Have you ever wondered why some colors work well together on the Gelli® plate and others turn into a mud color when mixed? Or are you looking for a fun way to teach your kids about color theory?
Today I’m going to show you how you can use the Gelli® plate for color mixing and how you can use your knowledge about paint colors to your advantage!
First things first. I’m sure you are familiar with the color wheel:
There are three primary colors: blue, red and yellow or, if you want to be more scientific: cyan, magenta and yellow.
With these three paint colors you can mix all other colours.
When you mix two of them together in equal amounts you get the secondary colours and tertiary colours when you change the ratio of the two primary colours you put into the mix.
This is what that looks like on Gelli® prints:
Red + Blue (Magenta + Cyan) = Violets and Blues
Red + Yellow (Magenta + Yellow) = Reds and Oranges
Yellow + Blue (Yellow + Cyan) = Greens and Aquas
It’s fun to mix your own paint colors and it’s especially fun to let your kids have a go at it!
So… what about the mud color?
Mud or neutral colours usually emerge when you try to mix all three primary colours together. In other words: put cyan, yellow, greens and aquas (the cyan/yellow mixes) together on the Gelli® Plate and it will look good.
But blue and orange (which has yellow and magenta in it) together on the plate will end up a brownish colour, especially when you really mix the colours with a brayer.
When you mix pure cyan, yellow and magenta together though, you’ll get a nice neutral grey. Which can be very useful, but maybe not what you are looking for when you’re trying to make a colourful Gelli® print.
That said, it doesn’t mean that you can never use blue and orange together (or lime and purple, green and magenta etc). As they are opposites, the so-called complementary colours, they look striking when paired!
They just don’t mix very well, so it’s better to use them side by side or in an added printed layer.Now for the magical part!
Once you know about the way colors mix, you can not only use that to your advantage when applying paint on the Gelli® plate, but also when printing in layers. This is especially fun when you use transparent paint colors, like cyan, yellow and magenta.
Happy color mixing!
Acrylic paint (Royal Talens Amsterdam: Primary Cyan, Primary Magenta, Primary Yellow, Titanium White)
Stencil (Nathalie Kalbach for Stencil Girl Products - Manhattan)