Color Me Happy

17 Jan

                                                  An artist, uses some aspect of color theory everyday.   I hand mix my clay colors and when I  hand-torch my glass, I combine the molten glass rods together in different ways each time using color theory as a basis for making a variety of colors in the creation of my hand-made beads which are incorporated in jewelry or in a home decor item.

The understanding of the color wheel gives one an opportunity to appreciate the relationship between colors and their combinations.   Bands of color are arranged in a segmented circle or “wheel” to show their relationships more effectively.

The use of color is a skill that needs to be learned.  In interior design, color can arouse appreciation, and invoke and stimulate more thoughts and feelings than any other aspect.  Color and the combinations of color can stimulate, soothe, or enhance your world.  In clay, I color myself happy too.

Within the color wheel, red, yellow and blue are known as the (primary colors) .  Mix together two specific primary colors and you will create one of the (secondary colors) violet, orange and green.  Mix red and yellow to make orange, yellow and blue to make green and red and blue make violet.  Mixing equal parts of primary and adjacent secondary colors will produce tertiary colors.  For example, red and violet make crimson, blue and green produce turquoise, and yellow and green create lime. 

When I work with clay, I mix my own colors to use in my art.  I mix by hand and by use of a pasta machine.  Clays are simply twisted and rolled together or when I use a pasta machine, the clay is folded over after each pass through the rollers until the color is solid or until the marbled effect is achieved.  I have many considerations when I mix colors. Learning simple rules means that I can adapt, interpret, and break the rules to suit my own aims.  That type of messing around with color makes me happy.  Color me happy!

Examples of color use for me are: 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.

There are other ways that I am able to color clay.  Alcohol-based inks can be added to white or translucent clays.  Oil paints, pastels, fabric dyes, acrylic paint in small amounts even concentrated tea an also be added for clay tinting.  Inclusions like powders, pigments, dry tempera and crayon shavings can also be added to clay for tints.

I use the color wheel many days to define hue, value,and  intensity. Color scheme considerations are the next step to consider what I will mix.   I discovered a site that will help you if you need a site to ”color you happy” easily, it’s a professional color-matching application that will help you build beautiful color schemes quickly and easily.  The site: and software at takes it a step further. 

Color yourself happy.




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