Basic Info... (re mixing/coloring clays)
Helpful color tips (... gen. tips)
....more info from online... books
....pigments --properties in polymer clays, inks,paints,etc
Color wheels & definitions
....primaries, secondaries
....tints, shades, tones
....temperature... contrast... simultaneity
Mixing your own color palette
....basic-colors for palettes
....mixing colors by hand
Marbling effects
Recipes & combos
....color groups
....individual colors
.......using inclusions--alcohol inks, paints, etc.
.......mixing clay colors together
...metallic & pearly colors
Color schemes
Powders (metallic)
...bronze ...raku & glazes ... faux's
...flesh & body parts
...(glitter) Metallics (FimoSoft)
Discontinued Colors


Basic Info

To create new solid colors by mixing different clay colors together, you can mix them by hand, or by pasta machine.
Basically the clays are simply twisted and rolled together or they are put through pasta machine (folded over after each pass) until the color is solidly the new color (or until just "marbled"...see below in "Marbling")
..... instead of folding the clay in the pasta machine, I cut or tear the clay sheet in half, place one sheet on top of another, and roll it through. Less chance to trap air bubbles....the less folding you have to do, the better ...and colors will blend faster too. Patty B

There are many other ways to add color to clay as well (besides simply mixing colored clays together).
....This page
, however, will largely be about mixing clays, as well as about how color works in general.
other ways to get color into clay are covered on these pages:
Letters & Inks (including alcohol-based inks)
(oil paints & pastels, fabric dyes, concentrated tea, etc....small amts. of acrylic paint)
Inclusions (powders, pigments, dry tempera, crayons, etc.)
....see some info on alcohol inks and paints to color polymer, or air dry, clays below in Individual Colors > "coloring with alcohol inks & paints"

All info about creating continuous or discrete gradients of color (called "blends" in polymer clay) in the form of clay sheets or logs, is on the Blends page.

helpful General Tips
(especially if you don’t have many colors of clay):

You can add any color clay (or one of the colors you’re already using) to all the other colors you’re using to get a very compatible palette, or to consistently "tone down" or brighten up the whole palette.

Similarly, if you've created a palette of tints or tones or shades to work with, and you want to make more colors with a different "feel" to go with those, you can use the colors you already have and add white (to a tone, e.g. to create a tint of a tone), gray or the complement (to a tint, e.g., to create a tone of a tint), or black (to create a shade of a tint or tone) --see below…

(more thorough description of above) (& can use with )
scraps . . . choose a largish lump of clay in a color you particularly like. The "target" color should have a good amount of pigment in it, particularly if most of your scrap is strongly colored. What you do is this: take each lump of scrap clay, and break off a peice of "target" color about 1/3 the size of the lump of scrap, and mix them together. When you have done this to every lump of scrap, 2 things will be accomplished: 1. They will all have been tinted with the same "target" color, and thus will have joined the same "color family" and they will ALL look good together (even if they look odd individually). 2. If they were of different consistancies, they will have been "averaged" towards the consistancy of the "target" clay, and will now be of more similar consistancies.
Even more fun, is to divide your lumps of scrap clay in two, make two groups of lumps, and tint each group with a contrasting color. IE tint one group with dark blue and the other group with bright pink. Now you have a Blue Family of related colors, and a Pink Family of related colors, and the Blues and Pinks are also related to each other's family because they were mixed from the same scrap colors, and the members of the two families all contrast nicely. author?

harmonizing ...color combinations with similar tonal value ... no one color stands out from the rest
contrasting ...color combinations which strongly contrast with each other (black and white, or light and dark, etc.).
accent ...a small amount of color used to add a spark of contrast or interest. hacrafter

Use all "cool" colors or all "warm" colors (see below) for an easy combination
(though if you're reducing canes very much, some of the colors will change radically in their appearance, and you may need to use them together to get much contrast)
....I took a workshop with Karyn Kozak ...and was interested to find out that she uses warm and cool versions of the same color within the same cane... this gives the color more vibrancy (contrast) when it's reduced. Julia S.

The presence of, or amount of, translucent in (a brand's) basic forumla has a LOT to do with whether it'll darken when baking.
. . Also, particular colors within a brand have more or less translucent in their composition (...some colors have a lot, and those will darken more when baking). ...Flesh color is particularly likely to have a mostly translucent base; so do some of the Fimo colors like purple and magenta. Sarajane H.

add white (in small amounts) to many clay colors to make them more opaque ...and to avoid darkening during bakin (even though colors may not look like they might be translucent, many still have a lot of translucent in them)
...also some particiular colors have white in their base, and it opaques the color more.
....You can tell pretty easily, once you know what you are looking for. Sarajane

(If you want to create a particular color or be able to duplicate a mixture you like, you need to keep track of how much color you are adding.
...I like to use 1/2 block translucent (e.g.) and gradually add color in very small increments, so I chop the colored block into 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64 size pieces (that's the halve and halve again method). I start by adding the smallest size and can tell the proportion by what is left on the board at the end.. .
...Remember, there is no way to tell what a color looks like until it is baked, and possiblly also sanded/buffed or hit with clear finish.
...If you have a specific color in mind, you can easily spend a day experimenting! Stacia

I don't buy colored clay... I create my own colors by mixing pea sized bits of alcohol-based inks OR polymer clay (into Premo's white, black, translucent and/or& ecru). Carolyn (or oil paints, etc.... see Paints and Letters/Inks)

This is a great site for possible color schemes
... simply "click" on a color (in the palette) and you'll get a palette of colors that look good with the color you've selected. Jan (there's also software at, which takes it further)

info from books & online, etc.

Maggie Maggio has a number of lessons on color at her website (seeing colors in "color familiies," hue/value/saturation, "primaries," mixing primaries and brown-gray, relative strengths of diff. colors, using her template to make a range from one color to another, and optionally mixing a bit of each resulting color with white to put in the center of each)

Diana Crick's website with color lessons.. mixing colors, color wheel, etc.

My recent artistic past was in painting and want to share with you a SIMPLE to understand book on getting the colors you want with a minimum of "primaries". It is called "Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green". It is a small, easy to understand book and can be found in some libraries. Susan

When working with the clay, I use the Ives Color Wheel which uses magenta, zinc yellow, and a blue turquoise (as opposed to a slightly greenish turquoise.) This wheel gives me the colors that I like best. .... but you can actually start with any of the primaries and mix some excellent colors. Just pick the type of red you want and use it with the blue and yellow that shows on the Triad. Dotty in CA

This is a great site for color scheme information. You simply "click" on a color (in the palette)..and you'll get a palette of colors that compliment the color you've selected.. Jan @ (there's also software at, which takes it further)

Paletteman's visual tool for auditioning colors for a (web-safe, 216-colors only) color scheme (plus one color for text, if you want): select 4 colors, then click on Rotate to change their proportions, or Lighten/Darken the whole scheme (instructions are short and clear); there really aren't many true neutrals though.

*LOADS of info on color ---wheels, mixing, value, intensity, analogous, complementary, warm/cool, gradation, samples, exercises (Lesson 2, Art Part)...

loads of info on color

LOADS of info on color ---however, these articles are referring to color as light (as used by a computer monitor) rather than as pigment (paint, inks, etc.), so some of their terminology at least isn't the same as for pigment
....for example, what we would call "secondary" colors (orange, green, purple) are there referred to as "complementary" colors (where we define complementary colors are those direction across the color wheel from each other (those they refer to as clashing or contrasting colors)
... there is also info there, e.g., which states that to create more "saturation" in a color, black should be added (for pigment, this would results in creating a "shade" of the color... more pigment is required to increase saturation for us)

color "illusions" info and examples (ways colors can influence each other in the way they're perceived)
... Blind Spots, Blink Effect, Bordering, Chromatic Adaptation (x2), Color Blindness, Crispening, Dither Dots, Dithering, Fill Patterns, Opponent After-images, Optical Art, Shape Contrast, Simultaneous Contrast (x2), Value Contrast)

(*great, very condensed characteristics of the various art movements/artists (in Western history)
all kinds of stuff about color, art, artists, movements, projects, principles of art, elements of art, etc.
many links re color on PoRRo's website

BOOK: Polymer, the Chameleon Clay: Artranch Techniques for Re-Creating the Look of Ivory, Jade, Turquoise, and Other Natural Materials, by Victoria (Tory) Hughes . . . It is really good book. Not just a project, tips and "forget me" book but much much more.... It touches me, the artist in me, and makes me both inspired and also active.. . . I already have gotten a new attitude towards colours (the talk in the beginning about "really looking at colours" was very inspiring) ...Her way with words is great, and the ideas and opinions she express are very good ones to hear for getting confidence and structure for one's own creating. PöRRö
(see more in Books & Videos)

properties of pigments in polymer clay
(and other mediums)

very interesting info about pigment & indiv. pigments, derivation, history, etc.

"Pigments are used for coloring paint, ink, plastic, fabric, cosmetics, food and other materials.
...Most pigments used in manufacturing and the visual arts are dry colourants, usually ground into a fine powder. This powder is added to a vehicle (or matrix) --a relatively neutral or colorless material that acts as a binder.
...A distinction is usually made between a pigment --which is insoluble in the vehicle (resulting in a suspension)-- and a dye --which either is itself a liquid or is soluble in its vehicle (resulting in a solution). A colorant can be both a pigment and a dye depending on the vehicle it is used in."

Before the Industrial and Scientific Revolutions...most of the pigments in use were: and mineral pigments
......biological origin pigments (plant and animal--e.g., skin, eyes, fur, hair, as well as secretions, excretions, etc).
..."The Industrial and Scientific Revolutions brought a huge expansion in the range of synthetic pigments, pigments that are manufactured or refined from naturally occurring materials. . . "

desirable characteristics for pigments:
...permanence (resistance to alkalis/acids), stability (lightfastness, heat stability), tinting strength, opacity (hiding power, good coverage) vs. transclucency/transparency, non-toxicity, etc.

more from Dot Hage:

The pigments in polymer clay are the same pigments used in inks, dyes and paints . . . These properties are determined by the chemical make-up of the pigment, not the clay.
It is worthwhile learning the properties of the most popular pigments so that you'll know what to expect...
...For instance, red, although a "dark" color, is transparent and doesn't cover well (could use a primer underneath though)... while titanium white, the lightest color, is opaque and covers extremely well. (Primers contain titanium white for this reason....Mixing white with translucent will hide "mooning" in polymer clay because the clay will become more opaque, but that also means you will lose some translucency.)

Artist color names often refer to the pigments' makeup (or their original makeup):
Cadmium yellow and Cadmium red (warm yellow and warm red) ... good tinting ability, brilliant, colorfast
Lemon yellow (cool yellow) ...quite transparent
Alizarin crimson (cool red), synthetic organic ...tendency to darken, not very colorfast (without additives), doesn't cover well
Ultramarine blue (cool dark blue) synthetic.. affected by light and oil, but not by heat.
Royal blue (neither warm nor cool)...extremely stable and somewhat translucent. May be slightly greenish.
Phthalo blue (intense cool blue to blue-green)... very transparent, lightfast, overwhelming tinting power... tends to turn brown when seen through a camera lens because of bronze pigments not visible to the naked eye.
Sienna or raw sienna (yellowish brown) now produced synthetically... transparent, very long lasting.
Burnt sienna (reddish brown)... transparent, very long lasting.
Yellow ochre (light yellow brown)...good hiding power (opacity), excellent permanence.
Raw umber (dark brown) ...acids and alkalis can change its color, not affected by light or gases, but may darken. May have a greenish tinge or silvery color when mixed with white
Burnt umber (dark reddish brown) synthetic umber ...may darken a lot, lightfast, not affected by gases."

other references from Dot: ... ...


The color wheel most used by artists for pigment (think paint, not light or printing) hsas been:
--primary colors: blue, red, yellow
--secondary colors: green, purple, orange
(however...some are beginning to feel that the truest primaries are magenta and zinc yellow (lemon) and cyan (turquoise).

After you have a six-color wheel, you can also mix the colors which will occur between the primaries & secondaries by combining colors that are next to each other around the wheel
....e.g., mix blue and green to get turquoise or aqua (turquoise =more blue... aqua = more green + white).

Heather R's lesson on color wheels and mixing colors, at
Deidre's lesson on a simple color wheel... primaries & secondaries
good presentation of the Color Cube (showing how to mix any colors)
"additive" vs. "subtractive" color

Complementary colors

The complement of a color is the color directly across the color wheel from it... e.g., these 6 complementary pairs: = green ...... red/violet = yellow green
...... orange = blue ...... red-orange = blue-green
.......golden yellow = violet ...... golden orange = blue-violet figure out the complements for a color, hacrafter says, "you only need to know the 3 primaries... a color's complement is the missing color of the three)...for example, to find the complement of yellow, add the missing colors together --blue and red.... therefore purple is the complement of yellow."
.another neat trick I learned for finding the exact complement for a color.... stare for 20-30 seconds at the color, then look away at a white surface (I close my eyes first)... the color you see as an afterimage is the true complementary color for your chosen color. Sarah

omplementary colors are one cool color and one warm color
... since
warm colors appear to advance, and cooler colors appear to recede, it is this movement of advancing and receding that really make a complementary color scheme pop. hacrafter
.....complementary colors when put next to each other make the eyeballs jump trying to focus, and that makes certain combinations "electric". Nora-Jean
........if you want to use complementary colors without causing discomfort though, you can outline each of the colors with a thin neutral white, gray or black line. The outlines separate the two colors, which helps your brain keep them separated. Pantone
.especially if complements are used together in their full strengths, each color will intensify the other (a blue will seem bluer if next to orange, its complement)

I've done whole paintings using only 2 complementary colors, along with their combinations (plus a bit of black & white in some). Nothing will clash!
.........for instance (it sounds almost ugly), purple is yellow's complementary, so you'd combine them, and add a black or white here and there, and end up with a yellow, olives (yellow plus a bit of black), ochres (yellow & purple), a more neutral brownish purple, etc. ...I'd add just a touch of black or yellow to the purple,too. . . . the result is rather subdued & subtle but very harmonious.
.....It would also be interesting to try this with red (complementary is green) & black, or blue, orange & black...the blue only changes to blue-greys though, not too exciting without the orange contrast, but you'd have the pure blue & pure black as well.
.....stay away from 50/50 contrasts though. Mavis

Tints, Shades & Tones

To make a great range of colors --OR to change the "feel" of a particular color
.....mix a color with white ... or mix with a neutral (gray or brown)... or mix with its complementary color
.....from those combinations you can create:

TINTS: (pastels) add lots of white to any color (light, cheerful, spring-like)
SHADES: add a bit of black to any color (dark, heavy, or can add contrast)
TONES: add gray (black + white) to any color; "toned down"; elegant, sophisticated, more neutral
.......or for a tone, add it's complementary color (the color directly across the color wheel from it)

tints, shades, tones (basic)
......(more on each below)


Deidre's lesson on working with tints (which almost always go together well, regardless of their colors)
tints mixing guide template (for single color, plus various amounts of white)


shades mixing guide template (for single color, plus various amounts of black --plus a little white to compensate for darkening while baking)

sometimes adding black ("shades") to a color can be a surprise
...e.g, mixing a small amount of black into yellow actually yields olive green!


tones mixing guide template (for single color, plus 5 values of gray)

tones created with single color, plus the proportion of it's complementary color she suggests using for "de-saturating" it: (2nd half of page)
tones mixing guide template (adding complements)

What I remember about tones (which to me has been very helpful) is that "tones" result when *gray* is added to a color (black AND white, rather than black OR white)....adding gray "tones down" the color.
...Lots of variations are possible of course depending on the ratio of black to white, as well as the absolute amts. added.

Tones seem to be most of the colors we regularly run into, although the hot pinks and strong turquoises, jades, purples etc. of some fashion eras certainly weren't tones.

Another word for toned might be muted.
....think of cooler climates, where it seems people don't like to wear colors that are too bright or strong as they tend to look garish in the paler light.
....similarly, paler-skinned or paler-haired do much better with toned colors than with the strong or bright. (of course, tints work well for them too).....whereas those with dark or strongly colored hair or skin (or the saturation of youthful hair and skin) are not overpowered by those eye poppers.
.....I mention this also because I now understand why there are some clothes in my closet I can wear only after my hair has been recently highlighted (lightened and brightened from its drab dark blonde).... colors that I love, by the way :-(..... After a couple of months, my clothing selections need to get more toned or tinted until I get back to get my hair lightened again
... I also notice that age had a bearing on this. After 40 or so, it gets harder and harder to wear shades or brights (unless you like the haggard look, or like to have wrinkles and sags accentuated) ...if I wear a "better" color close to my face though, like a collar, it offsets the other color
(...Since I now notice these things in clothing, it's easier to see the same sorts of issues when deciding on or mixing colors in clay, as well as thinking about paintings, advertisements, etc.) Diane B.

many "browns" can be created by mixing the complementary colors which are half-way apart on the color wheel, in equal and in unequal amounts
EQUAL PROPORTIONS (of complementary colors) = browns + green = umbers + blue = siennas
...yellow + purple = ochers
UNEQUAL PROPORTIONS (of complementary colors) = brownish colors which are closer to the larger-percentage color
....these can be further diversified by adding white, black or gray, to each of the resulting colors colors like tan, wheat
, maple, auburn ,chocolate, walnut, etc can be achieved this way.

mixing the primary colors (which are one-third apart on the color wheel) in unequal amounts gives colors such as rust (a little blue, to a lot of red) and some other interesting variations.

taupes are mixes which fall where the cool grays meet the warm browns. hacrafter

Color "Temperature"

Then there is the subject of the "temperature" of color. Again, there is no uniformity in what precisely is meant by the term. Some schools consider the various combinations of yellow through red to violet/red/violet to belong on the "warm" side of the color wheel, and from violet through blue to yellow/green/yellow to belong to the "cool" side. Others consider that the colors of violet and yellow/green are "temperate" colors and are neither warm nor cool. If you stop to consider it, you will find that each and every color has a "warm" and a "cool" side to it. (for example, "Lemon" yellow is cool, while "golden" yellow is warm - yet they are both pure forms of yellow. The same applies to red, blue and all the other colors). Gene (warm & cool version of each of the 3 primaries and 3 secondaries)

When used together in an image, cool colors will tend to recede (and be less important) whereas warm colors will tend to advance toward the viewer (becoming more important/visible).

When mixing colors to create a new color, distinguishing the primaries by "warm" and "cool" helps avoid accidently muddying the colors (as you would if you mixed a warm blue with a cool red - you might be disappointed in your somewhat brownish purple!)

I'm taking a class on color theory at the local tech school, one of the continuing education classes offered. Someone was getting really hung up on colors being warm or cool, and the teacher said she didn't like working with that sort of labeling, because she found it confusing and she'd rather say "this blue leans toward green". I was so glad to hear this, because I feel the same way! Irene NC


Contrast between colors, patterns and visual texture is important to make sure parts of an image are really distinct from each other (also, the more a pattern is reduced, the stronger the contrast needs to be to keep the colors or patterns from seeming to merge together.) Less contrast can create tranquilness, though even less contrast can be monotonous or boring. More contrast can create interest or excitement, but too much contrast can be overstimulating or cluttered.

contrast can be increased by adding white, light, or fluorescent colors to lighten and brighten a color.... or by adding darker, grayer, or more saturated colors to darken or mute them (or by using complementary colors next to each other).
Value contrast...( even more important than color contrast, but somewhat overlapping) --the relative darkness or lightness of a color or pattern (regardless of its color--hue)
.....some people will actually work out the pattern they want in black, white, and gray to determine the contrasts needed, before actually assigning any colors to those values
Texture can also affect contrast... a heavily textured image will appear to be a different contrast and value to one with less texture or smaller texture.

Size and shape can also create contrast.

Some ways to determine contrast:
--squint (or take your glasses off & hold the colors close or far away, depending on your eyesight)
--stand far away, or look at the colors over your shoulder through a mirror, or through the lens of a camera
-- semi-darkness -- I step into the closet and close the door partway. That way I can't see the actual colors, but I can compare the contrast. Irene NC
--photocopying or scanning in the b&w mode sometimes works
--~A lot of quilters go to the hardware store and buy the kind of peephole insert used in front doors; a cheap and effective substitute for a "reducing lens" (so you can see how your colors and patterns will look like when greatly reduced). Jane

color and brightness constrasts (scroll down to #4)

(see more info on how to deal with contrast between cane elements, the problem of colors "changing" when reduced, and actual bleeding between colors, in > Tips for Making Canes > Contrast and color changes)


(DB: find good discussion)

Simultaneous Contrast ...colors taking on the characteristics of their complementary color.

Colors placed next to each other can influence how the eye perceives them because it may tend to blend them together .... afterimages
.......this effect will be greater if larger amounts of each color are placed next to each other, and less if smaller amounts of the colors are intermixed and

MIXING YOUR OWN color wheel Palette

... it cuts down on clay costs because fewer colors have to be purchased
...colors are less like to run out because there are fewer colors to keep track of
.......and missing colors can always be remixed (especially if just a small amount is needed), or a similar color can be achieved with other colors

...And most importantly, all of my colors will look good together then since I'm using the same primaries for them all ...I don't have a natural color sense, I have to work at it! and this method makes me a little more sure of myself and saves me a lot of work. Irene

By mixing together
any 3 "primary" colors (meaning any blue, any red & any yellow), plus black and white (in proper proportions), you can make your own complete color wheel and/or color palette! --see below for "best" blues, reds, yellows... and variations
... if you then add Translucent, plus
Pearl and Gold mica-based clays (and/or Silver), you can mix virtually any specialty color as well
NOTE .. .. you will get different results for each particular combo of colors you use . can also mix many different palettes for yourself if you want
.....try mixing some colors on a small scale just to check them out... then keep your results for comparison and for later reference.
The possibilities for all these color mixes and full palettes are ENDLESS!! ..Diane B.

One "rule" of color mixing is to add the more intense or the darkest value color to the lighter one (...for example, orange is usually lighter in value than blue, so use the approximate amount of orange that you want your final color mix to be, then slowly add small amounts of blue to it). Patty B.

One or all of the 3 "primary" colors you choose could be shades, tints, or tones ... or fluorescents... or even metallics (e.g. gold instead of yellow) of any "primary" (instead of exact blue/red/yellow or cyan/magenta/lemonyellow.
...In the same way, one or more of the "neutrals" could be colors that serve the same function as a black or a white, but aren't black or white (e.g., using ivory or ecru for the white ...or dark blue or maroon or dark gray for the black, etc.).

You could also use your own mixing of a color as a primary or as a neutral color... e.g., your own dark blue or brown as a primary, or a lighter color like ecru as a neutral.
...... many times I don't use "black" .....but rather, I mix a very dark color, but not exact black). Jacqueline

for my "mixing neutrals" as I call them, I use black, white, gold, ecru and silver

You might want to stick with a warm red, a warm blue, and a warm yellow --or cool primaries (especially if using Premo since the colors are sold that way), but palettes will still work if you combine warms and cools.)

add white to make a particular color more opaque (also so it won't darken too much during baking)
add translucent to make any color more translucent (the more you add, the more translucent ...e.g. with orange, you can go from simulating blood oranges to a weak orange juice color by adding more and more translucent clay to a basic yellow/red-orange mix

Elizabeth's color wheel ...showing the 3 primaries, 3 secondaries, and 6 tertiaries --(hers go from the outside --> in)

...she also has suggestions for basic colors to create a complete palette (for beginners or anyone)

Makin's color chart for mixing various colors into yellow, red, blue and brown clay (using acrylic paints to color air-dry clay, but the principle in the same)

(... see a few more palettes involving the mica-based metallic colors below in "Metallic and Pearly")

(for more info on the properties of the pigments that create color in polymer clay, see above under Helpful Tips > Pigments)

Basic-colors for palettes

Although any red, blue, yellow combination will produce a palette of every "color," the exact colors chosen will make a big difference in the colors achievable!
...Most of us probably learned the RBY system of "primary" colors (red-blue-yellow), but the primaries of the CMY system seem to give the truest colors
.....they are cyan + magenta + lemon yellow (names given by printers)
.....these will create the clearest and the brightest color mixes --but if you prefer "toned-down colors," using the purest colors may not matter to you

The RBY system represents an older system that's still in use by artists and craftspersons around the world, and has been used for centuries.
....much of the difference is semantics though ... cyan is just a type of blue, magenta just type of red, for example
... however, the fact ultimately arises that you can't mix Magenta using (the "primaries" of) Red and Blue, but you can mix Blue using (the "primaries" of) Magenta and Cyan. Tim
....British art schools are now teaching these colours as the true primaries (... red can be mixed from magenta and yellow)
….if you use magenta, zinc/lemon yellow, and cyan for your three primaries, you get a much better colour wheel.

also... some colors can't be duplicated AT ALL, using either the RBY or CMYK systems... these are called "out of gamut" colors.
....for instance, fluorescent colors are created using very specific fluorescent dyes that cannot be mixed from scratch.
....other colors are really difficult to mix well because they are the result of mixing all three primaries... so it's just easier to buy those pre-mixed (it's difficult enough to get the proper mix of two primaries... adding the third makes the task even more daunting... just try to mix a nice even beige from either CMY or RBY! Tim

The CMY colors in Premo are Turquoise + Fuschia + Zinc Yellow ....(for other brands, see below for possible equivalents) of many colors mixed from these primaries (magenta-yellow-turquoise).... (stargazer's photos from Maggio class)
....however, I use only (Premo's) Cobalt Blue + fuschia + zinc yellow ... I think they are more saturated and slightly truer than using turquoise (stargazer's photos from Maggio class)

Sculpey III: I took a class with Kathleen Amt this spring, where she talked about mixing all the colors from Sculpey's brilliant pink, blue, and yellow.

Kato clay comes in 8 basic "spectral" (rainbow) colors, which are designed to create the most possible colors when mixed.

Marie Segal was the one who insisted that Polyform give most of the Premo colors "oil paint" names such as Alizarin crimson, Cobalt blue, etc. (instead of hype names such as Apple Red or Mossy Green). Dotty
...bless her for that!! it was a stroke of genius ...AND makes it easy to find what you need if you do happen to know paint colors. What's also terrific is their colors are almost a perfect match for their painterly counterparts!! Sunni
(lots of oil painting books give color mixes by these names too, and so should be translatable to clay)
...For a wam palette in Premo, Howard and Marie Segal, suggest Cadmium Yellow, Cobalt Blue, and a red made by mixing equal parts of Cadmium Red and Alizarin Crimson. Irene NC
...warning: Jan 01, Polyform is discontinuing the 1 lb. sizes of ...zinc yellow, alizarin crimson, turquoise, violet, orange, fuschia (and other less important ones)

some primaries I've used:
-my favorite is Premo.... Alizarin, Ultramarine/cobalt, and gold (for the yellow)..... it's a great Fall palette by the way.
-Fimo: Red #2; Yellow #1; Ultramarine #33
-Fimo light: same as above, but each color is 1/4 white
-Premo 1: equal parts fuscia/cadmium red; cadmium yellow; ultramarine
-Premo 2: Alizarin Crimson; Gold; Ultramarine. Anna

Just blended the most gorgeous colors using Fimo's.... Magenta F#21, Yellow F#1, Turquoise F#38 AND Lt. Turquoise F#32. Rosie

For a more subtle palette, you could choose yellow ochre, cad red, and ultramarine blue.

For a very "earthy" palette, try yellow ochre, red oxide, and Payne's grey (these are examples of paint/pigment names).
(....all of these primaries can be infinitely modified by adding black and/or white in varying amounts, of course). Cathy

Fimo has a number of primary reds, blues (...for a warm Fimo palette, use Golden Yellow, Carmine, and Blue (# 37). my mind, the Fimo primaries are blue, flourescent yellow, and flourescent red (magenta).
....My problem mixing colors with Fimo was that many of their blues (and yellows I think) contain black. ...this makes every color you mix with them grayed down (...that's one reason I LOVE Premo)

36 color mixes made from metallic copper, ultramarine blue, & fuschia) at Heather P's:
....they are 18 basic color combos, each of which is then made into a tint (2 middle rows):

When mixing colors, try not to mix cool colors with warm colors - they counteract one another and you end up with "muddy" shades.
. . . For example, Fimo Red is a warm color, but Fimo blue is cool, so when you mix them, they get sorta muted. But try to mix Fimo Carmine Red with Royal Blue and a touch of white, and I think you'll find that nice purple.

secondaries are not always equal mixes of two primaries... Irene NC
...both paint and polymer clay are not perfectly true colors... they have other colours lurking (or for polymer clay, at least in the pvc, the binder, the plasticiser etc), all of which add wild cards colourwise
this means that secondaries will rarely mix true - but we get pretty close, and we can purchase the more elusive secondaries with manufacturer's colours. Sue

There is some disagreement about the term "tertiary." One book will tell you that the ternaries are primary-secondary mixes --like red/orange, blue/green/blue etc. (which is the way that I learned it).
.... Another will say that those colors are called "intermediate hues, " and that the tertaries the complementary colors mixed --like "olive" green or "rust" . . .

each pair of complementary colors contains all three primary colors
... the net result of mixing all three primaries in equal proportion (again theoretically) is black - or something very close to black

My recent artistic past was in painting and want to share with you a SIMPLE to understand book on getting the colors you want with a minimum of "primaries". It is called "Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green". It is a small, easy to understand book and can be found in some libraries. Susan
....This is the one book on color that I really love! Dotty
...oh oh!! i have that! it's wonderful! i use mostly premo, but i only buy fucshia, cobalt blue, cadmium yellow, black, white, translucent and gold and white pearls. everything i do is mixed from there, so this little book stays within arm's reach!! i highly recommend it! Sunni

Samples & Chips

Using any two colors*, make "samples" of colors by combining, e.g. 1 part red with 5 parts yellow, then work your way up to 5 pts. red with 1 pt. yellow (1-5, 2-4, 3-3, 4-2, 5-1).** Flatten these into chips and bake (marking with permanent ink, gel roller, or coding in some other way). (A hole can be added before baking for stringing these together, or glue onto a piece of cardstock or cardboard.)

Next mix one color with various ratios of:
white (= tints)
black (= shades)
gray (= tones)
the complement of the original color (red-green, yellow-purple, blue-orange) (also = tones) --how is this diff. from the gray?

(cut a block in half, quarters, etc. to measure. To divide into six equal parts, roll each color to a length of six inches, then cut at each inch mark on a ruler.)

Rebecca's lesson on mixing colors for a sample chain, using round, disc, and square shapes to indicate degree of mixing
(9 mixes, using red & blue, plus showing tints of each mix)

Margaret Maggio's online video lesson on mixing a range of colors from 2 colors for samples, using a 3/4" square cutter and a 1/4" round cutter... and also a several sample chains
....she also shows optionally mixing a bit of each resulting color with white to put in the center of each --to be able to see the color base more easily)

Heather P's mixes of ultramarine with copper (top row) and with fuschia (bottom row)
... the 2 center rows are those colors made into tints (by adding white)

Karen H's set of color chips

Diana Crick's Color School . . .lesson pages on all kinds of things about mixing colors (plus how to divide clay to get the fractions you want) . . .
(old site)
Diana Crick's and Diane Villano's lesson page on how to mix colors and make a color wheel with them
(see URL above until this one changed)

Nora Jean's many color samples
... on black sheets, showing the original colors (strips), results of the color mixes (circles), and the proportions of the colors used (little hearts and circles)... (primary colors mixed with white, black, pearl and the metal colored clays). (gone?)

when I mix...color recipes I condition and flatten to #1 a 1/2 brick @ of cobalt, zinc and fuschia. Then I take the 3/4" circle punch by Kemper and cut and stack the colors 10 "discs" to a pile. ...
Then I tried Irene Dean's method of making color wheels on strings. I picked one color and its next door complements and blended them with ecru or with metalic gold or with gray [which was 1part black and 1 part white] and loved the gold tones.. Cella

Do any of you save pieces of favorite colors and make notes how you made the color?
~Yes. I have a sample chain with a couple hundred recipes on it. I have another separate chain for inclusions (stuff mixed in) and powders and glitters. When I started using exclusively one brand of clay, I did every one-to-one mixture possible with the colors I'd purchased. It was a little tedious, but kind of zen, and I learned a lot. When the muse isn't around, it's something to do until she returns. You can also take two colors and mix varying proportions of each to see what a range you can acheive with just those two. I cut my samples into one-inch squares and use the tiniest circle cutter (a drinking straw would work) to make a hole towards the top. After baking, I write the recipe with a Sharpie marker directly on the sample and string it onto a length of ball chain. Irene in western NC

When you have a color that is reeeeeeally strong, like the red seems to be, you can use portions to make more gradual color changes. I mean that between the all-white and the 5 white+1red, it's a drastic change, so you could use 5.25 white+.75 red, 5.5 white+.5 red, 5.75 white+.25 red, and so on. I would do this between the red and blue, also, since so many of the red+blue mixtures are so similar. Also, if you make flat samples, you can write directly on them with a Sharpie. Irene NC

I've also made color wheels using each color with gold, with silver, with ecru, and with the color's complement. I've also made primary wheels using different versions of a primary (turquoise instead of blue, for example). Once of the really cool things about this is that if you stick with these primaries, all the colors you create with them will automatically go together since they have the same base. Irene NC

I took the primary colors and black and white and did "sampler" cards (with my classes). The background is black and I start out with the clay straight out of the pack and lay down a strip. Then mix it with equal parts of white. Then I mix the color with equal parts of the other primary colors to get secondary colors. Then I mix them with grey, like equal parts of yellow and blue make green, mix that with an equal portion of grey and you have olives for your mini martinis, that sort of thing. Mix primary and secondary colors with pearl, I'm in love with those mixes.
~I also took the metal colors and mixed them with primary and secondary colors. Yellow and blue for green, then equal parts of that green with pearl and then a half portion of gold...very pretty. Crimson with part to two parts, very pretty also. Make a skinner blend with them and fold them zig zag and make a lace cane with a surround of the two mixes mixed with equal portion of silver and you have ABALONE...very realistic. nora jean

Does anyone else find a color wheel useful? Sometimes I'm trying to get a certain color and for the life of me I can't figure out what I need to add. Holding the clay up to the color wheel shows me whether the clay has, say, a bluish tint or a greenish tint. When staring at the same piece of clay for awile, I lose the true sense of color. Kim

Anybody besides me use a Pantone chart (Pantone markers?) I often have to come as close as possible to colors used in the garment industry. It doesn't come out perfect, but it helps. The chart tells the proportion of basic colors used to make the various shades & tints. Linda J

(also paint charts from the hardware or paint stores! DB)
..About visualizing color combinations, here's a trick I use. I went to Lowe's Hardware one day, and when there were no employees around, I helped myself to one of every color chip they had in the paint dept (almost)! Then I punched a hole in the corner of each and put them on a binder ring; I hang it from the corner of my work table. Then when I'm trying to find an interesting color combination, I can flip through my ring "file," take some off the ring and try them together. (Not that I'm so skilled at color-mixing that I can match the colors *exactly* but it gives me something to shoot for.) It works well for me. Suzanne
...Remember, folks. This is advertisement for the paint department. They WANT you to take the chips The paint manufacturer is happy to keep the bins full. Trina
... Ah just go in and take em - tell them you are a interior designer and need a complete set to show clients. No biggie! After all, they wanna sell paint. Emma
The paint chip colors are very pleasing and it's easier to come up with interesting color combinations (or some way to remember or match a particular color) if you have something to look as instead of just thinking,"I need a nice blue".
...If you know a remodeler or general contractor or painter, ask them to save their paint sample booklets. Every paint manufacturer that I used to use in my remodeling business made a sampler pack of colors which opened like a fan. They were the same thing that you get off the shelf, but connected with some kind of a brad. They were also stacked in gradation of colors to easily pick the right colors and normally about two to three inches thick. Some companies had so many paint choices that they had three to five different fans. The paint companies often distributed these for free, but a few companies charged $5.00 for them. This was 7-8 years ago...Jeanne

You can also do 2-color or multi-color Skinner blends (see Blends) with colors to see what happens when colors mix, and as one begins to predominate more then the other.
..... when I’ve done this though, I’ve found it a little difficult to isolate one color in the resulting blend without viewing it through a stencil (paper with a hole in it). sometimes I’ve separated the colors by cutting the blended strip into 5 or more pieces, then placed them onto a strip of white (separated a bit). DB add photo
.... I prefer Premo clay, and can make a 4 different color rainbow blends by using these combinations of "primaries":
(1) Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Cobalt Blue
(2) Zinc yellow, Fuchsia, Turquoise
(3) Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium yellow, Ultramarine Blue
(4) Medium Red Brilliant, Cadmium Red, Cobalt Blue. (Med. Red Brilliant is available only online in pound bricks but is closest to Christmas red or Crayola Red.)
....For the Skinner blend, I cut 2 right angle triangles of yellow, and 1 rhomboid of blue, and 1 rhomboid of red.
........a rhomboid is a 4-sided shape, with both opposite sides parallel. ..each set of opposite sides is the same length, but the sets are diff. lengths
..........this creates the same shape as if a right triangle were added to 2 opposing sides of a square cut out a rhomboid as one piece, create a strip whose height the same your triangle's side...then cut the sides of the strip off at a 45 degree angle and parallel to each other)

......working from left to right, place one yellow triangle on the left with the 90º angle at the bottom left.... then place the red rhomboid next to it with the long sides touching... then the blue rhomboid touching the red... and end with the second yellow with the long side touching and the 90º angle in the upper right corner ... you should now have a rectangle. I usually make this sheet the width of my machine and about 4" high.
TIP: if you measure your pasta machine's roller width, then sketch the shapes needed on a piece of paper first, you will be able to cut your clay shapes to fit
..."moosh" all clay edges together to form one sheet... then make your blend
....Try this blend using all of the above combinations
...... and then experiment with the pearls and metallics ... gold, red pearlm and blue pearl also make a great rainbow blend.
.......and how about trying the fluorescents? ....they are really cool! make a blend of tints from your blend, cut off a strip of the blend and place a strip of white across the length of it but not as wide, then run through pasta machine till mixed.
.......this can be made lighter or darker by adding more or less white. make a blend of shades from your blend, repeat but use a tiny strip of black across the length.
some surprising tones can be achieved in the middle by cutting 2 strips of equal width ...and flipping one on top of the other (with colors are reversed)
.......and, of course you can add white or black to the resulting strip to lighten or darken it. Patty B.

food and other "palettes"
...lesson on making a 12-color color wheel with canned white frosting and food coloring (red, blue, yellow)... each color spread on a Vanilla wafer
...could do the same thing with cookie or other doughs, fondant, white glues, white paint, etc.

Mixing colors by Hand
(as opposed to using a pasta machine)

Take equal amounts of the two colors, or whatever proportion of each you want, and smoosh them together in your hands (if doing a large amt., roll snakes of each, then twist). Roll into a long snake and twist as many times as you can. Roll into a ball, then a snake again, and twist, etc. REPEAT until they are completely mixed together. (If you’re doing a *small* amount, you can also smoosh/knead at the end till completely mixed without hurting your thumbs.)

(The black dye paste sold by the Fimo people does work well, but it is mes-s-s-y! You should probably wear rubber gloves and mask your work area well. Your food processor will need a *thorough* cleaning afterward and don't use any tools you can't clean well. After it's mixed it, it doesn't seem to come off on anything though.)
Munro's still carries it?
Accent Imports (http://www. We do carry the black dye for...polymer clay. We sell it in a 8-oz jar for $9.99 and you can find it on our website in the shopping section under tools and things. We also carry a 1 gallon container of the black dye if you wanted to purchase it in bulk and distribute it yourself within the guild or class or what have you. The 1-gal container runs $44.95. Please feel free to contact us via 1-800-989-2889 with any other questions you may have. Sean Donovan
However, when I went back to their site to find what he was talking about I couldn't locate it on any page. So my recommendation is to make an e-mail to him from their site or contact him by phone. Tamila

I bet you could make your own black dye paste by mixing black artist's dry pigment with Diluent to make a paste, then mix that into scrap clay. Jody
...Lampblack is also an option. ...problem with both is that they will stain your work surface, hands etc.
.... I have never been happy with the character of the clay after adding diluent either. Valerie
...I mixed black oxide and 'Fimo liquid softener' into a paste. Mixed it into a bit of scaps and was pleasantly suprised. I think I need to add more of the black oxide. Valerie

I do know that Sue Screws of the Metro Detroit Polymer Art Guild used (black?) "Tempra Powdered Paint" to mix in with her clay too and it worked pretty good (I was told about it, didn't actually "see it" so I don't know the process) ...Tamila
.... may not be lightfast though


Jeanne's mini-lesson on marbling, especially for faux effects
Claude's lesson on marbling by twisting... the small chunks are pressed into shape
Nora Jean likes to marble! –organic style: (website gone) (various albums)
Several marbled effects from Darla (website gone)
Flo's marbled mini vases, teapots (website gone)
(natural marbling of) shells at Kellie's site (website gone)
Sarajane's marbled (then twisted) barrettes ... a few are also "dragged-lines" (see Sheet's > ) ... some have flecks of leafing (wrong)

At any point during the mixing (see above--Hand Mixing), you can flatten the clay to see the marbling that’s occurring as the colors mix. Marbled clay can be rolled into beads, used as a background, & much more!

There are different ways to marble. Here are a few ideas:

Chop into bits (or use bits of scrap clay) , twist colored ropes together, lay tiny ropes of color on a large log, etc.. . .
THEN: twist and fold again and again, pull it, stack it, put it through the pasta machine or press it out flatter with your hands one or more times.

Roll several colors (or a cane chunk, etc.) in your hand until it forms a thin rope, then roll that into a ball. . . check to see what you have (the striping will still be fairly distinct at this point). You can use it as is, or squish around in your hand and check again....roll again if you want more marbling. Diane B.

When I marble I sometimes make the candy cane that Otterfire talked about, then I roll it out, cut it in 5 pieces and put it together in a log again (arranging how?), then roll it out and cut 4 or 5 pieces and do it again! Until I get the marble that I want.

I always get my best marbling when I'm mixing colors (totally spontaneously) and it sometimes seems hard to come up with a formula!

(Marbling with one color, white, and translucent --or use this technique for other colors)
My favorite method starts with a log of the main color. I roll a long, thin snake of white and wrap it in a spiral around the log, leaving space between the wraps. I roll a second thin snake of transparent and wrap it around the log. The transparent spiral can be going the same direction as the white spiral or it can go the opposite direction and crisscross the white. Either way, much of the log color should still be visible. Proportionately, there is more of the main color clay than of white and transparent combined.
At this stage, I start feeding the clay into the pasta machine, but you could roll it out by hand.
You can add more of your main color or more white or transparent at any time, depending on how it progresses. To add clay, roll a very thin snake and position it in a meandering, random pattern. Just be sure to check each time you fold your sheet of clay that you are folding with the best looking side toward the outside. You can also manipulate and smear the colors with your fingertips on the surface until you get the effect you're after.
The addition of the transparent seems to make the transition of colors more gradual and it adds a great deal more depth to the marbling. The nice thing about practicing with a single main color, white, and transparent is that if you mess it up, you don't end up with mud. You have a nice pastel color of clay that you can use in another project. — Judi

I usually use three different colors, two similar and usually white for the third, although black would probably work too.... For example, Dark Blue, Green, and white. I usually roll out sheets of the different colors, then stack them on top of each other. Then I cut out thin strip from the stack, and lay them side-by-side, so that they create a striped sheet. Then I play around by folding the striped sheet and running it through the pasta machine two to four times. Then I fold it up one last time, and roll it into a ball, and then into a snake. When you run this snake through the pasta machine, it's usually marbled very nicely. Darla

Susan S's lesson on making a more ordered kind of marbling (...first steps like mokume gane, but stack twisted, not shaved)
(...or might be good way to start patterns before finishing in pasta machine)
.......she uses a doubled stack of 5 colors (10 layers)
...... pokes into one side of the stack with a tool --metal rod in this case --(on its corners too for variety)
...... presses the deformed stack into a cube shape
........ or she also makes a log from the cube, and twists it before forming it back into a cube.
...slices can be taken off from any direction... concentric swirls can still be seen
...she has one example of making a Damascus Ladder pattern with this (see more on that in Sheets > Damascus Ladder)

Mary L's lesson on marbling (+ she then finds an image in the marbled sheet like doing a Rorschach inkblot , presses down around it to create a bas relief ... also textures background)

oil paints also work well in translucent clays to marbelize them (how much depends on how you mix it). Sharon
...also in opaque, light-colored clays?


(see also Blends for favorite recipes for gradient blends)

PolymerClayCentral has a page of favorite color mixes from members (solids,metallics,pearls, translucents)
Quilt School's Color Recipe Box ("coming soon")
many commonly used clay (non-Kato) colors duplicated with mixes of Kato clay colors

I've discovered that if I keep the part amounts incredibly small (tiny circle punch, #3 or #4 pasta sheet thickness and use the five basic colors, that I can crank out several good recipes (that I like at least) at a time. It only took me 5-6 years to figure that one out! ;-) Desiree

Find yourself a Pantone Color Matching book. Try at a Commercial art store... or a printers supply house. I think they're rather pricey though... $75 the last time I checked.
...Alternately, you could just VISIT a local printer and ask them if you could look at their Pantone book for just a few minutes. Find the colors you'd like to mix and take the formula off it. It WILL give you the percentage of each color used (cyan, yellow,magenta,black: CYMB)... cause in printing they lay each color is plated using percentaged screens.
...sometimes a paint store will have a pantone book handy... so people can pick a color they like. Then the paint store will scan the book to get their mixing info. So you could call around and see what you can find.
...Lastly.. if you have a high quality publishing program.... I have PageMaker... you can find the Pantone color library in it. You pick your color and you can see the breakdown on the scale next to it. Joanie

whole color "groups"

sunset colors (yellow-orange, coral, fuschia, red-violet, purple and blue-violet) Triche

sea colors: All gradations from green to blue, plus frost white, clear and lavender.

autumn color palette: Premo -- Alizarin, Ultramarine/cobalt, and gold (for the yellow). . Anna or Rosie

summer-2006 colors (palette of colors with recipes, using Premo or Sculpey)

Medieval/Renaissance colors: Bright blue and green, golden yellow, red (with a slight orange cast), and accents of black, ivory, and gold (metallic).

I personally like what the victorians called "saddened " colours, and add black to everything ...except white Sarajane
Marie Segal told us that if we wanted muted, soft colors for such things as "desert" colors, then just add Ecru. Sarajane?
I make lots of smokey colours by mixing opposites (complimentaries)- green plus carmine for example, violet plus orange in varying quantities.

One good way to tone down the "hot" neon colors is to add some Premo Ecru. Or, if that isn't available to you, use any light beige clay. This works remarkable well. Katherine

I tried the Super Sculpey mixed with colors and i like the feel and colors .... they sort of look muted and country. patti

great "folk colors": Blue = 7 parts cobalt + 1 part fuchsia + 4 parts metalic gold; Red = 7 parts zinc + 1 part fuchsia + 4 parts metalic gold; Yellow = 3 parts zinc + 5 parts fuchsia + 4 parts metalic gold. Cella

Add white to make a color look weathered.

My biggest influence is actually exotic fabric, which when it's from Africa, can promote most interesting color combinations. Amy

If you want silvery sherbet colors add Premo's plain pearl. Dotty

Lindly's pastel-ish colors (could be some translucent mixed in too) (click on #37)

Adding any fluorescent color to another color will punch it up quite a bit.

the glow in the dark with flourescent colors. ...instead of that sickly white., i get glow-in- the dark green frogs, glofrogs and glowing pink flamingos… it makes for a softer clay, i"l add stiffer transluscents as filler when i can. . . paler colours do work better.

Using Cyan, magenta, and lemon to mix a custom color palette will make a nice bright colour wheel.
For a more subtle palette, you could choose yellow ochre, cad red, and ultramarine blue.
And to make a very "earthy" palette, try yellow ochre, red oxide, and Payne's grey (these are examples of paint/pigment names).
(....all of these primaries can be infinitely modified by adding black and/or white in varying amounts, of course). Cathy
For my "mixing neutrals" as I call them, I use black, white, ecru, silver, gold, and pearl. Irene
....(repeat from Mixing Your Own color palettes above)

individual colors

(coloring clay with paints, alcohol inks, inclusions)

.... alcohol-based inks (by Pinata, Ranger) can be mixed into bleached translucent clay, white clay, or even liquid clay
.......when mixed into translucent clays or translucent liquid clay, the resulting colors are vibrant
(.... also, rather than mixing Pinata inks into the clay , you can just rub them on the surface of the translucent clay. Sx)
(see more on coloring clay with alcohol inks in Letters & Inks > Tinting)

....paints and other things can also be used to color polymer clay:
.......artists' oil paints--in tubes, small amounts of acrylic paint, shavings from oil pastels, fabric dyes, concentrated tea
....inclusions of powders, pigments, dry tempera, spices, crayon shavings, etc.
(see more in Paints ... and Inclusions... for each type)

mixing chart for mixing acrylic paint into colored clay (yellow, red, blue and brown) air-dry clay (Makins) to get various new colors (principle should be the same when mixed into polymer clays)


coloring clay with other clay

It's difficult to mix the very-purest secondary or tertiary colors using clays (green, purple/violet, orange, magenta, turquoise, red-orange). So if that's important to you for a particular color, the best way to go would be to purchase those colors separately and just not try to mix them from other colors.
.......(even given the fact that Kato and Premo clays have the purest primaries, they still include their own secondaries in their lines because it's almost impossible for those to be totally true ....IOW the "green" one could create with the yellow and blue from either brand wouldn't be quite as pure as the secondary green they sell separately).
...if you do want to mix them though, it can be best to:
..... use Kato or Premo clays (since they have the purest colors to begin with)
..... use all-cool or all-warm versions of the colors for mixing.... and/or use magenta, turquoise, and lemon yellow or fluorescent or "bright" versions of the colors (as opposed to the regular reds, blues, and sometimes yellows)
(see more above in Mixing Your Own Color Palette)


"black"... hard to create, but Maggie Maggio suggests mixing ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, and golden yellow to make a very dark neutral that's almost black

grays + white
....grays can also be mixed with blues and oranges. Maggie

ivory ...white + a little yellow and brown. Sarajane

warm white "tint": 20 parts preClassic golden yellow, 3 parts caramel, 3 parts Classic red
warm white: 32 parts (Fimo)Classic white, 1 part warm white tint. Desiree

to get an off-white type of color, I use Premo's "Base" color (no longer available?)

for Dianne C’s "dirty" snow (men) color, see Translucents for recipe

(for tans, ecru, etc., see just below in "browns")

Many "browns" can be created by mixing complementary colors which are half-way apart on the color wheel, in equal and in unequal amounts.... so:
EQUAL proportions
= red + green
siennas =
orange + blue
ochers = yellow + purple
UNEQUAL propotions (of complementary colors) = brownish colors which are closer to the larger-percentage color
....these can be further diversified by adding white, black or gray, to each of the resulting colors
..tan, wheat
, maple, auburn ,chocolate, walnut, etc can be achieved this way.

rusts (little blue added to a lot of red) and some other interesting variations can be created by mixing the primary colors (which are one-third apart on the color wheel) in unequal amounts

russets, wines, bricks and maroons can be made from mixing reds and greens. Maggie

"gingerbread" brown can be a range of browns
...there are a few browns from various brands which seem to look like gingerbread right out of the package
..... Premo's Raw Sienna for a lighter gingerbread color.... and Burnt Umber for a darker one of Fimo's is good too (Caramel?) for a light gingerbread
...I've gotten a nice gingerbread color by adding copper (to a brown) ...not too much though to avoid shine. Trina

...1 part red + 3 parts caramel (Fimo) gives a good true terracotta -- the nice flowerpot clay colour.
...You can mix your own beautiful terra cotta color for caning or sculpting
......mix a school bus yellow (cadium, not lemon) with a bright red to get an intense dark orange... then add a teeny bit of green to dull the color... then white to lighten it up to the particular terra cotta that you're looking for. Elizabeth
...cadmium red plus black... keep mixing in more black till you get what you want...yYou can add a little white, too, if you want. This makes a good terra cotta range. Sarajane
.....and another way entirely: it's fun to overbake SuperSculpey; a sun ray plaque I made came out burnt and looking a little like terracotta! Didn't even need paint.

It takes a while to mix a good brown --first mixing an orange, then dulling it with a blue, then maybe darkening it with a little black.. . Maureen
(any pair of complementary colors... red-green, orange-blue, purple-yellow, or the tertiary ones) should all work? to get started ...then add black or white, or more of any color you want it to tend toward)
...brown or a warm neutral can be made from all of the warm primaries (with orange-red as the dominant tone that blue is added to). alcina
... Even if you're a purist who likes to mix all colors from primaries, buy a brown. I can't mix a decent brown to save my life, and even if you can, it's not worth the effort. Suzanne
(see champagne just below)

ecru... 4 parts white, 1 part cadmium yellow, 3/8ths part raw sienna
...that's not dead on, but very close to the old (FimoClassic?) color. Katherine Dewey

Sculpey III's Beige or Tan
Sculpey III gold + white makes decent skin tones. You might start with small amounts of half and half and then add either white or gold, depending on the shade you want.
. . .sometimes I even add small amounts of pink to the mixture. Buege

For a khaki tan, try equal parts Raw Sienna and Cadmium Yellow. Katherine Dewey

for taupe, you might try white, brown, ecru and a teensy, tiny pinhead sized ball of alizarin crimson (speck size here because alizarin is really strong!) Carolyn
....taupes are mixes which fall where the cool grays meet the warm browns (on a color wheel). hacrafter

ochre... I used a base of golden yellow, some caramel or terra cotta (caramel is better) and the tiniest little bit of black... Sarajane
...ochre = 1 part caramel + 1 part yellow (not golden yellow - it's too red) this is slightly redder than Fimo's brand ochre but very nice

a good champagne can be made using the ochre mix and adding white

If you don't have caramel, mix it with .....2 parts terra cotta + 1 part white. Sue Heaser
I use 10 pts pre-FimoClassic golden yellow, 4 pts Classic red, 3 pts white, 2 pt Classic blue. Desiree

I've gotten a great golden yellow by mixing standard yellow with just a touch of (fluorescent) neon orange (Sculpey).

golds, bronzes, caramels, and umbers can be mixed from yellows and violets. Maggie

yellow --warmest, brightest, orangest: 1 pt preClassic neon red, 8 pts preClassic neon yellow .Desiree

zinc yellow (cool version of yellow).... can it be made from the warmer cadmium yellow or from yellow ochre, without making it greenish? Mavis
...take zink yellow (she actually means a warm yellow?) and add a bit of fushia. Jenn

for greens, usually, you'll use a cool. yellow like zinc yellow with either cool or warm blues . Suzanne

a pretty bright green can be made from fluorescent yellow and blue. Maureen

I get a great hunter green with Sculpey III leaf green mixed into Sculpey III Navy blue.

I make a sage green by mixing Fimo's Leaf green, a little blue & gray, with champagne to lighten instead of white. Kay
....take the sage green you want and use it as a guide. Try dulling down the green with a bit of brown first, then use the translucent and add yellow last in very small amounts. Everyone's sage is a little different. Trina, translucent, yellow, blue... I must have used champagne, too... I realize the white is too much, gives me a sea green color... the "sage" I had originally mixed up was for jade, so I think I may have put a smidgen of black too. Alisa

a lovely celadon (chinese green) can be made with green, white, and black. Sarajane

Did you know Premo silver and zinc yellow make a fabulous green?... mix together two or more colors that you normallly wouldn't, just to see what you get. Irene

For a "fatigues" green, try 2 parts Green, 1 part Raw Sienna, 1 part to 2 parts Ecru. Katherine Dewey

For olive green, try yellow with a little black
...or adding some orange to different shades of green.... I used to get a very nice shade adding a little of the pumpkin type orange to greens. If you are using a bright orange, maybe try adding a tiny pinch of brown also to tone it all down. Emma

I got a very nice chartreuse by mixing 4 parts white, 1 part Fimo green (the 'regular' green), and 1/2 part Fimo yellow. Rosie

I love the soft teal made with two parts Sculpey blue, one part yellow, and one part white.

teal 1: 1 part preClassic light turquoise (32), 1 part preClassic flourescent (F5), 1 part preClassic blue (37), 1 part preClassic translucent blue (T37), 2 parts preClassic royal blue (35) 1/6 preClassic neon yellow.
teal 2: 45 parts Classic blue, 3 parts Classic white, 3 parts preClassic golden yellow, 1 part black. Desiree
........... Cobalt or Ultramarine Blue with black (...about halfway there, Cobalt becomes a lovely teal). Diane V.

teals, slates, indigos, and grays can be mixed with blues and oranges. Maggie

I made an almost electric blue when I added Kato Pearl to the Kato Blue..... I can't get this with any other blues from any other brands. Love it! Dotty in CA

tiniest bit more sky blue than cyan, here's the closest I've come so far... Premo: 4 parts cobalt blue 2.5 parts turquoise 3 parts white

a lovely, dusty denim can be made from one part ecru and one part ultramarine ! Sarajane?

navy blue possibilities:
1 part Purple (PREMO #61) and 1 part Sea Green (PREMO #33)
1 part Violet (PREMO #60) and 1 part Sea Green (PREMO #33)
4 parts Ultramarine Blue (PREMO #31) and 1 part Black (PREMO #90) ......w
hen I mixed that last one, I got a very dark color that looks like black with maybe a little blue in it. April
.....I use either Cobalt or Ultramarine Blue with black (about halfway there, Cobalt becomes a lovely teal). Diane V.
....Premo makes a great Navy clay, but it is only avalabe by mail order. Polymer Clay Express has it. Seth

And for a gorgeous blue - blue Fimo, plus violet - obvious but worth mentioning.

My favorite periwinkle is equal parts Fimo soft 33 brillant blue and fimo soft 61 violet purple. Dianne C.

for MY cornflower blue, I mix some blue with a bit of violet and a tad of grey ... works well

I use canes to make 'delft' ... my white is actually 50:50 white:Fimo pearl.... my blue is 50:50 Premo Ultramarine: translucent. Alan
(.....for making delft patterns with these colors, see Canes-Instr > Misc. Canes)

Normally, I'd mix Wedgewood blue by adding a bit of ultramarine blue and alizarin to a lot of white. Jody Bishel
atherine Dewey uses the following (for wedgewood) (all colors are Premo): 2 parts Colbalt Blue, 3 parts White, 1/4 part Black. Triche (slightly different from above)
….as I was researching Wedgwood, I found out he was incredibly stingy, using only the cheapest clay (never porcelain) and three pigments for his pottery: a sulphurous yellow, blue, and a terra cotta red. Mixing with white clay (or not) produced all of the colors in his Jasper Ware pallet... The cameo in clay concept was not his, but something he borrowed from Rennaisance ceramicists, along with his colors . . .. Katherine Dewey

here's my recipe for the light jasper blue, also known as Wedgwood Blue, using the Premo pallet: 1 part colbalt, 20 parts white, 4 parts ecru. The colbalt/ecru blend produces a dusky cerulean blue (turquoise), with some emphasis on the dusky quality. Kathy Dewey

I wasn't able to get quite as rich a blue as in the photo. I mixed blue metallic promat with a small amount of the promat red metallic. That made it lean towards purple which is what I wanted. I add a little blue fimo metallic to make it a little darker.

for good purples, usually, you'll use the cool reds and blues (e.g., Christmas red and ultramarine blue). Suzanne
sorta muted purple --Fimo Red ( warm color) with Fimo blue (cool color)

there's a wondermous purple made with Magenta and Lt. Turquoise, 1:1. Rosie

nice purple ...mix Fimo Carmine Red with Royal Blue, plus a touch of white

"royal" purples... Premo
... mix Violet #60 with ultra-marine #31, 1 to 1, to get a really rich royal purple.
(...or use Purple #61 alone) Marie

Kato purple
...magenta + turquoise--or maybe Ultra Blue

violet --magenta + blue

Premo #60 purple mixes (#60 is a hot color, close to Sculpey III's violet #515) ... looks great mixed with:
...fuschia, cadmium red, florescent pink and alizarin crimson
...also with mica clays --gold, silver, pearl, blue pearl and red pearl. Marie

glittery glitz purple.... Premo purple with a touch of black to deepen it. Add a bit of Fimo metallic blue! Carolyn

a set of very lovely purple Skinner blends can result from using f Sculpey hot pink and turquoise (or "the clay formerly known as Aqua) ..

christmas red (Premos)--Marie
1 part of Alizarin Crimson and 1 part of Cadmium Red
1 part of and 1 part of violet
1 part of Cad. Red and 1 part of fucshia
1 part of cad Red and 1 part of pearl red
...Kellie's christmas red (Premo) -- 3 parts fuschia to 1 part cad yellow
..combining magenta with alizarin crimson, you get a very true rich red!! Anna
..get good reds (Premo) by mixing equal parts magenta and cad red.
..strange but great combo for an excellent red in Premo is equal parts zinc yellow and magenta. Anna

it isn't exactly like Premo's alizarin crimson, but I mixed something that was close.... added a little green to Kato red, which desaturated it..... It's touchy. Too much and it's dull, too little and it's too bright. Dotty

Desiree's recipes for brick red
brick red color 1: 2 pts preClassic fimo red (2), 2 pts preClassic fimo caramel (7), 1 pt preClassic apricot (28)
brick color 2: 8 pts Classic red, 1 pt black
brick color 3: 48 pts Classic red, 12 pts Classic white, 3 pts black, 1 pt Classic blue.
(see also terracotta above)

cranberry . . . a Skinner blend of Cadmuim Red and Alizarin Crimson is awesome to make cranberries. I"ve mixed the two colors together for a cranberry type red also. syn
...thanks, the cad red has a much better punch for the cranberries than the Classic Red. I did mix some black into the Alizarin Crimson to darken it a tad, then did a skinner blend for the berries themselves.... Patti S.

The Alizarin Crimson is closer to a dark maroon than a burgundy. I would say that it is a little dark with maybe a little too much blue. Unfortunatly the only burgundy color I have seen was in the old Fimo line. . .
....If you really want burgundy though, you may need to blend your own. Bob (so add some yellow? to aliz.)
....when I make burgundy I mix 8 parts red to one part black. Mia
...............I would also add a little bit of blue to the mix, personally. Barbara

I mix rosewood using a base of white, a lot of red, and some black. Keep adding black in small amounts till you get the tone you like----Sarajane

you'll get beautiful raspberry shades from mixing approximately four parts Premo dark red with one part white, depending on how much white you add.

a great flamingo pink (the color of a real flamingo) can be made from 1 part aliz. crimson to 6 parts pearl. Laurel
....also see a flamingo pink made with Glow in the Dark and a fluorescent (above, in Whole Palettes)

fuschia ... red + magenta

Alizarin crimson lightens (with white) to a pretty pink. Maureen

for a perky pink, mix a tiny bit of orange or fuscia in a lot of white made with red and white is usually a drab pink

to get a salmony pink, I use cadmium red and white, with a teeny little amt. of black (or navy, or green...all will do the job) --use more of the darkener and get a dusty pink Sarajane
..I use a touch of brown-not much different than other suggestions, but I wanted to also suggest that if you really want something fun--use pearl white as a base. It's delicious looking stuff! Jayne
...but do be aware that Pearl bakes darker, and starts out darker too, than those mixed with a matte white base. Sarajane

a beautiful shade of coral pink can be mixed with Fimo fluorescent red and white ( roughly 4 white to 1 red)...) I may have also added a tiny bit of yellow to it, but unfortunately I did not write down my formula! Rosie

the most luscious coral can be made from Magenta and Yellow 1:1. Rosie

for some nice tangerine oranges, I like to use a flourescent yellow and magenta ..Maureen

for good oranges, usually, you'll use the warm reds and yellows (cadmium). Suzanne

metallic & pearly colors
clays containing mica)

Of Premo's metallics, the Gold has the MOST mica effects in it..followed by Silver...and Red being the worst . JAN
all the metallics mix beautifully

All can be lightened with Pearl or Mike B's platinum (1/2 silver, 1/2 Pearl)
... or darkened with other colors (metallic or regular) or black.

I'm still experimenting with coloring Pearl clay
...there are major differences in "addition rates" between Pearl coloured with intensely-colored clays and less intensely colored ones.....I had expected that much more of the yellows would need to be added than reds to show up sufficiently, which they do, but didn't forsee such marked differences between two intense ones like Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson.) Alan V . is really strong.

entire Color Wheel Palettes, using Pearl or Metallics
...I found that I could mix just about any color (wheel palette) using Gold, Copper, + red, blue and white,. (I find the shift with the copper is better than the red, but when mixed with other stuff gives about similar results).... NF
...I never tried (a color wheel) with silver, but have done it recently with Gold . . . (and the half gold and half sap green, or half purple is truly gorgeous!) Sarajane
...Take a little bit of Silver Premo (say a quarter-size piece) and add (each of the) the colors of the color wheel. . . and see what a marvelous palette you come up with! . . . it changes the look of all the different colors of clay and is a lot of fun to play with! Leigh
....add primary and secondary colors to "platinum" (1/2 silver, 1/2 Pearl) and you have some original hues
... Using silver, zinc yellow and alizarin as your primaries, you get some awesome greens! Anna
...Another cool palette using Premo Silver is to substitute Silver for blue as a primary in the color wheel... get some pretty amazing lavenders too (substituting silver for blue?). Anna

There is mica in Premo's "Pearl" ...though somewhat less than in the gold and silver metallics (Premo & Kato Polyclay, not Sculpey)... still plenty enough to mix it half and half with regular colors and still get a mica shift

plain Premo Pearl has no white pigment in it (hold it up to a block of another brand of white pearl). That is why it color blends so well (the 'white' shimmer is from the mica). . . .Every other 'white' pearl I have used (Promat, Cernit, Fimo) had some amount of white pigment in it.
...(however ...)
I have been experimenting with mixing Cernit (metallics and pearls) with each other, and the results have been amazing. I absolutely can not compare those colors to anything else I know. They just seem to have "soul of their own". PoRRo (though they may not have much mica shift)

plain Pearl + other regular colors added (50/50 or less) yields many new colors which will also have the shifting effect
...Pier's samples of these in her "invisible canes" (see more in of these in Mica > Pier Voulkos) (click on all 4 pgs.)

......don't mix more than 50-50 though probably?

"platinum" = silver and Pearl (half & half) .......platinum can then be added half-and-half with almost any color for some wonderful colors and mica shift effects
....Mike Buesseler came up with this combo and it's an important "base" color for his work (...he then adds any clay color to lighten and brighten it)
I prefer silver Premo mixed with an equal amount of pearl -- it's a nicer" silver", IMO. You could also tint it slightly by adding a little blue with the pearl. Irene
Some of those lovely muted colors Rebecca gets on her layered cane beads are from mixing Premo silver with another color. Trina

...Premo Silver alone looks kind of pewter to me. If you add some pearl to it, it's more silvery, but again, we ARE talking teensy particles -- not a smooth realistic metal appearance. (Well, it resembles matte finish metal quite a lot. Only with a shine on top, if you can figure that out!)

Also very nice is equal parts black and pearl.
remo Pearl with a little black can give various shades of silver. Chryse
a 1:1 mix of black to silver Premo makes a good substitute for Fimo's anthracite. Margaret R.
... If you mix a Cernit glamour color (or any pearl?) with tiny amount of black you get "night sky" effect.

(for more silver recipes, see Faux--Many/Silver&Pewter)

One of my faves is 1 part silver to one part gold. That's called "electrum" or something like that... Sarajane

Cheryl uses gold Premo mixed with black to get an old gold look (highlighted with Gold powder?)
(website gone)
.......To get a "Promat" gold with Fimo, add Fimo Brown to the New Fimo Gold...Donna Kato

some regular Premos with gold:
1 part gold, 1 part purple = dark copper
1 part gold, 1 part fuchsia = light copper
4 parts gold, 1 part black = bronze

a color combo from Mike B: copper & green pearl = antique copper ...Syndee

I also love copper/gold for bright penny copper ...Syndee

It's one part Premo bright red, and one part Premo Gold. Mixed, this makes a beautiful copper.This is especially beautiful when sanded and buffed! Irene NC (see also Chinese Laquer below, with reds)

I found that the color was much more interesting using several different pearl colors in the mix (when I made a dark metallic bronze). . . I could see subtle flecks of color from the different mica flakes. At first, I thought my eyes were playing tricks with me! Jody B.

To get gorgeous undertone of age and warmth, I combine Premo's Gold clay with a bit of Premo's Raw Umber clay --about 4-1 in favor of the gold....(it also makes an absolutely stunning Skinner blend, and a great mica shift). jilla

(when I made a dark metallic bronze) I found that the color was much more interesting using several different pearl colors in the mix . . I could see subtle flecks of color from the different mica flakes. At first, I thought my eyes were playing tricks with me! Jody B.

If you like the shiney stuff like Pearl, Gold, Silver, or Copper, then mixing them with the primary or secondary colors is just too yummy. ... just mixing them together is yummy too. Nora Jean (beginning with # 4)

I'd mixed Premo gold and red together to make copper. design, the two colors were almost, but not completely mixed when I made my coppery vessel.
....some bubbles formed during curing, and when I sanded the little bubble bumps smooth, the vessel had a beautiful water-marked look, or, I suppose, a muted mokume gane appearance. Next time I do this, I hope I get bubbles!

Mix together two or more colors that you normallly wouldn't, just to see what you get!

Barbara McGuire's lesson & various mixes with Pearl and the blue/green/red Pearls

...I mix together different pearls (or pearls plus regular colors), because it gives me a duo tone effect in the mica shimmer! (a color shift depending on light direction)
.......the key to the duo effect is to mix a metallic or pearl with a darker regular color. Jody B.

half gold and half sap green or navy make beautiful colors...Sarajane

1 part gold, 1 part turquoise = metallic olive

did you know Premo silver and zinc yellow make a fabulous green? Irene

the Skinner blend of green/gold/copper is to die for!! Syndee

half gold and half purple is truly gorgeous!) Sarajane . . . get some pretty amazing lavenders too (when substituting silver for blue? and mixing a color wheel). Anna

Here's my current favorite color mix: half green pearl + half violet Premo. Makes a nice midnight blue with a green shimmer.

Using silver, zinc yellow and alizarin as your primaries for a color wheel, you get some awesome greens! Anna

a snowflake cane with Fimo’s blue metallic surrounding the flake, or as a border on the outside. Sounded very nice. When Futured or sanded and glossed, the sparkles in the blue really look like stars in the sky. Dawndove
....Also, metallic blue and black Sculpey ...makes a fantastic midnight blue pearl. Blyn

Sky Blue Pearl (also closest I've come to cat's eye blue): a tiny part (smaller than a pea) of Premo or Fimo bright blue + 3 parts Premo Pearl + pea sized Fimosoft white + a pinch of Premo translucent. Dawndove

Bright Purple: 3 parts Fimosoft (or classic) violet + 2 parts Premo silver + a generous part Fimosoft white. Dawndove

Purple sparkle: 1 part Fimosoft violet +1 part Fimosoft metallic silver...Dawndove
~I adore Premo purple with a touch of black to deepen it. Add a bit of Fimo metallic blue and it's glittery glitz purple time! Carolyn

blue and red mixed with a touch of pearl is a fabulous metallic purple!! Syndee

copper with purple, burgundy and/or fuschia ...Triche

gold with burgundy and/or fuschia. Triche

Soft peachy pink: 1 pea sized ball of premo red + 2 bars (half a small package) Premo Pearl + a little less than 1/4 a small package of Fimo soft white

Hot Magenta: 1/4 package Fimo magenta + 1/2 of one bar (a bar = 1/4 small package) Premo silver + 1/8 small package of Fimosoft white. Dawndove

Hot pink clay and gold together and got a fantastic orange. Sharon

Alizarin + gold is a great one too...
...a color that a student of mine came up with in a class. She mixed 50% red and 50% gold Sculpey III (darker than Premo gold) and it ended up looking like some Chinese lacquer or something. She put some areas of black in them (they were beads) and it just set them off. Christine

(you can see some of Mike Bueseler's Premo Metallic work (and stacks) on our website
(for now, use) (and look for being redesigned after highjacking) Syndee

interference paints… using them very thinly over black gesso. That's how I get the bronze look on some of my pieces, not to mention the rich blue metal look. Halla

I made some really cool stars for christmas ornanments by mixing either the Premo metallic silver or gold with the glow-in-the-dark clay. And people were really surprised by the effect! Kimba

Parrish's samples of various simulations of gold, silver, pewter, patinas

You can texturize the pieces, then do a acrylic copper, gold, silver paint wash on them for interesting effect.

Similar effects can be had with mica "powders" such as Pearl Ex --they can be added to the surface, or mixed into the clay...
I love Pearl Ex Aztec Gold (thank you Jami!) over flesh colored Fimo for a deep, rich gold. Kim Kennedy

few more metallic combos at PolymerClayCentral

(see much more on using mica clays in Mica )


(see also Websites below, for more info)

Some "pleasing" common color combinations can be classified according to our color wheel:
-- monochromatic (using various shades/tints/tones of the same color)
-- analagous (using colors very near each other on the color wheel, e.g. red + orange, or red + orange + purple)
-- complementary (colors opposite each other on the wheel, e.g. red + green, or purple + yellow)
-- split complementary (one color + one-over-from-its-opposite, e.g., orange + purple or green)
-- triadic (3 colors equidistant from each other; e.g. blue + red + yellow)
........ using various shades/tints/tones of the chosen colors gives more complexity to the look of the pattern!
.........when the colors are broken down into tertiaries, etc., thcan make a difference; for example, a split complementary on a 6 color wheel may be purple & green, whereas on a 12-color wheel, it would be purple + yellow-green (lime)

Harlan's illustrations of complementary, monochromatic, etc., color schemes (clothing)

Byrd's advice on picking colors for a piece (a mandala, in this case)
She suggests using the book Color Me Beautiful to discover a number of preselected colors/shades that will work together

A neat way to choose colors for a piece or cane is to use a magazine illustration, piece of fabric (especially if you're a quilter!), or a piece of wrapping paper, etc. as a guide... just anything that appeals to you. Use a piece of paper with a hole in it to audition various areas and then decide on just one area where the colors and their proportions are just the part you like. Then try using the same colors and proportions in your piece, and maybe even some of the same next-to-each-other parts. Diane B.
... One of my best cane color combinations came from a box of Raisin Brand cereal... Purple, Black, Orange, and Fushia! It made a great kaleidoscope cane. So my contribution to the color scheme discussion is to walk down the cereal aisle of your local grocery store. I can't wait to try the colors in Frosted Flakes! Maria
sometimes I get magazines that the library gives away & take colorful pages & make beads of them... (when I am low on energy) I don't read them ... tear out pages with neat color combinations or just glue the colors together. Pasty

Lindly H's workshop on picking colors from magazines, then mixing the same colors in clay ....

hacrafter's advice on color schemes and some that work well together (second half of page)

I've noticed that Better Homes and Gardens magazine has put out a "special interest publication" called Color Schemes. They're good for seeing colors together and finding out what the coming hot colors are. DebK in NJ

*Anna's fabulous crazy patch of textures, surface techniques and cane sheets (website gone)
....I learned from Lindly Haunani this summer about making a color wheel, choosing colors from it, and then making many individual 'swatches' of clay to be combined into a finished piece. It was a fantastic, eye-opening experience! No longer am I stuck with the idea that I must use on or two canes to cover an object! Anna

. . . whatever technique/colors/texturesI need are made once and then I end up with extra clay which weighs me down and keeps me from moving on. I don't want to waste any clay! Byrd's (Skinner Blend Caning) class made it possible for me to make a wide range of canes which all go wonderfully together. Now I pick my colors and stick with a particular color group until I have made many variations of canes. I was not a caner and this class really helped me. Jeanne R.

A tip from an experienced painter: You can usually use any two or more colors together if they are the same value. Value meaning the lightness or darkness of the color. If you have a complete color value wheel/chart, choose colors all on the same line. All value 1, all value 5 or all value 8. The colors will get along with each other that way. Alcina

(see other categories on this page too)

Pearl Ex.powders . . I love all the duo colors and interference colors, especially violet and Aztec Gold is incredible. Micropearl mixed with Super Russet and silver makes an exellent old rose.

Super Bronze (which I prefer as my "gold.") and Red/Blue Duo. There are lots and lots of other wonderful colors, however. The Red/Blue on black turns the clay into a wonderfully deep metallic blue.

Friendly Metallic Powder. . . . it's not real metal.. . Gloss was indeed Fimo. And you are right, it looks exactly like it created a patina...

~I have tried using Pearlex both on bare baked clay and on acrylic-painted clay, and like how it looks after painting much better. The faint texture from almost-invisible brush strokes add a nice effect to the antique bronze finish.


I did a small sculpture of a woman in "bronze." I painted her burnt umber and then put put a light coat of rub 'n buff on. The gold on all the high places with the dark brown underneath gave her a

nice bronze look. I buffed her and compared to to some real bronze pieces I have and they looked the same.

I used reddish brown clay. I made the bases and baked and then realized that I needed them to have a burnished gold look. I mixed some Aztec gold Pearl-ex with Flecto-varathane and then brushed that evenly onto it.

~I have tried using Pearlex both on bare baked clay and on acrylic-painted clay, and like how it looks after painting much better. The faint texture from almost-invisible brush strokes add a nice effect to the antique bronze finish.

I did "discover" a really spiffy metallic bronze by accident (combined cane scraps). It's really rich looking, and shines so nice! It's approximately 1 part black to 3 parts gold premo. And it gets more or less bright as you adjust the levels of black and gold. I haven't tried it yet, but it just screams to be made into artsy sculpted figures or maybe balinese filligree type things. Dawndove

I find mixing black, and there is a fimo black that has a slight metalic sheen like hematite, and gold together makes a nice bronze. Run it through a pasta machine on the thinnest setting and layer it on the outside of your piece, if you don't want to make the whole item out of the bronze clay. That mixed with a little brick red and dusted some old blue metalic eyeshadow made a nice copper "patina" on a pitcher I made in inexpensive white Sculpey. One plus to making the whole item out of the bronze clay is the sculpting you can do for detailing after it is cured, no problem with cutting too deep.

I've heard that rub-n-buff is a great bronzer over baked clay. Use a dark under-color if you want an antiqued look, and don't work the bronze rub-n-buff into all the nooks. Ronda

You can get a look of dark bronze by painting the work with black gesso, letting it dry, then dry brushing very thinly with Interference Gold or Interference Orange paint. Keep a rag handy. Any thick spots will look pearly white when dry. Helen

With painted polymer clay finishes, I like to use a medium graygreen primer (2 coats) and seal that (I think the best paint medium base types are acyrlic (I love "Plasticote" brand primers). I think the best mettallic finishes are with "Run 'N Buff" colors. For bronze I would use their bronze then do brass as a highlight Rub "N Buff". The DANE

I've used the Modern Options metallic paints on the polymers with great success. I love the variety of surfaces you can get with the patinas. If you have trouble with the paint sticking at first- just use gesso... but I haven't had to. It can take a few layers of paint. Be sure to spray the patina in a safe enviornment... I like to make a spray booth out of a large cardboard box with a sheet of acrylic over it. I have a hole I can stick my hand in with a rubber glove and then spray inside. My lungs are very sensitive to this spray- …But once I made a spray booth up, I didn't have any problems. Modern Options has a variety of surfaces- bronze with or without patina... copper... with green or blue patina.... and even iron and rust. I love to combine them. Stange and wonderful things happen when I do a light coat of iron and then copper. You will get rust spots and all sorts of effects. I did a series of "gargoyle" boxes and had lots of fun experimenting. Modern Options are available at Michael's and other art stores. Kathndolls

Yesterday I was in Michael's looking for some cheap clay and found the Modern Options display. They had a kind with actual metal paint which you then put an oxidizer paint on (expensive!) and another one in a package with three bottles of what looked like acrylic paint in black, gold, and turquoise for about $5. These were the ones Jean had, so I picked them up to try. Julia

You know what though? That color makes a wonderful accent color in pieces! I don't treat it as a *gold*.... I think of it as another yellow/orange tint. Used that way... as a *color*... I've really been surprised at how enhancing it's been to several projects. My friend uses it ALL the time & it wows me every time. Joanie

Raku & Glazes

About the look of raku -- one of my first vessels was meant to look like raku, and I think it came out pretty well. I used opaque white, opaque black, translucent and some colors like aqua which I associate with raku glazes and ran them (pre conditioned) through the pasta machine together at the thickest setting. I don't remember if I did that once or more times. Anyhow, the layering and thick-thin of the translucent gave a pretty good raku effect, which could be enhanced even more if you did a faux crackle effect. I also added gold leaf, and iridescent powders would even build the effect beyond that! Sherry

Using Translucent Liquid Sculpey for dripping or dabbing?

raku colors (cobalt, violet, copper, and aqua) --Triche

I have 2 Raku bowls which are totally different. I think that's the deal with raku? You're never REALLY sure what will come out of the fire? My clay on the other hand looks like black styrofoam.

i use copper clay and to get the multicolored metallic effect on top I brush on metallic eyeshadow in teals, purples, and greens.

I've been trying to imitate raku pottery using a black or grey clay mixed with fine sand (to imitate the grog -- gritty stuff -- in real clay) and brushing on interference paints.

when I simulate ceramic glazes for miniatures, I paint with acrylic paint, sometimes spattering another colour on top with a tooth brush, then I varnish with a gloss varnish. This way, you can let the clay show through in places, simulating a glaze.


~for making the buttery-looking amber on one of her tapes; basically it's equal parts of Fimo golden yellow and 00 art transparent with a little bit of orange. I've also used a little bit of a red-violet to slightly neutralize the golden yellow. The colors need to be left slightly streaky.

~faux turquoise bracelets. FYI, the new Sculpey III "MINT"#523 color is just about perfect when mixed with a little Sculpey III turquoise 505 (real turquoise is way more green than the pure Sculpey turquoise color.

I've been experimenting with quartz ... pink, white & translucent ... mostly translucent, a touch of pink. Mix them together, then after you get the slightly streaky hue you want, add the white for the veining. Don't mix this part too well as you want the vein pronounced

Flesh + body parts

(for much more on flesh-color combos, see Heads)

Fimo comes in a fleshtone called "hautfarben" or "fleshpink/chair". Sculpey III has a basic color that looks alot like flesh. I've been making dolls for years and the best formula I've found has been, 1/2 pkg. flesh, 1/2 pkg. translucent, and 1/32 to 1/16 pkg. brown (all Fimo). The translucent gives the fleshtone a glow or warmth. You add as much brown as needed to make the color skin you want. I mix in small amounts because I make small dolls. If you are making babies, use less brown and add just a touch of red. Remember the red should be used in tiny doses. Also, I bake at 250, but for my little people, I bake for 10 minutes then turn off the oven and let them cool inside. eileen-Gar'goils' make the old flesh, you might try adding white (to increase the opacity) and a bit of pink or red to the new color "beige".

suggestion for teeth & eye whites . . .I use Cernit's white- it's not a harsh white, it's slightlly translucent, like real eyes. Make sure you use the # 010 white in the small (65g) package- their #049 white (in the big 500g package) is much more opaque. I place a small dot of colour on the eye-balls for the cornea, then bake them for about 10 minutes. When I place the pre-baked eyes in their socket, they retain their shape while I do eyelids,etc... the best thing I've found for teeth is Fimo Glow in the Dark! It's slightly off white just like most real peoples teeth and is firm

for eyes and teeth -- I've used PREMO translucent-- It's worked great.

(glitter). Metallics (by FimoSoft)

(Elizabeth) Like a lot of people, I was really excited about the FimoSoft Metallics when they first came out. But then, after that initial burst of enthusiasm, there didn't seem to be a whole lot you could do with them. They aren't really "sand-able" because the color wears off of the glitter, and the colors seemed to make me think "Christmas" but not much farther.

But, two things happening at the same time got me to experimenting... first I found out that these bead rollers make beads that are so smooth they don't need sanding... just a light buffing brings up the shine. And then, thinking about how you can mix the other lines of translucent clay and the pearl colors, I wondered what would come out of mixing the glittery colors. I started trying some different mixes, and wow!! The rich, deep jewel tones that I always go for, but with glitter! I am so jazzed about these colors!

Green, red and gold in roughly equal parts makes a wonderful root beer brown. I don't usually like earth tones very much, but these are really lively... and once you've got this mix in a bead, you have to look really close to see that the glitter in the brown is red, green and gold... very ubtle and interesting.

Gold with some Fimo transparent red makes a dark peach or coral. Goes with the root beer brown. :-) Blue and green in equal parts makes a very deep capri blue, which is one of my favorite colors under the sun. A little more green and you get rich teal. Add silver to either one for lighter shades of the same color. Equal parts red and blue make a dark, but vivid violet... add some silver to that and you get lavender. Two parts of gold to one part blue makes a dark lime, add more blue to get an avocado, and even more blue to get a forest green. Silver with small amounts of fluorescent pink and orange makes a beautiful muted peach with glitter.

~I've been mixing chunks of these wild metallics with chunks of the pearls and colorless translucents to make moire beads... This is so fun! Just start mixing other translucent based colors into them and see what happens! Elizabeth


Kris’s mixes for discontined Sculpey colors:
mixing recipe page for discontinued Fimo colors : (click on Polymer Clay, then on Getting it Right –blending)
(see above under Recipes and Combos for mixing many commonly used colors of non-Kato clay with Kato clay)

There is a laminated color sheet called the Eberhard Faber Fimo Blending Table. Most places that sell Fimo should have > them. They show the color and the formula to make it. Trina
...I have had it for awhile...but (there are) NO 'color' titles on the part that is supposed to be the 'result'...I have no clue what is WHAT! didn't dawn on me that they wouldn't have put the color names or at least the original color 'numbers/code' on there... and none on my chart have the 'pearl' #05 on/in any of the 'recipes'. Kim in MI

Sculpey's Ivory Brilliant --- Sculpey just changed the category name from Brilliants to Brights, under which Ivory #501 is included."
I have made so much with that color!.. Mainly beads and runes... Dave

Re Fimo's new color blending chart. I've discovered something rather discouraging. Just before Fimo announced transitioning their 'colours', I created a marvelously easy recipe for a nice Brick (Red) color: 1 part (old) red, 1 part (old) caramel, 1/2 part (old) apricot; It was easy to remember, easy to throw together (the recipe Fimo gives for using the new colors involves 10 colors!!) Desiree
I have a very simple favourite too that is different to yours: Brick red = 1 part new Classic red + 2 parts Caramel Soft. I use this for miniature terracotta flower pots. The new Classic red is actually better than the old for this which had a bit too much blue in it! After all, bricks vary a lot! Sue

He (at Accent Imports/FimoZone) said lots of people complain about the new red Fimo! He also told me that Eberhard Faber, when they cut down their production list of colors, altered all of them slightly. The colors now are supposed to mix like Pantone other words a mix of half a block of yellow and half a block of blue will give you a nice, true blue, instead of a slightly funky color that you have to fuss with. Same with the other colors. Beth

I get a lot of complaints here in UK too... Bright colours are all very well if you normally mix every colour you ever want but an awful lot of people want a nice range of colours they can use straight from the pack without the mixing hassle. And the people who make naturalistic sculptures are abandoning Fimo in droves... I get a lot of complaints that the new colours are just kiddy colours. Oh dear, people do hate change. I have sent out zillions of the Fimo blending charts now - just as well that Eb Fab produced them - that was a *very* good move and probably prevented mutiny! ;*) SUE

Fimo's old Caramel = 2 parts terracotta (77) + 1 part Ochre(17) + 1/2 part leaf green (57) I used to mix Caramel using the first two (always reluctant to buy more colours!) - it was pretty close. I think the leaf green will just cool it a tad to make it perfect. Sue

~A 1:1 mix of black:silver Premo makes a good substitute for Fimo anthracite. And it doesn't crumble horribly. Margaret R.

deep metallic green and the metallic blue are the Fimo Classic colors I miss mostly. Emma
...try adding some black to the premo pearl blue and pearl green, it comes real close. Sarajane


ThinkQuest's "Understanding Color" ( interesting lessons/discussion of how color plays a role in people's lives by examining the properties, theories, meanings and effects of color; art, science, & psychology or sociology of each aspect of color)..
I don't agree with some of the info on the Personality Theory page tho' ..DB (meanings of colors and effects of color)

I look at a painting with colors that I like and kinda take a close up look to see what colors are really in there. often it's not what you see at first. . . Sarah S. (then uses for her canes)


Elizabeth’s colorwheel, warm/cool, etc.
Deidre's color gradations (red/blue/lemon & lemon,red,orblue to black/white)
(website gone)
color gradations chart (for markers)
Diana Crick's explanation (and grids) for tints, tones, shades, etc. (gone? or temp. unavailable?)
try (Color Recipe Box)
Gene’s history of colors
Gene’s definitions & explanations of colors
Definitions and explanations of colors
Patti's explanation of design principles--balance

FROM Nite Falcon: I did a quick search & came up with some fun links...for inspiration.

color theory

color meaning

(see Polymer Clays --for colors offered by Fimo, Sculpey, Premo)

(see also Faux’s, Powders, Paints, Clays, Heads for skin, Blends, Mica for silver and other metallics)