Did you have a Grandmother who could grab a handful of this, add a half glass of that, a pinch of something else, throw in a few more things and come up with something so good that you remember it ten years after her death? How did she do it?
Think of the first time you cooked something. You probably had a general idea of what it was supposed to look like and how it was supposed to smell and taste. If you came close and no one got sick, you had a success. Then, as you became more proficient, you began to know what a dish was supposed to look like at each stage (is the batter supposed to be lumpy? Are the grains supposed to clump?). You began to learn what seasonings worked with one another. You started to know when something was done cooking or baking by the way it looked or the way it smelled or felt. Some of us got to the point where we could throw away our cook books and measuring cups and rely totally on instinct and experience. (Ok, Ok, some of us never learned to cook at all, or gave up cooking after many years. There’s a case to be made for that, too.)
When most of us start to learn a craft or an art form, we are not skilled enough to control the results. We become more proficient by doing. That’s the idea behind Polymer Clay Color Inspirations.
If you were taught to think of color theory as an arcane set of rules rather than as a way to express yourself, working through the exercises in Polymer Clay Color Inspirations will change the way you think. It’s not just another color reference book; the ten chapters of carefully planned exercises will teach you about color if you take the time to do them. As you progress through the book, you should start to internalize the information, with each chapter’s lesson building on the previous one. The goal is to teach you to make sound color choices with confidence, and to rely on your instincts rather than a rigid set of rules.
This was my experience. I won’t say that I am a color expert-far from it. But I think I am way beyond where I was when I started. The most important lessons I took away? Every color has a bias. A light color might be more saturated than a darker one. A color combo you hate might look very appealing in a different setting. If you’re not sure how colors will mix, combine a tiny proportion and see how you like the result.
I put up a permanent page with links to all the posts I generated in the course of working through the book. Even though I am technically finished with the book, I plan to keep it handy as a reference along with my color scales and other color tools I made.