Posted on 7 Comments

Color junkies and the websites who love them


Mmmmmm. Colors. The image above is of tiles I made to show the different cane designs I’ve made in my Swamp color scheme. This particular combination of colors came to me as I was driving through the Great Swamp in late spring a few years ago – the sky, the bark on the trees, and lush plantlife, really grabbed me and stuck in my mind long enough for me to translate them to clay when I got home. For me, color is an intuitive thing. I just have this “feeling” that tells me when two hues belong together. And I find it relatively easy to mix particular colors in clay. I can compare a block of Mint Green Sculpey III to a piece of aqua fabric and know that some Granny Smith and a small amount of Teal would create the color I want. Don’t ask me how I know. I just do. And I would be at a loss to describe the process of choosing which colors I will put together for a new scheme. Sometimes I’m inspired by something I’ve seen (nature, fabric, a fractal screen saver), but most of the time, I’m standing in the clay aisle at Michael’s, holding blocks of clay in my hands and seeing what looks nice together. And from what I am told, I generally choose well.

This feels like second nature to me. Can’t everybody do this? Apparently not. If you struggle with color, or if you are good with color but interested in knowing some of the science behind it, or if you are simply a color junkie who wants to indulge in some eye candy, here are some links & ideas to get you started.

  • Smashing Color, the blog by polymer clay artist and color expert Maggie Maggio. Her site is bursting with fascinating tutorials and interesting information.
  • Lindly Talks Color, a new blog by another clay artist and color expert, Lindly Haunani. In the recipes section, you will find a color recipe for making Kaffir lime leaves, and then an actual recipe for soup you can make with the limes. That’s kind of nifty.
  • Margie Deeb’s Color Celebration, which is a new one on me as of this morning. I haven’t explored much of her site yet, but I did listen to her most recent podcast while scrubbing my sink. It (the podcast, not my sink) talked about the power of monochromatic color schemes and how to get the most out of them.
  • Polka Dot Creations Color Challenge, which features a new color every month and aims to unite very different works of art & craft by color (but you should already know that, right?icon_wink-flickr-2-4)
  • A Year of Color, which is a flickr group currently in its second incarnation. The concept initially was to feature a specific color each week. This time around, the focus is on color pairings. It’s really quite interesting, and while it’s not specifically related to craft, it does give you some practice recognizing and seeking out pleasing color combinations.
  • Color Mixing, another flickr group, which is run by polymer clay artist Iris Mishly. The group focuses on color recipes in various media. Be sure to read the First Post on Color Mixing for Iris’ suggested links.

How about you? Do you have any favorite sites for the color-curious? Be sure to leave them in the comments so everyone can have a look!


Posted on 7 Comments

7 thoughts on “Color junkies and the websites who love them

  1. Beautiful colors–the blues and greens are so evocative of the ocean to me.

    1. Thanks! They’ve been sort of my “personal color scheme” for the last few years.

  2. Hi Lisa, I love the colors in your tiles. They’re just beautiful. One of my favorite color sites is the ColourLovers blog, They’ve covered a wide range of subjects and each post contains gorgeous photos and their color palettes. 2 of my favorites posts by them – The Big Island of Hawaii and Butterflies. Enjoy! -Karen

    1. Ooh, yes, I had been reading that blog for a while but I forgot all about it. Thanks for the reminder (and the complement)!

  3. […] didn’t see the recipes. i missed them. the recipes. lisa clarke saw them and wrote about them here. intrigued, i went back for a second look, and there they were, on the menu at the top of the page. […]

  4. I’ll have to go out and check some of those sites later. Today is busybusybusy. Last night I made more Maggie Maggio samples, enjoying how the mixed colors changed, and how colors that looked identical showed their subtle differences when mixed with white clay. I have a box filled to overflowing with paint samples, and the clothes and quilts I’ve made are always experiments in color and pattern. Ah, time to play would be so nice. It’ll happen.

    1. I haven’t made any of those color samples myself. I think it would take some of the mystery out of it for me. I rather enjoy the detective-like approach of figuring out which colors in what portions it takes to match a specific color.

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