Here is my take on the Bargello Bead exercise from Polymer Clay Color Inspirations. I started the exercise by picking three three colors from my collage. Then I located them on a color scale I’d made to give me some idea of how to mix them.
I made a new batch of my primaries first. I found I had problems mixing my magenta, even though I’ve mixed it countless times! I had to put in more medium red to get the right color this time. I think it’s because I had used my old Premo fuchsia in the batches I’m mixed before, but the brand spanking new package I used this time came from a different dye lot. But I got the color I wanted by altering the mix a little bit at a time.
Then I mixed the orange, green and purple from the collage. I found I needed more blue to make the purple in the collage. I added it bit by bit until my purple resembled the color from the magazine clipping. The picture below shows the finished purple with a bit of the color I had originally mixed on top of it.
Here are the finished colors.
The object of the exercise is to mix increasing amounts of mud into your three colors so you can see how it makes the colors shift. I am leaving out parts of the exercise, but all the information is in the book.
I got a surprising (to me) result. Look at the picture below. The purple in the stripes on the right shows hardly any gradation. This was a “smack myself on the forehead” moment for me, as I remembered that darker colors shift less that lighter ones. I added some white to the purple and made the sheet on the left. You can see the purple color shift in that one. Much more interesting.
The next part of the exercise is to slice strips and lay them on a sheet of mud to make patterns. Here are some examples.
Then I started to make the beads. You don’t see any here because my attempts at bargello beads are now vying for a place in the permanent collection of the Museum of Ugly. In a moment of inspiration, however, I grabbed a bracelet blank I bought from Melanie West and made a bargello bracelet instead.
OK, what did I learn? I got a practical example of the way colors shift and how darker colors shift less. I also feel a bit empowered because I was able to replicate the colors from the collage and correct color problems. For me, that is a giant leap forward.