Archive for June, 2009

Are you a “Monochromatic Mary?”

When I began beading, I was a little afraid of color.  I tended to choose beads that were monochromatic.   I still see this with my students, even though I’ve moved on to embrace color combinations that would have made me go running when I first began!

How was I able to branch out to combining coral with purple and smoky topaz with aqua?  The first thing is just experience – the more you work with beads and see the marvelous combinations, the more daring you will become.  The other thing was a concious effort on my part to look at how color combinations worked.  For instance, take a look at fabric.

You might see fabric that combines red, yellow and green.   It’s obvious that they “work” together – but why?  Here is a great resource that explains color theory in a concise way:  http://www.colormatters.com/colortheory.html

The main thing, in my opinion, is the “value” of the hues is compatible – that is, the colors are compatible either in the saturation or intensity of the hue (bright green with bright red, for instance, not bright red with olive green) or the colors are analogous, or in the same color range (pale yellow, yellow-green, green.)  The analogous colors can be monochromatic, but not necessarily so.

Observe your world.  Take a look at how colors combine around you – in nature, in a painting, on a piece of fabric.  You will be surprised to see how beautifully some combinations work – amethyst and citrine for example, turquoise and coral.  Have a little fun!

donnaThis necklace was designed by Donna Ryan-Kocun, who teaches color theory.  (And is a close personal friend of mine:))

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June 4, 2009 at 5:41 pm Leave a comment


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