Color Quiz Helps Polymer Clay and Jewelry Artists with Mixing Colors

Polymer Clay Color IQ Test

Do You Know Your Color IQ? This Test Will Improve Your Color Intelligence!

Understanding colors and how to mix them is something that is difficult for many. I think the reason is that most peoples’ eyes are not trained to see the subtle differences in color. I use the word ‘trained’ because I feel we can all train our eyes to be better at distinguishing color.

Today I received an email newsletter from Ania Kyte of the Fraser Valley Beadwork Group. It is a local beading group that I have been following but haven’t found the time to attend any meetings yet. They do send some interesting info though, so I keep getting their emails.

Today, Ania recommended a site with a Color IQ Test that you might want to check out. I tried their color quiz and thought it was really cool. [Added Note: For some reason, the above link doesn’t work 100% of the time. If it goes to a “choose-your-country-page,” just follow the instructions. So far when I’ve selected United States, the color quiz has always come up for me.]


Basically, the Color IQ Test is four strips of color blends that are jumbled up and you have to put them back in order according to hue. Each strip has a beginning color and an end color that when put in the correct order, looks exactly like a Skinner Blend… smoothly shifting from one shade to the other.

When you are finished rearranging each strip, you get a score on how well you did. Zero is perfect and 1500 is pretty much color blind. You can also get a comparison to see how well you fair against others of your gender and age group.

What I love about this test (besides the fact that I am smokin’ good at this… did it three times and got 0, 4 and 0!) is that as you are dragging and dropping the colors into their proper boxes, you are training your eyes to see the difference between color shades that are very close to one another.

I kept asking myself, “Is this one more green or more blue than the one I just put down?” Sometimes it is really hard to tell. Especially if the original colors are similar to each other.

So go try it out and come back here to discuss. Are you better with color than you expected? Or worse? Did you get better at differentiating the hues when you did the test more than once? Do you think your score would be different if the colors were presented on color chips instead of on a computer monitor?


**For more info and inspiration on how to effectively mix colors, be sure to read this post too: Polymer Clay How To Tips For Creating Beautiful Jewelry Colors


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  1. Cindy Erickson, 31 October, 2008

    Hi Cindy,

    I took the test. I got 19 my first try and then 17 the next try. After that, my computer wouldn’t open the page up again to try another round. I was a little disappointed in my score. I thought I was better at seeing color hues…could it be my computer monitor? I hope so. Anyway, it was interesting for sure. Thanks for the link!

    Well, I think I’ll try going to bed at a “normal” person’s time…oops! Too late…it is already after 2:00 AM here in Colorado…oh, well…

    Good night :)
    Cindy E.

  2. Cindy Lietz, 31 October, 2008

    Ohhh Cindy E. Why would you feel bad about being in the top 1%? The score goes from 0 – 1500… 19 and 17 are absolutely fantastic!

    And besides, your score improved! Try it a few more times and your eyes will get even more trained than they are.

    I should not have ‘tooted my own horn’ if it made you feel bad about your score. I guess I just wanted people to know that I’m actually great at mixing recipes, because my eyes are trained to see color.

    The more ‘training’ your eyes get the better your score will be!

  3. Anna, 31 October, 2008

    I got 0.

    See, I knew I was good with colour!

    I’m pretty sure I haven’t “trained” myself though, so maybe it’s just natural. I haven’t been claying for long and although I draw sometimes I’m not very good and I don’t do it often.

    That said, I am very colour-oriented, I colour-code everything! And when I’m out I’m constantly thinking that carpet doesn’t go with those curtains, or she should wear a dark blue skirt with that shirt rather than a turquoise one.

    It makes buying paint to decorate the house difficult! I find a paint I like, then I say “This would be perfect if it was just a touch more pink.” Long suffering boyfriend finds a colour with more pink in. And I’m like, “Not THAT pink…”

  4. Cindy Lietz, 31 October, 2008

    Hehehehee! I can just see him standing there, rolling his eyes! Way to go on a great score! :-)

  5. Anna, 31 October, 2008

    When I studied evolutionary psychology, I learned that there are evolutionary reasons why women tend to have better colour sense than men.

    Basically in prehistoric “caveman” times, since most women would be either pregnant or nursing a child, it was the men who would go out to hunt animals. Because of this, men gradually evolved better hand-eye coordination (needed for hunting) than women, who didn’t hunt.

    Women would gather fruit and plants, and so they evolved better colour discrimination because if you’re collecting wild plants it’s very important to be able to distinguish between plants that are good to eat and plants that are poisonous or fruit that’s not ripe, and colour is a big part of that.

    It’s an interesting idea.

  6. Cindy Erickson, 01 November, 2008

    Cindy!!! I am excited!!! I took the test tonight…last night I could not get on again as I mentioned above…anyways…tonight I got a perfect “0” !!!!!!! So, my first try last night was 19, my second try last night was 17, and my first try tonight was 0. I like that score much better :) OK…so I am a perfectionist…what can I say? :) I think last night my hormones were getting the best of my eyes!!! Sounds good, and I’ll stick to that :)

    It was fun…thanks again!

    Hugs to you, Cindy E.

  7. Andrea, 02 November, 2008

    I got 10 & 6 .getting my other half to try this later. That was fun.

  8. CraftyLinda, 02 November, 2008

    Cindy that was a fun site. My score was 15. I didn’t have a lot of time so I could only do it once but I am sure with a little practice I can get better. I have bookmarker that page so I can go back to it often.
    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Cindy Lietz, 02 November, 2008

    @Anna: That is wonderful information Anna! I never knew, but that makes so much sense! Bet you never thought you would use that knowledge at a bead site! I love it! Lots more please!

    @Cindy E.: That is exciting! I knew you could improve your score with some practice! I’m hoping your using your new color knowledge when you’re mixing colors now!

    @Andrea: It is fun isn’t it?! Let us know how your hubby did!

    @CraftyLinda: That is really great Linda! You definitely can improve with practice… Look at what Cindy E. did!

  10. Shelly, 07 November, 2008

    Cindy, When you say your eyes are trained at seeing color and great at mixing color, does that mean if I am looking for say…the green color in “Wicked” the play, that you can look at the color and then tell how to mix it? If I practice this test will that help. I know I want to mix this color and have no idea where to start.
    Can’t wait til this all starts to come together for me.
    Love Your Site. Shelly

  11. Shelly, 07 November, 2008

    ok – went and took the test. Scored 11. still not sure how to apply this to mixing.. will keep learning and trying. THanks, SHelly

  12. Cindy Lietz, 07 November, 2008

    Shelly the first step in being able to mix a color to match something you’re looking at, is to be able to tell the difference in the shades. By getting an 11 on the test, that means you are pretty good at seeing the subtle differences.

    With more practice, you will be able to look at that green color you want and say to your self, “Looks like it is a sea green with a touch of ultra marine”… or what ever it is. You will also be able to ‘tweak’ the color until you get it right. Say, the original still looks more blue than mine does, etc.

    Learning about color is a process, and you are moving right along. Great job!

  13. DARINDA BRADEN, 23 November, 2008

    Cindy, I’ll be the first one to tell you that I like tests, etc. like this. I got a score of 8, but now I’m cross-eyed. Guess it’s time for bed. THANKX as always for making it fun. DE BRADEN

  14. Cindy Lietz, 24 November, 2008

    You’re welcome Darinda! I know what you mean about the eyes crossing after awhile from looking at those colors! Glad you had fun!

  15. Mary Rogers, 29 August, 2009

    Hi Cindy, I am trying a new project and it calls for Fimo transparent “pink” polymer clay. I can not find this clay anywhere and think it may not be available any longer. Could you please give me a recipe to convert transparent clay into pink transparent. My attempts so far have been unsuccessful and I am gaining more waste clay than anything else. I tried adding red and white to translucent but the color is coming out flat. The other Fimo transparent colors seem bright and alive with color. What am I doing wrong? Please help!
    Thanks…. Mary

  16. Cindy Lietz, 05 September, 2009

    It’s the white Mary that is making your translucent look flat. Try a touch fluorescent pink instead if you can find it. If not try a touch of fuchsia.

  17. Rada, 19 September, 2010

    Wow, this is an awesome test, it was very hard, but I got a 3 :). I never thought of myself as a color person. But thanks to Cindy I’ve been playing more and more with clay mixing. It’s so fun to just take lots of bright colors like pinks and neon greens and blues and end up with a beautiful earth tone color. Very cool.

  18. Phaedrakat, 19 September, 2010

    Wow, that was fun! I got a 3…like you, Rada! You’re right, it’s a little more involved than I thought it was going to be. But I’m very happy with that as a first time score. I didn’t think I would do that well, since I don’t consider myself a “color” person, either. Yay!

  19. Jocelyn, 20 September, 2010

    Kat, following you around pays off again! Have never seen this blog and can’t wait to try the excercise. Thanks to you and Rada for putting it back on the radar.

  20. Phaedrakat, 21 September, 2010

    Rada gets the credit for this one…it’s my first time seeing it, too. Pretty cool, and fun — don’t forget to share your score, Jocelyn, LOL!

  21. Jocelyn, 21 September, 2010

    LOL. I can’t remember but it was not brilliant. That’s OK, gives me another skill to work on and improve.

  22. Tanya L, 21 September, 2010

    This is great! I used the site with this color test, and ColorMunki, at my old job, where my “color detecting abilities” were put to the test constantly when I had to edit photos of hats for sales and marketing, our website, customers, etc. I got really good at knowing when to increase or decrease what color, and I already found that to be a great plus when mixing my own shades of clay!! Thanks for bumping this up, you guys!

  23. Rada, 02 October, 2010

    Found a pretty neat website for color harmonies at . You can choose a base color and then click on Analogous, Monochromatic, Triad, etc. to see different compliments of the base color. You can also upload your own picture and it will tell you colors which are used in the picture. Or you can simply manually play around with the color wheel and see which colors fit your project. I’m sure for all of those who aren’t that good at color theory, including myself, it’s a great learning tool.

  24. Teresa D, 26 June, 2011

    Ok,y’all. I don ‘t know about you but I was sadden about the fact that primo canceled those 2 pearl colors. Has anyone found a recipe to take the place of them? And another question has anyone tried to create a black pearl? Or have any suggestion as to how to do this?

  25. Cindy Lietz, 27 June, 2011

    @Teresa D: Hi Teresa! Actually Sculpey put out a color mixing chart for the discontinued colors. It is on their site. Here is the link:

    As far as Black Pearl goes, you can get a Gray Pearl by mixing Black Premo with Premo Pearl, but the only way to get a Black pearl is to add Black Mica Powder or Eyeshadow to the clay. You would have to experiment with proportions, to get the look you want.

    Hope that helps!

  26. Teresa D, 28 June, 2011

    I found the mixing chart.It helped tremendously. Thank you so much. Now I’m off to experiment. You are awesome. Thank yoni again!

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