Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Anatomy of a Colour Scheme

I have been asked by some of my students how I come up with colour schemes for my (predominantly mokume gane) work, so I thought I would share my process. I like to develop a theme and then use it a lot in a whole series of jewellery and beads.  My starting point was wanting to use Tangerine Tango.  I thought it would look good with another Pantone spring colour, Cabaret, and that light piece of clay is Margarita, a pale green even though it looks white in the picture.  By the way, I am an enthusiastic user of colour "recipes" by craftsbychris on etsy.  She puts out 2 sets of these a year.  Another great source for recipes is Polymer Clay Tutor.  Anyhow, those 3 colours resulted in the slab below.  OK, but not enough contrast.

 So, I added some green pearl to the mix.  I don't have a picture of the slab, but there are some beads I made with it.  Interesting how the green pearl became very muted, almost a metallic colour.  So, not happy with this either.
 Still keeping the Cabaret, have switched out the Tangerine Tango for a Honeysuckle, added metallic Bronze (one of my very favourite colours) and a winter white. You see how this works, I don't even have the colour I had started with wanting in the mix anymore.
 And... success.  I love how these colours look together and there is just the right amount of contrast.  I really like how the bronze shades into the Cabaret.
 And some swirl beads I made with the shavings from the stack.  So at the end of the day, I have developed a scheme that I think has some promise.  Some days I don't even have that, and end up with a big stack of scrap clay.  Tomorrow, time to use this in jewellery!

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