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Colour Combinations to Consider
Part 1 of 3

Many beginners sport the wide-eyed deer look at the beginning of design sessions because they don't know where to begin. A decision on colour is first on the agenda. Colour combinations are also potential stumbling blocks. So here are some suggestions of colour mixes to consider if you haven't already done so.

Pink and black do go together very well and not just in jewelry, but also for clothes. They work because one is a "hot" colour and the other provides a dark, sharp contrast.

Yvonne is confident with colour. She chose these irregular brick-shaped warm pink mother of pearl (MOP) shell beads for her necklace and earrings. She kept the design very simple with just some cube beads with the MOP beads and plenty of black seed beads for the rest of her necklace. A trendy duo!

Beader Design #: 308

COLOR GUIDES is primarily a computer quilting concern but they do have several colour wheels and colour evaluators for sale which could be used by jewelry artisans to select glass and gemstone bead colour combinations.

The Pantone Shopping Colour Guide is another, formated like paint colour strips but bound like a fan. Pantone also do a Colorstrology Guide for $7.95 to determine your birthday colour and what it says about you. This different take to the astrological signs identifies 12 monthly colours and 366 (includes leap years) personal colours supposedly to help you understand how colour influences you and your life. Probably about as accurate as astrological predictions but it sounds like fun. Both guides are also available at Fire Mountain Gems.

Name That Colour by Chirag Mehta is a fun free tool to use to get the names of 1500+ colours - it might be a great way to get naming inspiration for your designs. The creator, who said it is a guy thing, freely admitted he had no clue what lavender and mauve looked like so he wrote this helpful application. An improved version called Colour Name & Hue by Daniel Fluck is particularly useful for colourblind people.

Margie Deeb's excellent book The Beader's Guide to Color is highly recommended especially for beadweavers to learn all about colour. There are many beautiful creations from featured designers which makes this book a delight. You can read a review by's Paula Morgan here.

For more tutorials check out my Jewelry Making Tips
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  1. Color wheels sound like fun! I love color! So far I have been mostly inspired by things I see around me - everything from nature to odd things like tabs on folders or a candy wrapper. Whatever strikes me. But I have to take a look at some of the links you posted - I could be missing some good ideas!

  2. Being a web designer, color theory is one of my favorites!!! Color wheels make quick work for combos when you are stuck, but I've found that sometimes I don't need to be so technical. Sometimes natural combos such as colors found in fruits or veggies or animals are awesome! Here are two of me favourite links geared towards web designers that are also quite useful for any type of art, including jewelry making.

    Definitely check out the articles at colourlovers ^_^ I've started looking at things in a whole new way!

  3. I refer to color wheel everytime when I start a project, and after the project.
    Before project to find what color works best together for my new piece, and after project to find out how it would stand out in a pictures, as in, what color's background should i be opting for. :)


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