Distress inks are one of the most popular ink pads in the paper crafting community because the colors blend. In addition, they are the most intimidating because the color moves with water regardless of if they have been heat set. Once the crafter understands color families and how colors blend, a lot of the frustration goes away. It is not hard to get perfect color blends with distress ink. This article is going to cover how to do that. You do not need the entire line to create beautiful blends. Only ten colors are needed to achieve ten perfect blends.

 10 Distress Inks for Color Blending

The following ten ink pads are all it takes to create perfect color blends. Of course, color families have to be respected. Otherwise, you will get mud when blending. Included in this article lots of combinations to get perfect blends every time.



10 Perfect Color Blends

Abandoned Coral/ Rusty Hinge/ Candied Apple

Distress Ink in Abandoned Coral, Rusty Hinge and Candied Apple

These three colors are warm. If you want a gorgeous distress look that is bright this is a perfect color combo.

A warm color combination create a lovely bight distress look by applying more Rusty Hinge. You can achieve a prominent distress look. This combo is perfect for anything related to heat and fire.

   Wilted Violet/Candied Apple/Picked Raspberry

Wilted Violet, Candied Apple, Picked Raspberry

Purples work wonderfully with colors close to red.

Wilted Violet plays nicely with red. Purple is the most temperamental color and will turn ugly with most colors. Violet likes to interact with it’ two parent colors — blue and red. Picked raspberry is part of the red family with no other color making it up this is a safe play session.

Twisted Citron/Peacock Feathers/Mermaid Lagoon

Twist Citron Peacock Feathers Mermaid Lagoon

This cool combo is a reminder of a beautiful spring day. Think of bright green yard with a clear blue sky as a backdrop.

Twisted Citron, Peacock Feathers, and Mermaid Lagoon is a tried and true color combination. This combo works because they are part of the same color family.

Abandoned Coral/Rusty Hinge/Picked Raspberry

Abandoned Coral Rusty Hinge Picked Raspberry

Abandoned Coral, Rusty Hinge and Picked Raspberry remind me of the southwest in the 1800’s.

Abandoned Coral, Rusty Hinge and Picked Raspberry is similar to the first color combination. Swapping out the Picked Raspberry for the Candied Apple lends itself well to a feminine softer blend. The sample is a little heavier on the Abandoned Coral and Rusty Hinge. To achieve a feminine warm blend add more Picked Raspberry.

Candied Apple/Wilted Violet/Broken China

Candied Apple Wilted Violet Broken China

Even though this color combination includes the dominating colors of both color families it works.

This set creates a lovely blend. To create a  Northern Lights background go heavier on the Wilted Violet. As previously stated, purples do not play well with most colors. Since purple is made up of red and blue this combination is gorgeous.

Squeezed Lemonade/Twisted Citron/Mermaid Lagoon

Squeezed Lemonade Twisted Citron Mermaid Lagoon

Green is made up of yellow (a warm color) and blue (a cool color), therefore this is a perfect blend.

Spring Training and afternoon play dates at the park come to mind when using these colors together. Though yellow is a warm color and blue is a cool one, this blend works because together they make green.

Broken China/Mermaid Lagoon/Wilted Violet

Wilted Violet Mermaid Lagoon Broken China

Blue is one color that makes up violet. This works together because blue is a base color for violet.

Broken China is the lightest color of blue in the Distress Ink line that can successfully be used with Wilted Violet. Add more purple to create a moody sky.

Squeezed Lemonade/Rusty Hinge/Picked Raspberry

Squeezed Lemonade Rusty Hinge Picked Raspberry

Summer Popsicles comes to mind with this color combo.

Is it just me, or does this remind you of summer time dripping with a popsicle stick? A combo like this is the perfect representation of a sticky sweet summer. Rusty Hinge adds a ruggedness without being overwhelming.

Mermaid Lagoon/Broken China/Peacock Feathers

Don't Be Blue!

Blending blues does not have to be boring. Mix it up with different shades and just a touch of water.

Blending the same color in different shades and intensity may seem easy, but it is not. Often times crafters over blend and add to much water. A flat color may be the result. When blending shades of the same color remember less is more. Just use less water and a heavier hand with the shade you want to dominate.

Picked Raspberry/Squeezed Lemonade/Abandoned Coral

Sorbet Color Blend

Staying in the same color family does not have to be boring.

A fun blend perfect for summer is Picked Raspberry, Squeezed Lemonade and Abandoned Coral. Staying in the same color family does not have to be boring. Squeezed Lemonade is on the lighter end of the spectrum whereas the coral and pink are towards the middle. This creates depth and interest.

How the Color Family Affects Color Blending

Now that you have ten blends with ten different colors that will give you gorgeous results you are ready to create. You will start to see some similar traits when blending colors. Here are a few to keep in mind.

Respect the Color Families For Success

Warm Color Family

The warm color family has a red base. Any color that has red in it falls into the warm color family. Orange and pink are part of this family.   Yellow does not have a red undertone in it, yet it is considered part of the  warm family. Think of the sun. Any color associated with heat is warm.

Cool Color Family

Blue is the base of the cool color family. Turquoise, Jade and Teal are part of the cool color family. Green is also considered a cool even though it is a secondary of yellow and blue together — combing a cool and a warm color family member.

The Color of Sin

Purple is the exception to the rule. The color of sin is made up of both dominating colors in each color family. Violet only blends well with red and blue. Use caution when using varying shades of blue and red. Depending on the intensity of the color will result in a different blend.

Secondary Color Blending

An artist can successfully blend warm and cool color families if you use the secondary color as their base. For example, green is created by blending blue (a cool) and yellow (a warm) together. Secondary colors will not result in mud. However, blending two secondary colors from each color family will create mud.

Neutral Colors and Blending Colors

Beware of browns and grays. Neutral colors go with everything, but they do not blend with everything. Browns are the warm neutral. Grays are the cool neutral.

Distress Ink Color Blending

Chose favorite colors to blend while respecting the color family.

What is your favorite color blend? Tell me!

Until next time ~ Happy Crafting!

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