Sarah C for jogging my memory on this one, and thanks to Maddy for what I've learnt from her about it so far.

Thanks for stopping by :)


Rachel said...

Thanks for that Calvin - I only have 1 distress ink pad - Val has only 1 too unless she has been sneakily buying whilst I've been laid up! Will help me decide what colours to get next - I couldn't decide! :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Calv, I only have worn lipstick and weathered wood at the mo but will experiment with blending those before making a shopping/wish list of other colours.
Debbie/kingdom kid Trimcraft