The FIMO Professional True Color Mixing System

Fimo Professional True Color System - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #712: In general, I really do like what Staedtler has done with this product… and I also have some suggestions for improvements :-)

In this video I talk about the new polymer clay line by Staedtler, Fimo Professional True Colors.

This is a polymer clay based on the Fimo Classic line, with the new name of Fimo Professional, and a new Spectral Color based color mixing system.

Rather than colors based on designer colors or artist based pigments, the True Colors line is based on spectral pure pigment colors that work in a more predictable manner, like how a rainbow works. Where Red and Yellow actually make Orange. Unlike Artist based colors based on Earthen Pigments like Alizarin Crimson, Raw Sienna and Burnt Umber, which are the traditional colors used in art pigments like acrylic paints, oil paints and such.

People who have a background in working with artist pigments, the polymer clay colors that are based on the artist color system, like Premo Sculpey which I mostly use, will be familiar with how the colors work and will find it easy to mix their own colors in the line. But for people who are new to polymer clay, or are not familiar with artist pigmented colors… well you may have a more difficult time mixing the artist pigment colors. Red and Yellow in artist color, MAY give you Orange, but they may also give you a muddy color. It really depends on which Red and which Yellow you try to mix together.

Fimo has simplified the color mixing system by creating a polymer clay color line that contains pure pigments that will mix in a predictable manner. Much like the colors you find in a light spectrum of a rainbow. Red blends to Orange, to Yellow, to Green, to Blue, to Indigo, to Violet and round back to Red again.

The colors that Fimo Professional has included in their True Colors kit contain, True Yellow, True Red, True Magenta, True Blue, True Green and White.

You will need to also buy Black if you want to mix all the colors on the color chart provided in the kit.

In this video I will show you how the color system works, the things I like about the system, the things I don’t like, the color shift after baking, the recommending baking times and temperatures and strength testing at different time intervals.

I would still like to do some more testing of the product and some tweaking with the actual recipes, but overall I think the colors are pure, rich and vibrant… and that the system is simple enough for anyone to create a huge range of fabulous colors.

Thank you Staedtler Canada for sending me these samples to review!

Do you have any suggestions for videos on tips, techniques or products you would like to learn more about? Let me know in the comments section below!

My goal is to help you to learn quicker and easier ways to bring up the professionalism in your polymer clay art.

Oh and don’t forget to give these videos a Thumbs Up click at YouTube if you are enjoying them. The more Likes a video gets, the higher it rises in the searches. And that means even more people will be able to join in on this polymer clay journey of a lifetime.

Also, by subscribing to our YouTube Channel directly, you will receive notifications as soon as new videos are uploaded. To subscribe, click here… FIMO Professional True Colors Polymer Clay Review … the Subscribe Button is right near the top of that YouTube page.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
  1. Eden T, 14 December, 2015

    Wow! I can’t believe the weakness of the clay. My eyebrows went straight to my hairline. I personally struggle a bit with mixing colors and like the ease of this system, but I just don’t think I’ll be making the switch from Premo. I very much dislike the stickiness of Fimo. Thanks so much for the video! Big big hugs!

  2. Anna Sabina, 16 December, 2015

    The recipes mixing seems a bit much. The thought of 80 Yellow to 1 white makes my head hurt!! You have shared your color recipe tips before but I will stick with Premo.

  3. Marion Rayner, 17 December, 2015

    This was very interesting, thank you very much Cindy! I can’t imagine how many packs of colour you’d need in order to produce some of those more complex shades. I think, like Anna above, I shall be sticking with Premo!

  4. Carrie Harvey, 18 December, 2015

    Goodness – it’s so weak! I have quite a bit of it but haven’t really used it much yet but once my Premo has got mostly used up l intend to but l’ll be baking at Premo temps for strength.

    Strangely, l found it was firmer and less sticky than Premo, which seems to go really really soft and unworkable even in my fairly cool workshop here in the UK! How you all cope with it in the US l don’t know!

  5. Harriet Russell, 18 December, 2015

    Extremely helpful video….thanks so much. Especially the limitations of the color chart. I know that’s not something I would think of until I was at the point of trying to mix a tint or shade! A deal-buster for me.

  6. Dixie Ann, 19 December, 2015

    Hi Cindy, got a free pack from Fimo on the true colors but have not had time to try it out. My busy embroidery season is here now too. I probably won’t dump my premo any time soon for Fimo but it will be interesting to see where this free package takes me. I probably will do no mixing using the colors right out of the package for some project or another.

  7. Doreen Neilley, 21 December, 2015

    Thanks for testing the Fimo Professional True Colours for us, Cindy.

    With regards to wishing that Staedtler had included “from the get go” recipes for each of the mixes on the chart: I looked at the possibility of working those mixes out, and discovered that there is probably a good reason that they didn’t do that! :(

    I looked at the YII column – because I couldn’t read YI :)
    The YII mix is 20 yellow + 1 Red. So that gives us 21 parts total.
    But we only need one part of that to make the lightest colour, at the top of the column, which is 20 parts White and 1 part YII mix. So to make YIIa from the blocks, we would need:

    420 parts White, 20 parts Yellow and 1 part Red (or to make it a little more realistic, 52 1/2 W, 2 1/2 Y, 1/8 R)

    It only took that one try for me to figure out that I wasn’t going to spend any time trying to translate the chart into “from the get go” recipes! :((

    Question:
    I watched a video on CraftArtEdu about making stronger clay for small or thin components, in which the lady mixed Kato Translucent and Premo Translucent into coloured clay (I think it was a free video, and I’m not giving amounts, so I don’t think that I am breaking any copyright rules here). Where I am going with this is that if the Fimo Professional True Colour bakes at so much lower a temperature than Kato or Premo, it probably wouldn’t work well to mix the strengthening Translucent mix into it. Do you think the same without testing it?

    I also was shocked by how easily the test squares snapped. I have enough problems with some of my pieces breaking, without using a clay that has very little shear strength to start with! I won’t be rushing out to buy any of this in a hurry.

    That’s one of the reasons why we love your tests and videos, Cindy – “you make the mistakes so we don’t have to!” to quote your banner.

  8. Cindy Lietz, 29 December, 2015

    Hi Doreen, great comment! I agree with the issue with the recipes. The amounts are kind of crazy, hence the reason for the system they set up. I would however still rather have the full recipe with the fractions, then having to make up large batches of the base colors. The fractions could be reduced more still, down to 32nds and still be feasible to do. But you’re right about the task being a big one for someone like us to take the time to do. Not for the company though. They’d only have to do it once and put it on the chart. Would make the chart look more complicated, but in the end it would be a lot easier for the person mixing the recipes. If I find myself with some extra time in the future, I will make the recipe formulas and make them available.

    As far as the test chips breaking, I suppose I could mix another brand of clay in, but I feel that it is better if you can stay within one brand for simplicity sake. I’d rather experiment with the time and temperature and have to adjust the color recipe if necessary to get the ideal strength. I know many professionals who love the Fimo Professional line and swear by its strength, so I believe it will just take a little tweaking to find the sweet spot for this particular brand. Just like we have done with Premo and others have done with Kato, each brand has their differences.

    Will try and spend some time in the new year playing with the Fimo Professional True Color line and see what I can make of it. Thanks so much for your feedback and Happy New Year to you and your family!

  9. Cathy Peckens, 30 December, 2015

    I have been hearing a lot of buzz about Pan Pastels and Primary Elements. Have you tried either of them? They did not come up in the site search, so they might be new fodder for your testing

  10. Cindy Lietz, 01 January, 2016

    Hi Cathy, I have definitely heard about Pan Pastels, but have not had the opportunity to test them out yet. They are going on the list for future products to do in the PcT Test Lab. I have not heard of Primary Elements though. What are they? A pastel or something else?

  11. Cathy Peckens, 04 January, 2016

    Primary Elements are Pure artists pigments with mica powder in it.

    Here is a 4 minute YouTube showing some of the applications…

    With glazes and mediums you can paint with it. T You need one of theses because there are no binders. Obviously you can mix and blend your own colors and it is yummy when painted.

    I have seen it applied to raw polymer clay in a similar manner to Pearl Ex. I haven’t looked really hard to see other applications for polymer clay. Making your paint might be interesting to try.

  12. Cindy Lietz, 06 January, 2016

    Thanks Cathy for sharing that! There are so many cool products out there, aren’t there? I would love to try them out. I’ll put them on the list of stuff to get a hold of in the future. They look interesting!

  13. Cindy Lietz, 17 March, 2016

    That is great to hear that you are liking the pigments Kim! There are so many cool products out there aren’t there? I will have to live to 300 to even get close to trying them all!

  14. KimJ, 07 January, 2016

    Pearl Ex powders can do much the same; you need binders or mediums with them just as you do with Primary Elements. Ranger’s Perfect Pearls already have a resin binder in them, so they can be used as watercolors out of the jar.

    The big difference I see after looking at all three products online are the number of available colors in the brands’ palettes. Perfect Pearls have 32 colors, Pearl Ex have 49, and Primary Elements have 198!

    It’s difficult to compare prices as Pearl Ex and Perfect Pearls are sold by weight and Primary Elements are sold by volume. This concerns me because, as anyone who has ever sifted flour knows, you can fill a container with a lot less material just by sifting it. I’d prefer it were sold by weight so I could compare costs. I have purchased other ColourArte products that were liquid or solid based and been happy with them. The colors are very beautiful.

    Recently, I’ve been buying unbranded mica pigment powders on eBay from China sources. I’ve been really happy with the color range, intensity, and quality. They compare to and coordinate well with the Pearl Ex and Perfect Pearls I already have in my stash, and the prices can’t be beat.

  15. Cathy Peckens, 07 January, 2016

    Thanks for information. Pardon my ignorance, but it is my impression that the Primary Elements is mica and artist pigments, so the color intensity could be stronger. I don’t know how else the pigment change the dynamics.

    Is that a correct assumption?

  16. KimJ, 07 January, 2016

    Hi Cathy,

    Mica powder in its natural state is translucent and colorless. It is ground up from mica “rock”, that semi-clear mineral that peels off in flat sheets that you might remember from science class. Mica pigment is artist pigment with mica powder added. Any eye shadow with glimmer is also mica pigment, although eye shadows have other ingredients added apart from pigment and mica which dilutes their intensity.

    Primary Elements may have a greater proportion of pure pigment in their product compared to PearlEx or Perfect Pearls. I suppose the only way to find out is to buy them and try them out.

  17. KimJ, 15 March, 2016

    I did go ahead and invest in some Primary Elements powdered mica pigments and I am happy to say, I love them! The colors are wonderfully intense and the quantities in the jar are generous. I subscribed to the newsletter and receive coupons and sale announcements weekly. I’m putting together my 3rd order for a 40% off flash sale. You can’t beat that!

  18. Dixie Ann, 04 January, 2016

    I just ordered the Primary Elements. Found them on Amazon in sample packs. None of the craft stores carry them unless JoAnns does. You do have to buy a binder for them and they will need a sealer but the colors are so vibrant and rich with mica. I hope a lot more of you watch the video Cathy supplied here. I already have a couple of Cindys Tutes in mind I am going to use them with.

  19. Karen S, 05 January, 2016

    Hi Dixie Anne,

    Happy new year :). It’s great that this product has inspired you to revisit some of Cindy’s tutorials. I hope you will post your pictures to the PcT facebook page. I must say it has been less than lively around there lately – the project picture album I mean.

    Regarding this product I think I will hold off on buying it. I have so many supplies and ideas from Cindy’s wonderful tutes that I will be busy for a long time!

    Karen

  20. Dixie Ann, 05 January, 2016

    Hi Karen, I was thinking the same thing about the album the other day when I was glancing through it. I am so hoping Cindy starts up her new website soon so we have new tutorials to do and show there.

  21. Karen S, 05 January, 2016

    Agreed, Dixie Ann :) !

  22. Cindy Lietz, 06 January, 2016

    We’re working on it guys!

  23. Fran Vainas, 17 March, 2016

    Dixie Ann,

    What do you mean you need to buy a binder? If you apply the powder to raw clay do you still need to use the binder?

    and what size were the “sample” sizes you bought? I can’t seem to find them on Amazon.

    Thanks!

  24. Dixie Ann, 17 March, 2016

    Hi Fran, No, this pigments stick to raw clay with no binder. A binder is another liquid type material such as liquid clay, a gel of type etc; even water which when added creates a beautiful wash. Here is the link to the sample size containers.

  25. Harriet Russell, 07 January, 2016

    If anyone happens to have artist’s dry pigment powders, as I do, you can get plain mica powder at Douglass and Sturgess. It’s cheap, but comes in 5 lb quantities! FM-1144 Mica Powder, 5 lb. $3.95

    Note: I later found it on Etsy for $7.75 per oz. at SaharasSupplies

    Douglass and Sturgess also have the cheapest dry pigments I’ve found, but, again, the smallest quantity for most is 1/4 lb.

    The Artists Dry Pigments Page…all show yellow jars, but clicking on any one will take you to a page where there is a chart of the colors. Actual brushed colors, don’t know what they used to mix them with, but they aren’t that good. Helps to know what the colors are. For most colors, the smallest quantity available is 1/4 lb. Prices vary depending on the pigment. Iron oxide red is $5.95. Venetian Red is only $3.95 for half a pound. Two of the the most expensive come in 2 oz. sizes: Cobalt Violet at $18.50, and Quinacridone Magenta for $15.

    Don’t know how helpful any of this is, but I happen to really like the store…if you’re looking for molding materials, resins, patina finishes and metal finishes, and much more, it’s a great place to browse.

  26. Harriet Russell, 07 January, 2016

    Sorry about the funny formatting…don’t know what happened…also the link for the pigments takes you to the home page instead unless you copy and paste the whole URL. …Harriet

  27. Doug Lietz, 07 January, 2016

    Harriet – I fixed up your links so they go to where they are supposed to go.

  28. Harriet Russell, 08 January, 2016

    Thanks a lot, Doug!

  29. KimJ, 07 January, 2016

    Thank you for these awesome links and your great information!

  30. Harriet Russell, 08 January, 2016

    You’re welcome! I always like to share the out-of-the-way places with interesting stuff when I come across them.

  31. Cindy Lietz, 08 January, 2016

    Thank you Harriet for all the cool links! I had to laugh at how old school their site was. I thought ours was old! But it looks like there is some really great products there. Will have to swim around there for a bit and see what I can find. :)

  32. Harriet Russell, 09 January, 2016

    Yes, it’s really clunky! Has a lot of hazardous materials, too, I’m afraid. Another fun site is Sciplus with all kinds of odds and ends; overstocks, mistakes, etc. Part of the fun is their sense of humor in describing the items.

  33. Cindy Lietz, 09 January, 2016

    Wow another cool site Harriet! Thanks!

  34. Harriet Russell, 10 January, 2016

    :0)

  35. Cathy Peckens, 08 January, 2016

    Kim

    Thank you for the explanation. It was helpful and I really appreciate it. I’m not making any new media purchases right now. I am learning software and then how to cut metal clay and polymer clay on my Silhouette Curio.

    Harriet, thanks for the link to another dangerous place.

  36. Harriet Russell, 08 January, 2016

    Sorry! :o)

  37. Dee W, 15 March, 2016

    If you want safer pigments (iron oxides) or fabulous micas at a price you can afford, try tkb trading. 6 gram samples for a 1.50 can’t be beat with an ugly stick. All of their pigments, micas, and glitters are cosmetic grade.

  38. Dixie Ann, 15 March, 2016

    Dee, what is an ugly stick?

  39. Cindy Lietz, 17 March, 2016

    LOL You haven’t heard that term before Dixie Ann? It’s an oldie… though come to think of it, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. But there’s a lot of old sayings that don’t make a lot of sense! :)

    Thank you Dee for the resource! That is very helpful to know!

  40. Sonya Thomas, 15 April, 2016

    Hi Cindy, I saw the video Fimo Professional and saw the samples breaks. Did you ever figure out why that happened? I use Premo to make faux stones that I then enclose in copper wire wraps. I get that darkness on my stones after backing for 60 minutes do you think I could reduce the time since my stone are thick. I would appreciate your feedback and you can look at the stones on my website. Thank you in advance.

    Sonya Thomas

  41. Cindy Lietz, 15 April, 2016

    Hi Sonja, I haven’t done any further testing with the Fimo yet, but I do plan to. The sample broke because it either needed a little higher temp or more time… I suspect more time but testing will prove that either way. If your pieces are getting dark, make sure that they are tented properly so that they are protected from the elements. I would bake for less time because they are thick… yes they probably won’t be as vulnerable to breaking but you could end up with clay that isn’t properly cured on the inside, if you don’t bake for long enough. Also check to make sure you’re baking at the correct temp (use an oven thermometer to make sure. Because spikes in temp will also cause your clay to darken. Hopefully that helps!

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