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I mentioned in my previous post that keeping my colour recipes in percentages helped with mixing gradients.

scrap clay gradient

Sometimes I don’t keep track of my gradient mixes. The one above is made up of coordinating scraps of colour…

skinner blend

which becomes a lovely skinner blend…

Aqua and copper patchwork beads by Cate van Alphen

that ends up as beads.

At other times e.g. for the Art Bead Scene challenge pieces, I want my gradient to include specific colours to match the inspiration painting.

Here are my colour recipes using Fimo Classic:

  • Brick = 25% bordeaux, 25% yellow, 50% white
  • Rust = 10% bordeaux, 90% yellow
  • Mustard = 2.5% bordeaux, 47.5% yellow, 50% white

I take my grid paper, and using 1 square to represent 10% of the recipe, I mark out the target colours. I leave spaces between them to allow for a gradient blend. I chose to put the bordeaux in the middle for the mustard colour on the right because it was such a small percentage I thought it would be difficult to cut accurately if it were on the bottom.

marked grid

Then I mark diagonals for the blends. I chose to fade to white on the edges.

colour blend template

Then I cut out the paper shapes to use as a template for the clay.

polymer clay and template

Here is the resulting blend. I’ve included the target colours – there is a slight difference as the swatches have been baked while the blend is still raw. This method means I can mix the colours at the same time that I make the blend (instead of mixing the 3 colours separately and then blending them).

Controlled skinner blendAnd here are the beads I made (with an additional magenta colour).

Autumn leaf polymer clay beads by Cate van Alphen