January 2023 SMF Challenge – Pick a Color, Any Color

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Happy New Year and welcome to the January 2023 SMF Soap Challenge. This month’s challenge is to create a monochromatic soap based on one color, using white, grey and black to make at least one tint, one tone and one shade of the color. I’m using color theory terminology and will explain more fully below.

First, please read the general and specific rules below.

SMF Challenge General Rules

1. To enter you must have been a SMF member for at least one month and have a minimum of 50 posts at the time the Challenge is posted (sorry but no exceptions on this). Supporting Members can enter immediately, the time and post requirements are removed.

2. The only members eligible to vote are those with their names on the sign-up list - regardless of whether or not you have submitted an entry. The sign-up list will be posted in this thread.

3. This month’s voting will be password locked. Passwords will be sent by private message (via SMF conversations) to registered participants ONLY, so please check your messages when the voting begins.

4. A separate entry thread will be created and this is where you will post photos of your entry soap. Please do not post photos of your entry until the entry thread is opened. Post pictures of your entry soap only in the challenge entry thread.

Non-entry photos are always welcome and may be posted in the general challenge thread. The challenge thread should be used to upload pictures of any of your challenge attempts (other than your entry) where you can ask for advice and discuss the technique with other members, and provide helpful hints you learned along the way.

5. Your soap must be made after the monthly challenge has been announced.

6. In the spirit of advancing our soap making skills, all members who sign-up for a SMF Challenge do so with the expectation that they will make every attempt to make a soap for the challenge. Writing about your experience in the challenge is encouraged. By doing so, each participant has a better knowledge of your process when voting. We do understand that sometimes things come up in our lives and throw our plans out of whack, however signing up with no intent to participate and only to vote is not in the spirit of the challenges and is not allowed.

7. Please add your name to the sign-up list if you wish to participate (you don’t have to enter a soap at the end if you don’t feel happy with what you have made), but please do post your experiences in the main Challenge thread and be prepared to be encouraged to continue trying.

8. Constructive criticism is welcomed, but please keep your comments polite.

* * * *
  • Competition entries must be uploaded to the separate entry thread before the closing date.
  • Note: all times listed are Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and it is your responsibility to convert times to your own time zone.
  • The entry thread will open on January 22 by 11:59 pm GMT (Please follow the challenge specific rules as to what you need to enter).
  • After the closing date on January 27 at 11:59 pm GMT the winning entry will be chosen by a voting survey. Voting will be open until January 29 at 11:59 pm GMT and the winner will be announced on January 30.
  • If you fail to make the challenge deadline, you are still welcome to upload pictures of your soap to the general challenge thread, but your entry will not be eligible for voting. We always love to see anything you have created.
  • There is no prize attached to this challenge.
  • Even though there is no prize, this is still a competition. If your entry is deemed not to fulfill the general rules or the rules specific to the challenge in any way, then you will be given the opportunity to amend your entry. If this is not possible, your entry will not be included in the voting.
  • All the challenge mods reserve the right to have the final say on whether a soap is eligible for voting.
  • If your soap was inspired by another maker, please give them credit.
* * * *

Specific Rules for this Challenge:

1. This month’s challenge is to create a monochromatic soap based on a single color (hue). Pick a color, like red, blue, green, teal, mauve, or whatever you like best or have in abundance in your colorant stash. For this competition, whatever you use as the starting base color, excluding black, grey or white/uncolored batter, will be considered your hue. You may use mica, oxide, clay, botanical/plant/vegetable or other colorants as your hue. Most of what I've written below assumes you will use powder-type colorants, or dispersions of known amounts of powders such as titanium dioxide. If you use botanical colorants as oil infusions and adjust the intensity (tint) of the colorant by changing the amount of infused oil you use as a percentage of total oils, that's fine, but you will still need to provide the proportions with your entry as explained below.

2. You will vary the hue by mixing the base color with white, grey or black to make additional colorants to use in portions of your soap batter. Your finished soap must contain the original color hue, along with a tint, a tone and a shade of the original color, which means there will be at least four portions of colored batter. No uncolored batter is allowed for this challenge.

HUE– This is the base color you pick.

TINT– Create a tint by adding white to the hue. For example, if you pick a medium dark blue and then add white, you can produce a medium blue, a pastel blue, a blue that is virtually white and everything in between depending on how much white you add. Adding white reduces the color intensity and makes a hue lighter.

TONE- Create a tone by adding grey to the hue. For example, 50:50 of blue and a grey may produce a very muted blue and 75:25 of blue and grey a less muted blue. If you start with a medium dark blue hue and then add a medium dark grey, you can produce a barely muted medium dark blue or a barely blue grey and everything in between depending on how much grey you add. If you don’t have grey, black and white colorants can be combined to make grey. If you decide to make multiple tones you may change the amount of hue used versus grey, but do not change the proportion of black and white in the grey. The addition of grey subdues the intensity of pure colors. They become “toned down.”

SHADE- Create a shade by adding black to the hue. For example, if you start with a medium dark blue and then add black, you can produce a very dark almost black blue/slightly blue black or a slightly dulled blue and everything in between depending on how much black you add. The addition of black will dull the brightness of the hue.

3. You have free reign with respect to how much white, grey or black you add to the hue to make the tint, tone or shade. In addition, you may make as many tints, tones and shades as you like. If you want white batter, use very little of the color hue in white to make a second tint. If you want black batter, use very little of the hue in black to make a second shade.

4. Keep track of the proportions of colorants mixed. You will need to provide the types of colorants used and proportions of the hue color, white, grey and black for each variation used in the finished soap as a part of your entry. This is an opportunity to take good notes for future reference. Here’s an example format:

hue color: 100% blue mica
tint 1: 10% blue mica, 90% white mica
tint 2: 60% blue mica, 40% white mica
tone: 75% blue mica, 25% grey mica
shade: 10% blue mica, 90% black activated charcoal

EDITED TO FURTHER EXPLAIN THE EXAMPLE AND ADD A SECOND EXAMPLE:

Now, the same example in parts or tsp. where 1 part = 1/8 tsp.

hue color: 100% blue = 10 parts blue = 10 x 1/8 tsp blue = 10/8ths tsp = 1 2/8ths tsp = 1 1/4 tsp total
tint 1: 10% blue, 90% white = 1 part blue, 9 parts white = 1:9, blue:white = (1 x 1/8 tsp blue), (9 x 1/8 tsp white) = 1 1/4 tsp total
tint 2: 60% blue, 40% white = 6 parts blue, 4 parts white = 6:4 or 3:2, blue:white) = (6 x 1/8 tsp blue), (4 x 1/8 tsp white) = 1 1/4 tsp total
tone: 75% blue, 25% grey = 7.5 parts blue, 2.5 parts grey = 7.5:2.5 or 3:1, blue:white = (7.5 x 1/8 tsp blue), (2.5 x 1/8 tsp white) = 1 1/4 tsp total (where .5 of 1/8th tsp = 1/16th tsp)
shade: 10% blue, 90% black = 1 part blue, 9 parts black = 1:9, blue to white = (1 x 1/8 tsp blue), (9 x 1/8 tsp black) = 1 1/4 tsp total

Here’s an easier example in parts or tsp. where 1 part = 1/4 tsp.

hue color: 100% red = 4 parts red = 4 x 1/4 tsp red = 1 tsp total
tint: 25% red, 75% white = 1 part red, 3 parts white = 1:3, red:white = (1 x 1/4 tsp red), (3 x 1/4 tsp white) = 1 tsp total
tone: 75% red, 25% grey = 3 parts red, 1 part grey = 3:1, red:grey = (3 x 1/4 tsp red), (1 x 1/4 tsp grey) = 1 tsp total
shade: 75% red, 25% black = 3 parts red, 1 part black = 3:1, red:black = (3 x 1/4 tsp red), (1 x 1/4 tsp black) = 1 tsp total

END OF EDIT

If you're using a botanical oil infusion, provide information on the way you made the infusion and then provide the percentage of infused oil used to color the soap. For example, infusion: 20 parts oil; 1 part indigo, by weight - or - 1 heaping tablespoon indigo in a quart of oil. For the proportion used, an example would be: 20 parts oil: 1 part indigo infusion used as 10% of oils for the base color hue and 5% for the tint. Hopefully, this makes sense and is consistent with what is expected of those using micas, oxides or other powdery colorants. Let me know if clarification is needed.

5. In addition to the list of color proportions and types of colorants used, you must present at least two bars of soap for the competition and each of the bats must contain the hue color and all tint, tone and shade variations used in the soap. (Edited to clarify that at least two bars are required)

Notes:
If you mix black and white to make grey, share the proportions for that mixture, for example, 1 part white kaolin clay: 1 part activated charcoal or 1 part titanium dioxide: 0.5 part part black oxide. If you record the amount of colorant (for example, tsp ppo) used to make each portion of the batter and you would like to share the information with the group, please do. For powder users: If you usually pre-disperse your colorant in oil and then eye-ball the amount of colorant you add to the batter, there’s no need to report the actual quantity used, but you should use enough to achieve a close approximation of the color you planned and mixed in advance rather than a pastel shade by adding less. The goal is to plan the colors in advance.

The amount of batter you allocate to each color variation is up to you. For example, if you really don’t like the tone, you can use a small percentage of batter for that particular color variation. Just make sure that it will be visible in the finished soap.

With the exception of a gradient/ombre type pour where the batter is mixed and homogenized in the pot as successive layers are poured, you may use any process (HP, CP, Melt & Pour, etc.), any design technique(s), and any mold(s) to make your soap.

If you would like to add additional photos of the entry soap, a photo or other image of your source(s) of inspiration, a description of the techniques you used make the soap past what is required, or any other details about your inspiration or process, please do!

If your soap was inspired by another maker, please also remember to give them credit.

Tips:

A batch made with 400-450 g (14-16 oz) of oils will yield three or four bars (2.5” x 3.5” x 1” or more thickness) if you use the bottom of a 3.5” x 8”-10” silicone loaf mold as a slab mold, or the same number of bars in a 1 lb. loaf style test mold. A 300 g batch in a small, lined box will yield two or three bars.

Unless you’re planning on very dark or very muted shades or tones, go easy on the black and grey at first. The cool colors shift towards grey and black while some of the warm colors will initially produce khaki, copper or brown tones and shades.

Some results may surprise you in a happy or unhappy way, which is why it’s a good idea to keep good notes. I made a wonderfully warm brown by mixing NS Orange Marmalade with black. It’s the brown I’ve wanted for three years and now I have it. My mix of NS Love & Sunshine Yellow and black looked like baby poo in the container. It looks khaki green in the soap and I kind of like it.

I hope you have fun experimenting with tints, tones and shades to make your monochromatic soap for this challenge. Additional information and example soaps are below.

****

This color wheel, which is usually available at craft and art stores as well as on Amazon, shows primary, secondary, and tertiary colors along with example tints, tones and shades for each color.

fullsizeoutput_2a24.jpeg

Lovin' Soap shows examples of tints and shades in batter and soap, here. I'm sure there are other examples out there, but I did not have time to research fully over the holidays.

To get a sense of what the tints, tones and shades might look like for some of the colors I have, I made this series of monochromatic mica blends.

7A3166C1-A009-4CB0-8F0E-E30293478D19.jpeg

From left to right, across the top row, all micas from Nurture:
Rose Pink, Orange Marmalade, Love & Sunshine, Savage Garden, Kashmir, Ultra Violet (discontinued)

Going down the columns are shades (1:1 with activated charcoal), tones (1:1 with Neutral Grey mica) and tints (1 part hue: 3 parts Winter White mica).

As examples, I made monochromatic soap using various designs. All colorants were used at 1/2 - 3/4 tsp per cup of soap batter.

CAD7C400-7F4C-4FC1-AB90-D0FDF765052C.jpeg
Boldly going with the yellow one first… The lower layers in this one look khaki/greenish IRL, but my phone refuses to cooperate.
Love & Sunshine mica, from top to bottom - two tints (25% hue, 60% hue; mixed with Winter White), the hue (100%) the tone (50% hue mixed with Neutral Grey) and two shades (50% hue, 10% hue; mixed with AC). All color variations turned out as expected. Mica used at the high end of the range given above. This soap is scented with BB’s Eucalyptus Cotton, which is a mild/moderate accelerator. It works well for a sculpted layer design.

61F8B0AC-EF1E-4BDC-B657-F8D9A649A7ED.jpeg DEEF57C3-42ED-414E-AE56-4B8D2F415F9C.jpeg
Kashmir mica: From the left to right at the top of the bar on the right - the hue (100%), the shade (40% hue, 60% AC; looks blacker than I expected), tint 2 (20% hue, 80% Winter White; looks whiter than I expected), tint 1 ( 50% hue, 50% Winter White), hue, shade, the tone (40% Kashmir, 60% Neutral Grey, looks greyer than I expected). Mica used at the low end of the range given above. This soap is scented with a blend of Peaceful Lavender (75%), Lush Succulent (20%) and Shave and a Haircut (5%), all from BB. Inspired by Marsau’s soaps on IG.

374E214F-A2D2-4308-A7DF-95D0E1B08A6F.jpeg
These sweet hearts didn’t gel properly, so I had to plane, plane, plane away to get something to show you.
Rose Pink mica, from bottom to top in the soap on the right: the hue (100%), tint 1 (40% hue, 60% Winter White), tint 2 (10% hue, 90% Winter White), tint 3 (2% hue, 98% Winter White), the tone (50% hue, 50% Neutral Grey), the shade (50% hue; 50% Nocturnal mica), hue, tint 1. Mica used at the low end of the range given above. All color variations turned out as expected. The soap is scented with BS BRV, which decelerates in my recipes.

3EC6DB2F-90AF-4DAD-82CE-E370684B2FB8.jpeg
40C2F8E0-E866-4E51-9D69-EF87261B2935.jpeg
Rose Pink mica, from top to bottom in the soap on the right: shade (2% hue, 98% AC; oops, I intended to include a shade that was mostly hue, but forgot), the tone (50% hue, 50% Neutral Grey), hue (100%), tint 1 (40% hue, 60% Winter White), tint 2 (5% hue, 95% Winter White), pattern repeats. The soap is scented with BS BRV. Colors turned out as expected. Mica used at the high end of the range. Design - faux funnel pour into a corner of the mold and swirled with a skewer swirl that went to the bottom of the mold. Cut is horizontal.

It’s easier to see the effect the hue has on the lightest tints in the blue and red bars in this photo.
47064AF6-924A-4800-9021-2B1F1BD92CDB.jpeg
 
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CreativeWeirdo

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Hi @Mobjack Bay ! I just want to clarify somethings in the rules:
"With the exception of a gradient/ombre type pour where the batter is mixed and homogenized in the pot as successive layers are poured, you may use any process (HP, CP, Melt & Pour, etc.), any design technique(s), and any mold(s) to make your soap."

Does this mean we cannot do an even layered design for this challenge? But we can do a sculpted layer, such as your first example with yellow and the mountains/clouds? (that's the scene that I'm seeing)

Also, could embeds be used for the design? As long as the two bars presented contain the hue color and all tint, tone and shade variations used in the soap. Or does it all have to poured at the same(-ish) time in the mold?
 
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Hi @Mobjack Bay ! I just want to clarify somethings in the rules:
"With the exception of a gradient/ombre type pour where the batter is mixed and homogenized in the pot as successive layers are poured, you may use any process (HP, CP, Melt & Pour, etc.), any design technique(s), and any mold(s) to make your soap."

Does this mean we cannot do an even layered design for this challenge? But we can do a sculpted layer, such as your first example with yellow and the mountains/clouds? (that's the scene that I'm seeing)

Also, could embeds be used for the design? As long as the two bars presented contain the hue color and all tint, tone and shade variations used in the soap. Or does it all have to poured at the same(-ish) time in the mold?
You most certainly are allowed to make a layered soap with pre-mixed colorants for each layer of the soap. You’re just not allowed to make a color gradient by blending/homogenizing colors in the pouring pitcher.

An embed is also allowed.

I’ll also add that an ITP style pour is also okay. For that technique the colors are made in advance and then poured into a base color in a pitcher and gently swirled. They are not homogenized to create an intermediate color before the soap is poured into the mold.

If anyone decides to do an ITP swirl or a hanger swirl, keep in mind that many similar colors together will begin to lose definition or may become muddy looking.

Popping in to add……Nurture has a nice color blending tool as well.
Thank you! I actually used that tool and then forgot to add it to the resources.
 
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1. dmcgee5034 - I am HUE-gly excited to try this challenge 🌸
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3. CreativeWeirdo - So many choices! Don't know how I'm going to decide.
4. Phoenix - Sounds simple enough 😜
5. basti - time to stare at my mica collection until I get dizzy
6. dibbles - I smell math :eek:
7. Mx5inpenn - No shade, I *will* complete this challenge
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9.
 
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1. dmcgee5034 - I am HUE-gly excited to try this challenge 🌸
2. McKherring Farm - sounds fun!
3. CreativeWeirdo - So many choices! Don't know how I'm going to decide.
4. Phoenix - Sounds simple enough 😜
5. basti - time to stare at my mica collection until I get dizzy
6. dibbles - I smell math :eek:
7. Mx5inpenn - No shade, I *will* complete this challenge
8. VikingChick - This should be fun!!!
9. Vicki C- I love this… ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🖤🤍
 
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Hi I'm sorry not very good with devices I can't seem to figure out how to copy and past to add my name to the challenge sorry it's my first time can I do it from my phone or do I need to do it on a computer.
 
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