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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

ABC's of Creativity - C is Color

Visual presentation by Maria Rypan, 2012;
"Beader's Palette" by Jan Huling

"Beader's Paint Box" presentation for Creativ Festival Spring 2013
INDO Bracelet, Lariat & Earrings, Rypan Designs 

How do you get your beadwork to pop? Maria's presentations share a little bit of colour theory with lots of examples to show how to place bead colours, finishes and metallics against each other. The visuals make it possible to examine many variation and then apply what was learned in your beading. 

Color is a phenomenon of light or a visual perception that enable one to differentiate otherwise identical objects. It is described in terms of hue, lightness and saturation for objects; hue, brightness and saturation for light sources. Hue can be contrasted with black or white. (Miriam-Webster Dictionairy)

The relationships are best understood with color wheeels, a concept invented by Sir Isaac Newton in 1666.  These wheels from Color Matters show the basic concept.

Primary Colors. You can't stir beads to create the secondary or tertiary colors. But you can choose to place them according to the color wheel. These beads all have the same saturation. Black is not a hue. 
INDO Lariats have novel Indonesian lampwork beads, Rypan Designs 
Complementary. These beaded boxes use the very same hues, but vary in their color placement within the same design.
"Anemone Box Series" beaded by Jo-Ann Woolverton; inspired by Julia Pretl
Complementary. Using a bit of the opposite color on the wheel gives your beadwork zing.
"Wisteria" Textured Net, Rypan Designs

Analogous. Use colors next to each other on the wheel. These warm colors seem to advance.
"Coca Cola Bottle Caps" necklace and bracelet by Maria for friend Dolores
Monochromatic. Try tints and shades of the one color to make it interesting. These cool colors seem to recede.
Dangle Earrings using Swarovski ELEMENTS®, Rypan Designs 
This TBS Bag of Bead Challenge was full of opaque, transparent and  silver-lined TEAL seed beads. It also included the pressed glass, buttons and sequins.
Two pairs of complimentary beads were strategically placed to create the netted pattern. Note the playful color effects and turnaround beads in the strung fringe.

"Sedona Kilim",  Maria Rypan, 2000
Rainbow® Color Selector is a 5" wide tool which also comes in a Tonal Color version.
It's available from Fire Mountain Gems.
This ultimate color wheel was designed as a fundraiser by Ewelina Rzad. 50 beaders from Poland participated. Soutache and seed bead wrapped cabochons are tastefully layered into a collar. Each cabochon is a mini work of art. Light tinted red and purple hues create the 'V' which turns to cool colors on the right and morphs into warm colors on the left. 
"Tęczak - The Rainbow". CLICK to see how cabs were wrapped in soutache by the bead artists
Margie Deeb's bible for beaders
This is the only book of its kind written specifically for bead artists, The Beader's Guide to Color teaches beaders of all levels everything they need to know about color to create unique and vibrant beadwork designs. Author and artist Margie Deeb discusses in depth the psychological and symbolic associations of all the colors of the spectrum, and the ways in which color can be used to create and accentuate pattern, rhythm, and movement. Twenty-one color schemes are described and illustrated in detail with accompanying projects. 
Playing with color is fun!


  1. Love the rainbow necklace!!! Margie's book is the one beading book I have read from cover to cover!
    If looking for color inspiration her Beader's color palette book is amazing.