Mixing PanPastels with a palette knife on folded paper

I wanted to mix my own colors either because I don’t want to buy all the colors or because they don’t make the colors I want.

Using a tissue blade, I scraped off two or three colors of PanPastel dust onto a piece of folded white paper and mixed them together with a palette knife until all lumps were removed and the colors integrated.

The fold in the paper makes it easier to pour into a container when you’re finished mixing. Then you can wipe off any excess pastel and mix a similar color or use the other side before recycling the paper.  I tried mixing pastel dust in a mortar and pestle and it made a mess that took too much time to clean up.

Mortar and pestle were too messy for me.

There are certain colors I want to avoid because they create yellow halos on polymer clay, specifically Hansa Yellow which is also used in Bright Yellow Green.  I’ve removed all pure colors, shades and tints of these two from my palette so I don’t accidentally use them. Instead, I’ve mixed a color that comes close to a spring green using a pure yellow and blue.

Notice the yellow halo around the top row where I used Bright Yellow Green

Here are some little plastic tubs of PanPastel colors I mixed.  I cut out circles of raw polymer clay and rubbed the new colors into them, baked them and glued them to the top of the tubs so I could see what was inside without opening the lid. 

Plastic lidded tubs of mixed PanPastels

A note of warning: the color of the pastel dust isn’t necessarily the color it will be when applied to raw polymer clay.  Often it is, but sometimes it’s really not.  I find it essential to test it on raw clay. This is particularly true of any color mixture containing violet.  Violet seems to be really strong compared to other pigments in PanPastels and will dominate other colors.