Polymer Clay Color Recipes | Shades of Orange Ladybug Color Palette

Ladybug Polymer Clay Color Palette

1A – Golden Sunset
2A – Ladybug
3A – Parsley
4A – Bronze Black

Isn’t this the cutest picture of two ladybugs in love!?  My husband caught them cuddling each other in our backyard parsley patch last summer. The image and the colors are so magical. I simply HAD to make a color palette from this photo!

Mixing these particular recipes was a lot trickier than I expected. When the photo was enlarged on my computer screen, the colors became much more complex than just simple orange, red, green and black.

Looking up close, the ladybugs have an almost metallic property to them. The surrounding garden light created a unique sheen that gave the black spots a beautiful bronzed over glaze. The deep red hue of the darker bug appeared to have been polished many times over. While the lighter orange fellow was encased with an enchanting coppery cast.

When I started out mixing, I knew that Cadmium Red would be the base but I thought Burnt Umber or Alizarin Crimson would be the colors to tone down the darker Red, and that Gold would be enough to brighten the Orange.

It took several different mixes before I finally figured out the right combinations of Premo Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Gold, and Red Pearl to arrive at the final Orange and Red shades. And surprisingly, it took even more attempts to get to the point where I was happy with the bronzy Black and the complimentary background parsley Green.

Sometimes I forget what it’s like for newbie to mix polymer clay colors and to come up with custom color palettes. Well today I was reminded just how hard color mixing can actually be.

That is why it is so nice if you’re new to polymer clay and want to use colors that are a little more ‘designer’ than the ones which come straight out of the packages… to be able to use the color mixing recipes like the ones I prepare for you.

And since the colors are made in a palette, you know that they will go together nicely. It sure beats wasting a whole bunch of your precious clay, trying to mix them yourself.

So I hope you enjoy this ladybug polymer clay color palette. The following individual recipes will be added to the Polymer Clay Members Library during the month of April, in Volume-011 [A-Series]:

  • Golden Sunset (Recipe 011-1A)
  • Ladybug (Recipe 011-2A)
  • Parsley (Recipe 011-3A)
  • Bronze Black (Recipe 011-4A)

‘Golden Sunset’ is the rich golden orange of the lighter colored Ladybug in the photo. ‘Ladybug’ is the deep coppery red of the second lady bug. ‘Parsley’ is the shimmery golden green of the parsley plant in the background. And ‘Bronze Black’ is the rich metallic black of the Ladybug polka dots.

If you would like more information about the Members Library, here are some direct links:


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  1. Cindy Lietz, 13 March, 2009

    This week, a member send me some beautiful photos from her Southwestern Arizona landscape. With her permission, I’ll go ahead and create some custom color palettes based on those photos, for future postings in the members library.

    If anyone else has good quality photos that you would like to submit as inspiration for future color pallets, let me know. I’d be happy to see if we can make this work for others as well.

  2. Gayle Thompson, 20 March, 2009

    Do you by chance have a blank recipe card we can use to log our own color recipes? I just love your recipes and would like to use your card for my own so they would all be consistent.

    I also want you to know how much I enjoy your newsletter. You are very generous to share your knowledge with us! I have been using polymer clay for 9 years and have taken classes from some of the biggest names in polymer clay but you always seem to have something interesting to add or even a new technique or two. Keep up the good work. I know having a daily blog is very time consuming and think you are doing a spectacular job.

  3. Cindy Lietz, 20 March, 2009

    Gayle — Thanks for mentioning about the blank recipe card idea. Another reader had brought it up a while back. But since that time, no one else expressed any interest. If you want to see what was discussed, I provided a link to the original “blank recipe card” comment. Click on “Polymer Clay Treasure Hunt” up above by my name, to go to that conversation.

    If this “blank recipe card” idea is of interest to anyone else, please do speak up. As I have said many times in the past, your comments here at the blog are like a votes to let me know what types of things you would like for me to provide.

    And Gayle… I want to especially thank you for sharing your thoughts about the newsletter and tutorials. I love it that my work is bringing value to more experienced clayers such as yourself. Feedback like this makes all the hard work feel so worthwhile!

  4. Lisa, 12 April, 2009

    Hi, I’m interested in becoming a member. I have one question though. I noticed that your color recipes are described for Premo clay users. I use Kato Polyclay and really love it. Do your color recipes work for me too?

  5. Cindy Lietz, 01 May, 2009

    I’m sorry to be answering this so late, Lisa I thought I answered this already.

    I currently only have a few recipes for Kato clay in the library, but hope to have more in the future.

    Because the formulas for each brand are different, using a recipe from another brand won’t really work. It can give you some ideas for your own recipes though.

    You should know that the recipes are only just the bonus and that the videos are the big value in having the membership. Those videos will help you tremendously for learning how to work with polymer clay.

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