CHOOSING A COLOR… When I choose an actual paint color for any build there is usually a series of things I do to make sure we are getting the color, and the effect that they really want the color to have. First, “how will they use it?” Then, since people are usually drawn to certain colors, I will have them look through magazines, to see where their eye keeps going. We all tend to have favorite colors we migrate towards! And then, what do you want this color to say. Yeah, colors talk, lol!
So for our Baja Forged Ford Ranger, the idea was that it would always be off-roading, whether it be Baja, the SoCal deserts, or the sculptural terrain of Moab, it needed to have a color that blended in to its environment, but still stood out. So we wanted something that gave a more natural, organic vibe, not something that was blatant and in your face. We wanted it to change colors as much as the landscape around it does.
Personally, I like golds and yellows, remember I do love sunsets, so you will tend to see those colors incorporated into many things I to design or paint, lol. Guessing you are currently seeing lots of yellow and gold in this blog post, lol. So with the Ranger, I chose green. I have always loved military green, I love the outdoors, and I love gold, but really wanted something that almost was camouflaged in its environment. I love subtly in a way that something blends in, but also stands out all at the same time.
CREATING THE COLOR… When I custom mix a color, I will look at the color in different lighting environments, to make sure it has highlights, shadows, and has a sense of depth that draws you in. So, my first thing for the Ranger color was that it was going to have a ton of gold pearl for that “golden hour” glow. Then I wanted to start to see which tone I wanted this green to have, I wanted it to be able to blend in throughout different environments, so we darkened it up a bit. I also love muddy colors, lol, so we added some white to it as well to give it that solid color look most of the time, but when the pearl hit, it took on a whole new life.
Mixing this color was different. It felt different. I wanted to be able to make a really big impact, but still be subtle and under the radar. You don’t know how many people have told me they love the color! That is what I want. I want people to love what’s around them, what they see, what they do. For something to give them a sense of joy just looking at it!
I also want it to make them think. “How did they get the color to do that?” Keeping people guessing is always fun, it leaves for intrigue. Its not black and white, its all the colors in between! With that being said, I do know that my mission is to help change the world with color! Well one of my missions anyway!
COLOR THEORY… Color has meaning. The color green elicits a feeling of security, peace, nature, calm, and wellness. The nature part I spoke about, but its pretty cool that it has all these other effects as well! The color gold elicits passion, courage, wisdom, magic, and a sense of grandeur. I like that! Probably why I use that color a lot! Things we think about… but don’t really think about, lol. Time to start thinking about them more!
MIXOLOGY…So, how do I make a custom color? Well it does take me quite a bit of time, lol, but its worth it! I originally started out using solvent based paint, and that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is! With solvent based paints, you could mix a color and when you looked at it in the cup, that is exactly how the color was going to look sprayed. Ok maybe slightly darker, but pretty darn close. But with waterborne paints (that I have still been using for almost 15 years) it took a little while to get used to! The paint does not look the same from when you mix it to when you spray it, so everything has to be done with a specific formula and then sprayed out to see what the results are. But the results have been phenomenal! Its like anything, you have to really get to know it, to understand it, so once I understood all the different qualities each toner had, it got easier each time!
With paint, the colors are specifically weighed out on a scale down to the grams. It is very specific if you want to get a perfect color match. It’s all chemicals. I tell people its more like baking than cooking. If you don’t get your ingredients perfect, and in the right order, at the right viscosity, and the right temp, then you won’t get the same results. When temperatures change, you have to make changes.
When I teach pin striping classes, most people tell me that they have tried and failed. I tell them, I can teach them, and yes I am confident in that. The one tip that I ca’t stress enough is to have the right viscosity of the paint, the thickness of the paint. It can’t be too thick – it will drag the brush, give you dry jagged marks. It can’t be too thin – it will blob all over, run, and be transparent. If you don’t have that right viscosity to begin with, you will fail at everything else you do when it comes to painting, any kind of painting!
That is my free TIP OF THE DAY!
Well, I hope I was able to inspire you and I look forward to working with you!
With the current world situation, we are living in unprecedented times with a pandemic on our hands that is affecting each one of us. Now more than ever, we need color in our life, to brighten our days, change our mood, or just put a smile on our face. Hope I helped put a smile on your face today!
Now its time for me to get back to the paint booth!