I’ve placed all the Yellows together because of how they are used is often dependent on the clients skin. Using all three yellow mixing groups as a collective whole, it’s not too difficult to maximize the use of Yellow, which is one of the harder sections of the color wheel to work with.
Y2 is the brightest part of the color spectrum and so it’s been labeled Bright Yellow to reinforce that. It is found just as we leave Primary Yellow and the first collision of Blue seems to brighten the Yellow and give it a unique quirky character. Volt is an amazing color to add lots of bright Yellow energy to other colors, but can be difficult to use on its own. Volt is actually pretty dark for Yellows like it, coming in a 2, which is how Raw ensures Volt will be useful in body art. Some mixing can be expected when working with Yellows from client to client. Y2 gives a kind of nuclear, atomic, electrified, just slightly not natural mood and is often used in pieces of that nature involving radiation, UFOs, and the like.
Y1 is the Primary Yellow of the color wheel and we find two Yellows that work great strait out of the bottle (on clients whose skin town will allow it). Ink Hack: Yellow must be darker in value, or altered to look different from, than the clients skin tone in order to show. Otherwise it will seem to not go in, but it’s actually just blending in very well with the skin
If a client has a Yellow undertone to their skin, it can make the ink seem to disappear as you pack it. If you check the veins on a clients wrist, they will appear slightly Green if the clients skin type has Warm/Yellow undertones. This is good to check if a client wants, or the tattoo design being created, has lots of yellow. (If the veins look only Blue they have a Cool/Pink skin undertone, and if it appears to have hints of both, the skin undertone is neutral.)
If I find myself struggling with a particular Yellow area of a piece, the easiest ways I’ve found to get Yellow to work is to:
- darken it with, or switch to, a darker Yellow.
- desaturate it with a complimentary color slightly, which will alter its look from a pure intense Yellow hue and darken it at the same time. As long as it’s different or darker it will show up.
- add white to make it opaque (not see through) and have it appear to set on top of the clients skin (Bright Yellow from Raw works very well out of the bottle for this reason).
- my favorite is to simply add a touch of a light Yellow Brown, like Toffee from Raw. We’ve put Toffe in the YG1 mixing group instead of with the other Browns for this reason. This will cleanly add value and desaturation while making it easy to keep the base color’s character intact.
The GY1 Golden Yellow group is home to all the Yellow Oranges which are labeled Golden Yellow. The Yellows in this group can be easier to get into skin but also have a unique deeper and warmer character of their own, so the above steps are worth taking to get true Primary Yellow into body art.
Primary Yellows feel warm, light, happy and pure. Golden Yellows feels bolder, and richer, and deeper than our Primary Group. And as mentioned, Y2 has a unique, electric, quirky feeling.
All three are quite different, and can be used as needed to get what ever Yellow color vibe you are looking for.
INK HACK: If you have trouble packing Yellow, try angling your machine a bit more shallow almost like going into the skin sideways, and give the slightest of extra pop and finesse to your normal packing motions. This angled, get in and get out technique, combined with Raw’s superior ink formulas, and the tips above, changed the whole Yellow game for me. I now enjoy working with Yellow much more than ever before.