Mixing pastel colours was my challenge for the Powertex UK Design Team this month. I mixed pastel colours with Powertex Universal Medium for some simple Spring bottle vases. I like to mix my Powertex colours but it’s not familiar to everyone so here’s a short guide to Powertex colour mixing!
Why should I mix Powertex colours?
Powertex Universal Medium comes in a range of great colours but sometimes we want to work with something different. The main reason I prefer to mix Powertex rather than dry pigments is that they can only be mixed in tiny amounts and need a lot of layers to build up strong colour on a textured surface. Powertex can be mixed in bigger amounts with a longer working time.
Knowing how to mix your own colours is helpful for all kinds of projects. You may want a turquoise green for an outdoor sculpture or a deep purple for a gift box. It opens up new possibilities for your creations and your artwork and gets you a strong coloured base from the start.
Powertex colours are all mixable, the colours won’t split or separate. Mixing your colours will keep all the properties of Powertex too so it will still be weatherproof. It’s worth remembering that if you choose to mix Transparent Powertex with another colour it may lose it’s ability to be weatherproof!
I have made rainbow fairy houses but you might just need a luxurious purple for your latest make. Imagine how your canvas art can be transformed with a bright texture layer.
The basics of colour mixing
I’m mixing my colours from Red, Blue and Yellow Ochre Powertex Universal Medium.
- Red and Yellow Ochre make Orange
- Blue and Yellow Ochre make Green
- Red and Blue make Purple
Using more of one colour than the other will change your result as the chart below shows.
This is a very simple colour chart, there are of course endless shades to mix. I mixed two colours with each combination as I’ve explained below. You can use this chart for your own reference but remember that my photo and the computer screen may not show the colour exactly as it was!
This has to be my favourite! Powertex mixes delicious purples like these. Start with either red or blue and add a little of the other colour at a time until you get a shade you like. See the more “dairy milk” purple is mostly blue with a little red. The yummy “berry” purple is more red with a little blue.
You will only need a tiny amount of red to make the Yellow Ochre turn Orange! Adding Yellow to red has much less effect. When mixing anything with a lighter colour, always add a tiny amount of the darker colour at a time. In this case, adding a little red to the Yellow Ochre has darkened it a lot. It’s possible to get a much more “yellow” mix than this.
You can buy Green Powertex but if it’s not a colour you use often, you can mix it with Blue and Yellow Ochre. Start with your yellow and add tiny amounts of the blue until you have a colour you want. The colour will change from a leafy green to a rich turquoise. You can also lighten all your mixes with Ivory if they are too dark, just add a tiny amount at a time.
Top tips for mixing Powertex colours
- Powertex has a working time of about an hour
- Once poured it starts to cure so mix up only what you need
- When dry add a gloss or pearl finish with varnish or pigments to show off the colours
- Use white or pearl highlights on textures to create depth
Pastel colours are created in the same way using Ivory. Start with Ivory and add small amount of your colour at a time. If you’re looking to move on from basic techniques, mixing your colours could be a great way to experiment!