In the mix

Creating special effects with colour

Colour education can cover anything from the fundamentals right through to fantasy work. It’s important to know your basics before you can explore the creative side of colour, but working with different materials is so much fun as it gives colour a different dimension on the hair.

For shows we use a lot of wigs and a few years back we wanted to celebrate colour in a slightly different way by creating an effect that showed paint dripping onto hair.

I often work with acrylic paint for pieces and wigs as it can be mixed with so many different solutions to give you either a matt or shiny result. It’s important to follow the fundamental colour mixing rules when working with paints as it’s the mixing process that allows you to create different hues and levels.

As a very basic rule, when working and mixing colours around the colour star you are creating hues; when working opposite you subdue or neutralise them, and sometimes you create levels and depth this way.

I wanted a really high-shine effect for these wigs, so I mixed liquid latex in with the paint. This created a super-shiny result, and it gave a nice separation to the different shades that we used.

I tried endless techniques to get the colour to merge a certain way as I wanted it to look like it had dripped onto the hair with a pattern on top. I was really pleased with the results!