Lietz Teardrop Blend – Color Gradients Made Easy

Lietz Teardrop BlendVideo #452: Making smooth color blends without having to measure & cut out tedious triangle shapes.

Topics Covered In This Video:

  • Last week I demonstrated how to do 2 different polymer clay color blending techniques…
  • (1) The Stepped Graduated Color Blend… where each color shade is mixed individually by hand and then placed next to each other, to give the impression of blending from one color to the next. It is quite labor intensive and is difficult to get a smooth blend without a lot of work.
  • (2) The Skinner Blend Method… created by Judith Skinner, who took a more Scientific approach by cutting out triangles and positioning them to create a much faster and smoother color gradient.
  • In today’s video, I am going to share with you my Teardrop Blend. It’s probably the easiest and fastest way to make professional looking color blends, because it takes most of the measuring and thinking out of the process.
  • The following link will take you to some of the early Lietz Teardrop Blend Articles posted here at my Polymer Clay Tutor blog. And you will find even more references by using “teardrop” as the keyword in the search box at my blog.
  • If you have ever had a challenge with doing a Skinner Blend in the past (especially multi colored blends), then you are going to LOVE this Tear Drop Technique!
  • In today’s video I show examples of some jewelry items made using Teardrop Color Blends, based on the following PcT Tutorials…
  • Easter Lily Cane
  • Sweet Pea Earrings
  • Frosted Rainbow Flower Beads
  • Coneflower Beads
  • Parrot Tulip Beads
  • With my Lietz Teardrop Blend you can easily create the same color blends using teardrop shapes of clay in any number of colors, without measuring cutting or needing to use math at all. You can even control the amounts of clay by simply changing the size of teardrop you start out with.
  • I originally developed this technique about 10 years ago, by accident. I was rolling out shapes of clay, trying to figure out something new to make, and ended up laying out some teardrop shapes next to each other in an alternating fashion. It was then that I realized the shapes actually resembled triangles, and that they would probably make a great start for a Skinner Blend. Then with some tweaking, I came up with this easier and faster way to blend polymer clay colors… and never looked back!

Challenge of the Day:

What I would like you to do, is go grab your favorite colors of polymer clay, and go make yourself a Teardrop Blend. Then come back and tell us how it went, in the comment section below.

By the way, if you have a polymer clay question or challenge you’d like me to address in an upcoming video vlog, do post it in the comments below. I’d love to help you find 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… Lietz Teardrop Blend – Polymer Color Blends Made Easy. The Subscribe Button is right near the top of that YouTube page.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
  1. Elizabeth V, 11 November, 2013

    That is awesome, thank you for sharing great idea!

  2. Doreen G, 11 November, 2013

    This is fantastic. I love the simplicity and speed of the method. Thanks so much for sharing I can’t wait to try it.

  3. Suguna S, 11 November, 2013

    Great Cindy! I think this will solve the problem of the lateral elongation caused in repeated skinner blend..Waiting to try my hands on this tear drop!

  4. Monica D, 11 November, 2013

    Love this tutorial. She really simplified color blending.

  5. Tondy S, 11 November, 2013

    Great Idea!

  6. Katie S, 11 November, 2013

    Awesome! So much easier.

  7. Cherry F, 11 November, 2013

    thats great tip :) thanks cindy :)

  8. Jennifer T, 11 November, 2013

    awesome video

  9. Meno A, 12 November, 2013

    i was playing with the skinner blend myself the other day (using a clay roller, i dont have a pasta machine ^^; ) as i was rolling it i used a tip you suggested in one of your newer videos to make it smaller by rolling it and found out it was faster!
    thank you so much for posting tips and tricks here <3

  10. Tante Sherry, 12 November, 2013

    I think it is so cool of you to put this wonderful quick and easy way of getting blends out into our polymer clay covered world for free
    -you guys are the best!

  11. Connie T, 12 November, 2013

    It’s the only technique I use thanks to Cindy.

  12. Shirley J, 12 November, 2013

    Excellent! If there was a choice for ten thumbs up I’d click that! Thanks Cindy!

  13. Amy H, 13 November, 2013

    wow. thank you so much for posting this video.. you put a LOT of work into it. fantastic.

  14. Susan L, 13 November, 2013


  15. Plamen I, 14 November, 2013

    Once you have tried it you will never think about other ways :)

  16. Peggy Carlan, 15 November, 2013

    Cindy, you are such a great teacher! The teardrop blend makes it all so much easier. Since I found the Lietz blend, I don’t use any other techniques. Thank you……

  17. Kay B, 15 November, 2013

    Thanks Cindy great video, this will make life a lot easier.

  18. Sandra M., 15 November, 2013

    My clay idol was Donna Kato. Not any more! She has been replaced by the genius named Cindy Lietz.
    I have never been able to make a decent Skinner Blend. The Lietz Teardrop Blend is amazing. It came out great on the first try and was so easy. I can’t thank you enough!

  19. Cindy Lietz, 15 November, 2013

    *blushing* Thanks Sandra! What a sweet thing to say. I am very happy that the Teardrop Blend works out so well for you. Thank you for coming back and sharing your success!

  20. Dawn Haylock, 15 November, 2013

    Fabulous tutorial will be doing this.

  21. Michele H, 15 November, 2013

    thanks what a great and easy way to blend…I always seem to have problems with the skinner :)

  22. Aly C, 20 November, 2013

    Awesome! Thanks Cindy :) Your info is ALWAYS Great and much appreciated!

    Maybe you can help…There is a woman that does really amazing flower canes that use skinner blends to start with. However her skinner blends are really, really long. Like maybe 20″ long and the width of the pasta machine…but her blends run in the direction of the length…which would be impossible to fit through the machine…unless maybe she folds it and puts it in vertically? I would think that that would be the only way to do it…sigh… I’d ask her, but she’s Italian so I can’t understand anything she says :( I’m sure you could figure it out? Her name is Missiclaus. Maybe some of your other viewers would be interested in how to do a really long skinner blend too. Thanks

  23. Cindy Lietz, 22 November, 2013

    Hi Aly C – Your question is a good one for me to address in another upcoming video. Those long blends are not difficult to do. They starts the same but then get turned sideways. It will make sense when you see it done. Thanks for your comment!

  24. Keith M, 23 November, 2013

    This is much simpler and less mathematical – I’ve never had the patience to try a proper skinner blend but I will certainly try this. Thanks!

  25. Jennifer E, 23 November, 2013

    Just watched the video. I’m very excited to try it out!

  26. Jocelyn c, 25 November, 2013

    Aly, here is a link to another tute Cindy did which incorporated a long blended strip… Sculpted Rose Bead Tutorial

    Sometimes, it really helps to see a technique created and added to a project to understand all the intricacies involved. The tute above has several parts. The variegated rose resulting was wonderful, and it works in just about any color way.

  27. Manda L, 29 January, 2014

    Cindy you are heaven sent!! I’ve been trying to teach myself all about polymer clay for about a yr now. Up until now I couldn’t find anyone that effectively explained the subject, or their site is so very poorly constructed. But I’ve watched just 2 of your videos and I’m so impressed by your willingness to teach!!- rather than sell your secrets or techniques! You are my go-to from this point forward! THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I wish more artists were like you! Thanks again!

  28. Debi S, 27 February, 2014

    Great tutorial…..thanks for sharing

  29. Bev Rose, 25 April, 2014

    I have a question about which direction you place the skinner drops into the pasta machine. Your video shows it going in top first rather then lined up side to side.

    Thanks again for some clear and wonderful tuts!

    Bev Rose

  30. Cindy Lietz, 25 April, 2014

    Hi Bev, I think it would be good if you watched the video again. The teardrops do sit side by side in the video like they are supposed to. Don’t worry though, if it still is not clear to you, stay tuned for another video I will be doing in May which shows multicolor blends such as the rainbow blend, specifically. It seems there were a few people who couldn’t understand how they were folded in comparison to the two color blends.

  31. Marilyn P, 11 May, 2014

    Had a clay play day yesterday and wish I had seen this before I played all day. This would have made a lot of work easier.
    Question: I have received a multi-color package from a manufacturer with fancy clays. When I went to try to condition them, they fell apart. Do I need to add liquid Sculpy and work like crazy to get these back into workable condition or throw them away. The clays that contained a “mica shift” seemed to crack apart more easily and were much harder to condition. Putting them through the pasta machine was a total bust, but surprisingly using a brayer worked better ~ any clues as to why one would work over the other. Thank you for all your fabulous information. marilyn

  32. Beth Sullivan, 07 June, 2015


    In the video you show the fuchsia on both sides of the teardrops, but the blend still seems to go from fuchsia to purple. I must be missing something because I don’t understand how the blend doesn’t end up having the same color on both ends and a blend in between. What am I missing in this process??

    Beth Sullivan

  33. Cindy Lietz, 11 June, 2015

    hmmm that’s weird Beth. Are you putting the teardrops into the pasta machine in the right direction. Watch the video again and follow it along. If you are doing it exactly the way I did in the video you should be getting a rainbow blend like I did. Let me know how it turns out for you.

  34. Beth sullivan, 11 June, 2015

    I am getting a blend but the video seemed to show fuschia on both sides of the blend. I was just wondering why you put fuschia teardrop on both ends

  35. Cindy Lietz, 11 June, 2015

    Are you not putting the yellow in the blend? The colors once blended should be fuchsia, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and a touch of fuchsia. The fuchsia on the end is so that you end up with purple… otherwise it would just end at blue.

  36. Beth Sullivan, 11 June, 2015

    That answers my question, the Fuchsia on the right side is so you end up with purple and not just blue. That was what I was trying to figure out, why you had the Fuchsia on the left side and the right side of the colors. Rather than just a typical RYB blend with only 3 colors red, yellow and blue there is the extra fuchsia to get purple. Now I understand. Thanks for your help

  37. Cassandra M, 14 June, 2015

    Just wanted to say thank you for all your you-tube videos. I tried my first teardrop blend last night, turned it into a teardrop blend plug. It wasn’t brilliant, but I was pretty happy with my first try :)

    Just curious if you ever have problems with your pasta making machine? Mine seems to have plastic scrapers underneath the rollers that sometimes scrapes out sections of my clay on the way through.

    Thanks again :)


  38. Marilyn P, 15 June, 2015

    What is the chance that Cassandra has old dried clay stuck under the casing? She will need to carefully dig it out to clean up the rollers. I leant my pasta machine to a friend who returned it with clay stuck under the metal guards and it sounds like her issue. marilyn

  39. Cassandra M, 16 June, 2015

    Hi Marilyn,
    Thanks for the tip. I’ll keep a look out for old clay caught in there.
    Unfortunately my machine was new when I started to have this problem, and it started doing this right off the bat :(

  40. Cindy Lietz, 18 June, 2015

    I am guessing that your scrapers are bent Cassandra, maybe from clay from behind the scrapers pushing them out of wack… or maybe they were damaged and returned to the store you bought it from? I don’t know, but they shouldn’t be scraping gouges out of your clay. If it is too late to return the machine, then try to carefully remove the clay if possible… other than that I think you may need a new machine. :(

  41. Carol Paull, 04 September, 2016

    Hi Cindy, I really enjoyed this video. You make it look very easy. I can’t wait to try. Couldn’t find the thumbs up sign anywhere :-(. Looking forward to more video’s. Carol

  42. Cindy Lietz, 06 September, 2016

    Yeah I don’t know why the thumbs up button does always show when the video is embedded. If you click on the bottom corner of the video where it says watch on YouTube it will take you to the YouTube page where you can click the Thumbs Up Button. It is kind of stupid that they make it harder to do like that.

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