Thursday, August 28, 2008

Technique Time: Art of Tinting :)

Hello all! I have been experimenting today with Tinting and thought I would share my findings with you. ;)

Question for you to answer: What creations have you made using tinting or after reading this article will you now try tinting?

What is Tinting?

Tinting is generally making an original object darker by adding something else to it (think Car window tinting) or colorizing something that is white (Easter eggs anyone).

For polymer clay tinting usually involves making white or translucent clay in different shades by adding something to it.

Why Should I do Tinting?

Tinting is a great way to make different shades of the same color, for example if you wanted several shades of green, but don't have the money to buy all that polymer clay simply tint.

Also tinting makes color combinations you may not be able to find in polymer clay that you can use to make many Faux materials. Many shades of green (from dark to light) can make a very pretty Faux Jade. ;)

How can I do Tinting?

1) Use either white (on the right) or translucent (on the left) clay as shown below. One can even mix white and translucent clay for a different look. Now roll your clay into balls, how many depends on how many shades of colors you trying to get.

2) You can tint with many things including inks, paints, powders, and dyes. Personally I like using food coloring dyes. The reason I use them is because they have nice droppers on the top of each container. This makes it easy to blend colors to make new ones. The picture on the right shows the food coloring dye I use. :)

For example if I wanted to make brown I can simply do:

two drops of red + two drops of green = brown

Now if I wanted a deeper reddish brown then all I need to do is:

Four drops of red + two drops of green = reddish brown.

The dropper heads make it very easy to control.

The other reason is well....I'm not rich haha. You can get a pack of food coloring dye now days for less then a $1.00 while getting all the colors you will ever need for tinting!

3) You will want to put the food coloring dye into different containers, mix colors to get the desired shades. You can use any container, as long as it's not plastic! I used small glass containers as shown below.

Sorry, but when it comes to tinting you need to say no to Tupperware or else you will forever have a very blue or green tinted container that will also stain your food. :P

4) Once you have all the colors you want in separate containers it's time to get well... colored. ;) Dip a ball of clay into the dye and blend the dye in so the entire ball is now tinted. When I was experimenting I did five balls each of a shade of green. Some darker, others lighter. When I was done they looked like this:

I later used two balls of two different shades of blue then mixed the clay together to get this color:

This kind of reminds me of a turquoise blue.

5) Now that you know how to properly use one technique of tinting I hope all of you will experiment as I did. Find what is right for you. :)

I leave you with one small, yet helpful, advise. Please use gloves, as uh tinting can be rather messy.

Lets just say I really hope by next week I have non-purple hands again :P

Farewell all!


Conscientia's Cameos said...

purple is better than orange!
wouldn't want to look like an oompa loompa lol

CB said...

haha, very good point conscientia :P

LoveEtsyFeedback TagsAndButtons said...

Great information! Looked super messy! haha

Im adding you to the blog! =D

CB said...

Ah yes, but the most fun things usually are the most messy. ;)

Thanks for adding me to your blog too!

MySweetThree said...

I often have hands of a different color too...but it is of the acrylic paint variety...or newspaper ink.. I really need to wear gloves! I hope you are not purple anymore!!

Jodi said...

good tip on the gloves. i never seem to put them on though. everyone can always tell when i have been experimenting-my hands are 5 different colors!!!

rockcreekcreations said...

I had never thought to use food coloring on polymer clay. Does it keep the color well?

CB said...

Colors are fun to experiment this I agree with :)

Oh and rockcreekcreations, the color does keep well as long as you mix it very well with the clay.

Carapace said...

I would love to see your baked, tinted clay. I'd love to try it; I have some old plain Sculpey, I might give it a go this week. Those colors look more natural and varied than the premades, which I always mix to the beyond and back anyway; if they bake true, they'd suit my work well.

Sooo happy to find this blog! You kick tailfeathers!

CB said...

Thank you carapace. In my post about the antiquing, the moon pendant is actually made from clay that I tinted. I fell in love with the turquoise color I made and decided to use it. ;)