As I mentioned the other day, Linda put a bug in my ear about pansy purple. When I looked at my sample cards, though, I found that there wasn’t much to choose from. I only had two cards of dyes straight from the jar, with no real color mixing studies. And so I set about making more purples.

The opportunity to sample is one of my favorite things about working in a new color family. It gives me a chance to combine dyes in ways I haven’t thought of before, and it widens my palette at the same time.

This time, it also gave me the chance to try some new dyes. I have 8 or so new dye colors that I’ve bought over the past year but haven’t played with yet. That’s partly because there is so little time, but it’s also partly because there can be freedom in a small palette. Still, there is nothing quite as exciting as adding new colors to the collection. Since I was planning to play with purples, I chose the colors closest to red and blue, and made up standard samples for Turquoise, Brilliant Blue, Cherry Red, and Vermilion.

(Sorry about the strange photo – WordPress is refusing to upload that picture nicely, for some reason. Just imagine that the whole picture were as bright as that bottom bit…I have no idea why it’s having trouble with that. It looks fine on my computer.)

Then I took the reds and mixed them with a selection of my favorite blues and blue-greens. I only did these in two dilutions; one very concentrated, and one pretty dilute. That should be enough to give me an idea of the range of colors available from each combination.

Next, I took my stock purple and burgundy dyes, and added reds and blues to see what colors I could tease out of them. I ended up with a range all the way from rosy pink to periwinkle blue; lots of colors to choose from.

And then, since I knew I was looking for bluish-purples for the pansies, I picked my favorite color combination so far, and did a 2:1, a 1:1, and a 1:2 mixture of a purple and a blue to get the full range of colors possible from those two dyes. (The top card in this photo is another red-mixed-with-blue; the bottom two are the changing ratio set.)

There are so many great colors in these samples! I am sure we’ll see many of them again, and I’m excited to add so many more colors to the sample collection. Having new colors always invites new combinations, and I am getting quite a collection. Just think of all the possible colorways!