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Friday, June 20, 2014

Grays and Browns - Mixing Muddy Colors . . . On Purpose

I'm back and ready to mix some colors . . . WHOO HOO!!!  

Awhile back, (which seems like FOREVER ago) I talked about using the color bias trick to avoid mixing muddy colors.  Well, this time we are going to learn to mix muddy colors.  Yeah, that is right . . . on purpose!  Mixing two complementary colors together will create a neutral color.  The color wheel (below) shows the colors that are complementary to each other.


Even though we are playing with mud today, the color bias theory will still play a HUGE role in getting the right neutral color.  The complementary color chart (below) will help you remember which two colors are directly opposite of each other on the color wheel.


Now, you're probably thinking "Why do I need to use the color bias chart to mix a muddy color . . . can't I just mix any two opposite colors?"  I would love to say "yes", but the answer is "no" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 


Our food colors are made of more than one color and they are color biased, so the same rule that we used to make pretty and vibrant colors will be used to make our neutrals.  

For example, let's make a brown by mixing two complementary colors, such as red and green. Think back to the color bias charts (your good ole BFF) from my previous posts "Choosing the right "Primary" Colors" and "Mixing Tertiary Colors The Easy Way".
Your red will be either a red-orange or a red-violet and your green will be either a yellow-green or a blue-green.  

If we were to mix a red-orange with a yellow-green, it would be orange because red and yellow (which makes orange) are dominate in the mix and it cancels out the red and green. Yellow and orange are not complementary colors.
  
Tulip Red (Red-Orange) + Electric Green (Yellow-Green)

What if we mix a red-orange with a blue-green? 

Tulip Red (Red-Orange) + Teal (Blue-Green)

We will get a true neutral color of course, because red and green are complementary and orange and blue are also opposites.  If the two colors you mix aren't exactly across from each other on the color wheel, then you won't get a gray or brown . . . you'll get a muted version of a secondary or tertiary color.  On a positive note, you might get a super cool color that you weren't expecting . . . which is always a plus in my book.  

I made icing samples (below using Americolor Soft Gel Paste) by mixing complementary colors to show you which colors create a neutral.  I also added a touch of brown to each second set of colors to show you how many different variations of neutrals you can make by simply adding it to a set of complementary colors.

(Red + Green)

Super Red mixed with greens
(1) Electric Green  (2) Mint Green  (3) Avocado
(4) Leaf Green  (5) Forest Green  (6) Teal 
Super Red mixed with greens and Chocolate Brown
(7) Electric Green  (8) Mint Green  (9) Avocado
(10) Leaf Green  (11) Forest Green  (12) Teal
Red Red mixed with greens
(13) Electric Green  (14) Mint Green  (15) Avocado
(16) Leaf Green  (17) Forest Green  (18) Teal
 
Red Red mixed with greens and Chocolate Brown
(19) Electric Green  (20) Mint Green  (21) Avocado
(22) Leaf Green  (23) Forest Green  (24) Teal
 
Tulip Red mixed with greens
(25) Electric Green  (26) Mint Green  (27) Avocado
(28) Leaf Green  (29) Forest Green  (30) Teal
Tulip Red mixed with greens and Chocolate Brown
(31) Electric Green  (32) Mint Green  (33) Avocado
(34) Leaf Green  (35) Forest Green  (36) Teal
Xmas Red mixed with greens
(37) Electric Green  (38) Mint Green  (39) Avocado
(40) Leaf Green  (41) Forest Green  (42) Teal
Xmas Red mixed with greens and Chocolate Brown
(43) Electric Green  (44) Mint Green  (45) Avocado
(46) Leaf Green  (47) Forest Green  (48) Teal
Holiday Red mixed with greens
(49) Electric Green  (50) Mint Green  (51) Avocado
(52) Leaf Green  (53) Forest Green  (54) Teal
Holiday Red mixed with greens and Chocolate Brown
(55) Electric Green  (56) Mint Green  (57) Avocado
(58) Leaf Green  (59) Forest Green  (60) Teal
 
Burgundy mixed with greens
(61) Electric Green  (62) Mint Green  (63) Avocado
(64) Leaf Green  (65) Forest Green  (66) Teal
Burgundy mixed with greens and Chocolate Brown
(67) Electric Green  (68) Mint Green  (69) Avocado
(70) Leaf Green  (71) Forest Green  (72) Teal
 
Maroon mixed with greens
(73) Electric Green  (74) Mint Green  (75) Avocado
(76) Leaf Green  (77) Forest Green  (78) Teal
Maroon mixed with greens and Chocolate Brown
(79) Electric Green  (80) Mint Green  (81) Avocado
(82) Leaf Green  (83) Forest Green  (84) Teal
 
Turquoise mixed with reds
(85) Super Red  (86) Red Red  (87) Tulip Red
(88) Xmas Red  (89) Holiday Red  (90) Burgundy
 
Turquoise mixed with reds and Chocolate Brown
(91) Super Red  (92) Red Red  (93) Tulip Red
(94) Xmas Red  (95) Holiday Red  (96) Burgundy
 
Terracotta mixed with greens
(97) Electric Green  (98) Mint Green  (99) Avocado
(100) Leaf Green  (101) Forest Green  (102) Teal
Terracotta mixed with greens and Chocolate Brown
(103) Electric Green  (104) Mint Green  (105) Avocado
(106) Leaf Green  (107) Forest Green  (108) Teal
 
Turquoise mixed with oranges
(109) Terracotta  (110) Electric Orange  (111) Orange
(112) Copper  (113) Peach
 
Turquoise mixed with oranges and Chocolate Brown
(114) Terracotta  (115) Electric Orange  (116) Orange
(117) Copper  (118) Peach
Copper mixed with greens
(119) Electric Green  (120) Mint Green  (121) Avocado
(122) Leaf Green  (123) Forest Green  (124) Teal 
 
Copper mixed with greens Chocolate Brown
(125) Electric Green  (126) Mint Green  (127) Avocado
(128) Leaf Green  (129) Forest Green  (130) Teal
Peach mixed with greens
(131) Electric Green  (132) Mint Green  (133) Avocado
(134) Leaf Green  (135) Forest Green  (136) Teal
 
Peach mixed with greens and Chocolate Brown
(137) Electric Green  (138) Mint Green  (139) Avocado
(140) Leaf Green  (141) Forest Green  (142) Teal
Electric Purple mixed with greens
(143) Electric Green  (144) Mint Green  (145) Avocado
(146) Leaf Green  (147) Forest Green  (148) Teal
Electric Purple mixed with greens and Chocolate Brown
(149) Electric Green  (150) Mint Green  (151) Avocado
(152) Leaf Green  (153) Forest Green  (154) Teal

(Yellow + Violet)

Lemon Yellow mixed with violets
(1) Violet  (2) Regal Purple  (3) Electric Purple
Lemon Yellow mixed with violets and Chocolate Brown
(4) Violet  (5) Regal Purple  (6) Electric Purple
Electric Yellow mixed with violets
(7) Violet  (8) Regal Purple  (9) Electric Purple
Electric Yellow mixed with violets and Chocolate Brown
(10) Violet  (11) Regal Purple  (12) Electric Purple
 
Egg Yellow mixed with violets
(13) Violet  (14) Regal Purple  (15) Electric Purple
 
Egg Yellow mixed with violets and Chocolate Brown
(16) Violet  (17) Regal Purple  (18) Electric Purple
Gold mixed with violets
(19) Violet  (20) Regal Purple  (21) Electric Purple
Gold mixed with violets and Chocolate Brown
(22) Violet  (23) Regal Purple  (24) Electric Purple
 

(Blue + Orange)

Royal Blue mixed with oranges
(1) Terracotta  (2) Electric Orange  (3) Orange
(4) Copper  (5) Peach
 
Royal Blue mixed with oranges and Chocolate Brown
(6) Terracotta  (7) Electric Orange  (8) Orange
(9) Copper  (10) Peach
 
Electric Blue mixed with oranges
(11) Terracotta  (12) Electric Orange  (13) Orange
(14) Copper  (15) Peach
 
Electric Blue mixed with oranges and Chocolate Brown
(16) Terracotta  (17) Electric Orange  (18) Orange
(19) Copper  (20) Peach
Sky Blue mixed with oranges
(21) Terracotta  (22) Electric Orange  (23) Orange
(24) Copper  (25) Peach
Sky Blue mixed with oranges and Chocolate Brown
(26) Terracotta  (27) Electric Orange  (28) Orange
(29) Copper  (30) Peach
 
Navy Blue mixed with oranges
(31) Terracotta  (32) Electric Orange  (33) Orange
(34) Copper  (35) Peach
 
Navy Blue mixed with oranges and Chocolate Brown
(36) Terracotta  (37) Electric Orange  (38) Orange
(39) Copper  (40) Peach
 

(Brown + Neutral)

Chocolate Brown mixed with neutrals
(1) Ivory  (2) Warm Brown  (3) Black
Warm Brown mixed with neutrals
(4) Black  (5) Ivory
Black mixed with neutrals
(6) Ivory

Holy icing samples Batman . . . that is 224 colors for this week!!!  Who says that browns and grays have to be a pain to mix???  You now have the options of creating the neutrals you want . . . and it doesn't even have to come from a bottle of brown or black.  

Have a wonderful and colorful week:-)
















12 comments:

  1. OMG I think you are officially my new bff!! I can't believe you did all this. You're amazing. Colors are really difficult for me to understand so your blog is a wealth of information for me. Thank you so much!

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    1. Thank you Colleen!!! I am so glad I can help:)

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  2. Wow!! 224 colors!! You have been busy!!! I think I actually just squealed out loud ;) Thank you for all your hard work in doing this. <3

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    1. You are so cute Tami...and you are very welcome!

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  3. WOW!!! That is some mixing!! Thank you for the fabulous reference! its amazing!

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  4. You so rock the whole icing world with your colors! Huge amount of work for you to share. Thanks so much!

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    1. Thank you bb!!! I do love me some color:)

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  5. Replies
    1. You are welcome Blue Sugar Cookie Co.!!! Thank you for reading it:)

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