Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Shifting to neutral

Originally uploaded by Zoeowyn
Or, what is that color anyway?
Its more grey than brown, and more brown than grey. It may lean a little toward green, but then again maybe its leaning toward purple. It definitely not grey because grey is a mix of black and white, this color seems to be some muddy mess including all colors, with out actually being a color. Its "color neutral." Some people call it taupe. This non-color- color comes in a limited range of shades, because once it gets too dark it is definitely a brown, and once too light it becomes a bisque/ivory tone.

Now with all of the wonderful colors available in polymer clay would anyone actually want to work in "color neutral?"
That’s simple, when the clay is a base for a surface treatment. Color neural won't cause any adverse effects to the treatment color, it just lies there and "takes it," and lets the surface treatment be focal. Then again, there are times you just need mud.
Shades of grey wont cut it for mud, and the shades of grey are infinite. Yes grey is a neutral, so is black and so is white. Black and white are extremes and will alter the surface treatment results.

Grey is the extreme neutral, but it can also be "flat" and "colorless." It's not so simple to get a basic 50% grey.
That’s a grey that is perfectly balanced between the light of white and the dark of black. The pigmentation in black is intense. Be prepared to need more white than black. Also, add little bits of the black to the white as you blend. This will help control the sheer quantity you blend, as well as give you better color control.
Color neutral has some color body to it, so its not as flat. Like grey they are many shades, but they are in a smaller range. There are a few commercial color neutrals available to purchase, but the real fun is in blending your own. This is a great way to use up any scrap you may have. The best neutral colors come from blending a bit of everything.
It helps to be familiar with your color wheel when blending a neutral color.

Colors that are opposite on the wheel, complimentary colors, not only do these colors look great together, but when they are blended together they cancel each other out. This is good to know so that when you blend your pile of scrap, and notice that your "neutral" is a bit too green, you can add a red based color to even it out.
Now that you have blended your neutral color what can you do with it?
I like my color neutral clay to be a base for colored mica pigments. The pigment colors really show thru with out seeming "neon" like they do when on a black clay base.

1 comment:

Ovenfried Beads said...

i love this post......