Thursday, 31 January 2013

Colours and how to use them

Hi,  I watched a programme last week about  how to blend and mix colours in beading. If you are a beader who sells your pieces or just interested in colours and trends in fashion, you might find this colour chart for spring and summer 2013 by Pantone useful in your planning/buying new stones.


Tips on colour

 Refer to a colour wheel - if you draw a diagonal line from the left of the yellow to the right of purple you have divided the wheel into warm and cool colours.

The effects of colours

Warm colours: Red, Orange, Yellow and bold exciting colours which appear larger and closer
Cool colours: Blue, Purple, Green are calming and appear smaller

Monochromatic Colour

To achieve  monochromatic colour scheme you would use only one colour. Mixing light and dark shades, different shapes and sizes works well.

Analogous Colour

This type of colour combination produces an harmomonious effect.  Use colours that are next to each other on the chart so that they share the same common colour.

Complementary Colour

If you need contrast: Use colours opposite each other on the colour wheel. For a dramatic and vibrant look - Yellow/Purple, Orange/Blue, Red/Green

Using complementary colours next to each other brings out the colours of the beads, this will make each colour appear richer and brighert, but you need to get the mixture of colour right so that the balance is pleasing on the eye. To do this use a smaller amount of the complementary bead colour this will accentuate the main bead colour.

Since the colours are opposites - one will be warm; the other cool. Use the warmer colour in smaller amounts and you will find that this also will give a more pleasing look.

Offset Complementary Colour

If  you find the complementary colours are too bold, you can calm this down by using a colour that is next to the complementary colour on the wheel.  This will give a less dramatic effect and be more restful. So instead of using blue and orange, you would use a turquoise and orange.  Again using the warmer colour in small amounts.

Black and White Colours

These colours do not appear on the colour wheel, but by using them together you can create stunning jewellery. They are classic colours never going out of fasion!

By introducing Black to warm colours, such as red, makes the warm colour appear even more vibrant. By using White with warm colours you get the opposite effect and the warm colour loses it vibrance.

To make the White really effective, use it with the cool colours on the wheel. For example Blue and White look great together.

BUT, rules are meant to be broken - look at nature and some fashion designers!

The choice of colour is yours!



  1. I saw this on 'Jewellery Maker' and I think I'll make use of this resource. I work making samples for Crafter's Companion, so it will be handy to be using 'in' colours!

  2. Thanks for sharing this - I don't seem to have problems using colour myself but it is instinctive rather than slavishly following colour wheels. I imagine the general theory is ingrained somewhere from years (too many) of experience!!

  3. Great info, Ikki! Choosing colors is difficult for me - takes me ages to make a decision. I need all the help I can get.


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