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View Full Version : Color Combinations - What Inspires YOU?


!Karen
04-03-2004, 03:27 AM
I posted this in the Glass forum also, but thought I'd get some jewelry designers thoughts also. Thanks-K

I can't believe I am having such a problem with this being as I did interior design for 12 years, but I am stumped.

I just can't seem to make any good color combinations in beads. I always pick out the dark, bland colors - rather like the clothes I always end up with.

I'm a very visual person, and I just don't know what my problem is with choosing color for glass combos. When I did design work, I always had paint chips, fabric swatches, picture journals, etc. But I could still put together great colors schemes even if I didn't use those. In my mind I could see exactly what I was going to do. Now, I can't seem to visualize anything. This is really bothering me. Maybe I used up all my creativity.

I would like to know what you use to inspire your color combinations.

Any suggestions and/or directions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
:)Karen

mjcall
04-03-2004, 07:24 AM
I just can't seem to make any good color combinations in beads. I always pick out the dark, bland colors - rather like the clothes I always end up with.

I'm a very visual person, and I just don't know what my problem is with choosing color for glass combos. When I did design work, I always had paint chips, fabric swatches, picture journals, etc. But I could still put together great colors schemes even if I didn't use those. In my mind I could see exactly what I was going to do. Now, I can't seem to visualize anything. This is really bothering me. Maybe I used up all my creativity.

I would like to know what you use to inspire your color combinations.

Any suggestions and/or directions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
:)Karen

Karen

One source I use is Bulls-eye Glass Color Cues (http://www.bullseyeconnection.com/getsmart/) . Color Cues were put together for the glass fusing community but I find them useful when trying to visualize how glass colors will work together. I ordered a hard copy set but they have them in PDF format for downloading at the link shown above.

M_

!Karen
04-03-2004, 08:44 AM
Thanks M - that's very helpful!

Karen :)

Charlee
04-03-2004, 09:02 AM
Now, I can't seem to visualize anything. This is really bothering me. Maybe I used up all my creativity.

Naaaah, you're just kinda stuck. It happens. :) I don't lampwork, but have found I get stuck in the 'use the same 3 color combos' rut in my other media. I make altered books and shrines along with stringing beads and a few other assorted vices. I gravitate toward the purple/teal/black or purple/sage/blue combinations in my sleep. Those colors make me happy and I have to make a conscious effort to use others. One thing I've done is cut apart paint chips - so there's just the one color. I keep them in a jumble in a box, close my eyes and draw 3 or 5 at a time and then go with some version of whatever I've chosen, no matter how ghastly. If nothing else, it forces me to leave my comfort zone and I have actually done some pretty nice work from the color choices.

Another thing I do is collect fabric swatches and cut out things from magazines. Naturally, there's a preponderance of the above mentioned colors, but I'm working on that. Another idea - look at paintings. Here's a bunch: Carol Jackson's Fine Art (http://cgfa.sunsite.dk/).

HTH,
Charlee

jacy
04-03-2004, 10:04 AM
I could swear I picked up this link at this forum so I don't want to be redundant but I think it's helpful for this thread...

Interactive Color Wheel (http://r0k.us/graphics/SIHwheel.html)

I used to do a bit of web work and assembled some links related to browser-safe colors, so some of these use language specific to color on web pages but they're useful nonetheless:

Colormatch Tool (http://www.colormatch.dk/)
- for a selecting a 6-color palette from one dominant color

Color Gallery (http://graphicdesign.about.com/library/color/blcolor.htm?once=true&)
- user-provided color combos on about.com

Color Scheme (http://www.pixy.cz/apps/barvy/index-en.html)
- another very cool interactive tool; choose monochromatic, different contrasts, triade, analogic colors, contradictory colors, etc.

EasyRGB (http://www.easyrgb.com/)
- plethora of color-related tools and reference data

Palette Man (http://www.wire-man.com/paletteman/)
- interactively choose and adjust tons of preset color combos

ColorSchemer (http://www.colorschemer.com/online.html)
- yet another tool; downloadable version

Color Wheel Company (http://www.colorwheelco.com/)
- tons of real-world color wheel tools available for purchase, as well as online reference info

HTH!

mjcall
04-03-2004, 11:17 AM
Jacy

Thanks for the links "Pallet Man" gets my vote.

How about cross posting this in our links sticky.

M_

LoriGreenberg-Beadnerd
04-03-2004, 11:52 AM
Charlee,

The paint chips idea is genius! I love it! :clap:

I've also always liked to work with more muted tones and it drove me nuts when I came to glass because it just screams to me to use the bright colors. Well, I gave in and did it and it just didn't feel natural so I struggled.

Recently, if you've seen the S&T thread in the glass forum you'll see that I went back to being more 'earthy' and now my soul is singing.

My suggestion would be to find a way to work with the colors you like rather than forcing yourself all at once to jump out of that. Not that that couldn't work for you too...I'm just speaking from my own experience for me. Try your tried and true color combinations and pop in a new contrasting color every once in a while just to see. Grow it slowly.

I don't necessarily look to other sources for color inspiration (but that could be fun and I want to try the paint chip thang) but I write to clear my head or I pray. No, I don't pray for colors, just in general, that what is supposed to come out of me will....in all areas of my life. It makes me feel more connected and confident to be me and to create what comes to me rather than being influenced so much by what I see that is already out there.

Just my own process.

TheBlueBetween
04-03-2004, 04:50 PM
The links above are just wonderful!!!

I also find inspiration in everyday things. Flower gardens, views (we have tons of them around here) of the lake, the mountains, the valleys, etc, in other art, in fabrics, in the beads themselves or the glass. Even a dried up winter field offers some amazing colors if you look at it instead of just driving by - straw browns and yellows, burgundies, hints of green, white in the white birch trees in the background, hints of black... it's stunning if you just look around - at least in my little world it is ;)

One thing I did recently was purchase a few photography books - one is on ocean life, one is on the painted desert, one is on succulant plants and another is an Art Wolfe book of nature photography... I have several more too. These I find very inspiring, the only problem is when I'm working with glass, I don't have all these colors available - I feel kind of limited with the glass sometimes. Maybe that is why I like seed beads so much - they come in so many shades and hues.

Hope this helps. Here is one more hint. When I'm stuck picking colors making beads I limit myself to 2-3 colors and work that for awhile till I get bored or come up with something amazing - usually the first happens - then I want to add more colors. But then I'm back to wishing I had MORE colors to choose from...

!Karen
04-03-2004, 09:33 PM
All these ideas and links are just fab!! Thanks so much!! I was at Lowes today and grabbed about 100 paint chips,(I didn't think I had that many) so I'm going to start a collection with those.

I appreciate all the suggestions!!

Karen :)

TheBlueBetween
04-05-2004, 05:06 PM
There are a bunch of sites on COLOR here too:

http://www.lampwork.net/soozlinkslist3.html#Color

:) Pam

Kerensamere
04-05-2004, 11:15 PM
I remember watching one of those home decorating shows several years ago, might have been Lynnette Jennings, they reccommended using a swatch of fabric as a take off point for color combinations. Go to your local fabric store (even Walmart sells fabric!) and buy an 1/8th of a yard of a patterned material that grabs your attention. Typically textile designers combine colors that compliment one another so pull the colors from the pattern, they should look pretty nice together.

I also try to think of people that I've met or that I know and the colors that they seemed attracted to. I'm always drawn to cool colors (blues, purples and greens) but I remember a friend in college that loved orange, I try to think about her and what she liked to wear and her personality and I make orange, yellow and red pieces. Sometimes this works, sometimes it flops. But I definately learn from my mistakes in the process.


-Jen

jacy
04-06-2004, 07:48 AM
Jen-

I do the same thing. I'm fearful of making things that reflect only my personal taste, so when I'm working I theoretically design for a particular friend, although I've never told them this. ;)

I have one that likes clean, contemporary lines that aren't too busy, dark neutral colors; another that thrives on red and black classics with an edge; a hot pinks/vivid blues, etc., gal who loves flashy jewelery.

I'm so grateful for a group of good friends with varied taste!

I also clip magazine pages or ads, not of jewelry per se, but anything I like 'just because,' and throw them in a file folder that I flip through when I'm stumped for inspiration. Probably follows the same concept as fabric swatches: ad directors and designers go to a lot of trouble to make their layouts work and there's usually something I can find.

Blair
04-06-2004, 08:42 AM
I keep a notebook with me all the time and anytime I get an idea for a color combo from something I see during the day I write it down, or I cut out pictures from magazines with combos I like and tape them in my notebook. This is a huge help if I'm running dry on ideas when I sit down to work. I have notebooks from years ago I sometimes go back through. I also get ideas from odd sources: I'm presently working on a bead set based on my siamese cat and my husband's blue bathrobe! He was holding Mingus one morning and the color combo just struck me!

Blair

limamike
04-06-2004, 07:17 PM
I went to Barnes and Noble in the Graphic Arts section and bought a color book -- all it is is all sorts of color combinations. Very helpful!

bdswagger
10-26-2004, 11:16 PM
Just wanted to let folks know... the Color Scheme Generator has moved to http://wellstyled.com/tools/

Leigh

MadameKali
10-27-2004, 12:04 AM
Agreed with Pam about finding colour combos in everyday life--anything you naturally find striking, like a flower or (in my case, once!) a kitty cat or anything. A tree, whatever. I am surrounded by coffee on a daily basis (I work at Starbucks), so I am thinking about doing some coffee-and-cream type pieces. It can also help to have a theme in mind first, and then the colours will more naturally fall into place--like for whatever reason, I was doing a lot of oceany/beachy pieces this summer (I am not generally a beachy kinda gal, being from Kentucky), so the colour combinations were easy to come up with.

You'll have to make sure to post whatever you come up with for all to see :)

TheBlueBetween
10-27-2004, 12:26 AM
Just wanted to let folks know... the Color Scheme Generator has moved to http://wellstyled.com/tools/

Leigh

What a fun tool!

And Susie, coffee and cream sounds great. I have a brown faux aligator set I need to work up but can't locate the exact right brown seed beads for it.

Another great color resource is this fantastic book:

The Beader's Guide to Color
by Margie Deeb

PS. I think this thread deserved to be rated :) :clap:

beclectic
10-27-2004, 08:25 AM
Just wanted to let folks know... the Color Scheme Generator has moved to http://wellstyled.com/tools/

Leigh

That is a lot of fun. Thanks for the link. I think it is giving me some new ideas. You know it might be cool to do displays based on one of these color schemes. It could give you a whole unified look to your booth.

Oskadis
10-27-2004, 09:46 AM
Wow thanks for the links...

Could you imagine I never searched for any color tool?

I had some classes on colors at school in art class and later a one day workshop for webdesigners at university (which by then did not really teach me anything new...).

I don't know - I just see the colors in my head. It helps me of course to have my bead box in front of me so I can see which colors I have available and then I combine them on the fly while roaming through it without really thinking.

I will go through all those wonderful links - I bet I will find things I don't know yet, or at least don't realize on a conscious level.

Again thx! And I am rating this thread now :-)

Andee
10-28-2004, 08:42 AM
Hmmm... I often find colour inspirations when watching telly. Somebody wearing a blue shirt and standing in front of an olive-coloured wall, or a copper-haired woman wearing a teal dress... Stuff like that makes me see jewelry combinations. And sometimes I have a certain piece in mind and dig through my bead stash and suddenly have beads in my hand that just go together, tho they're quite different from what I had in mind initially...

Beads-Me!
10-28-2004, 11:40 AM
Great thread! Someone suggested quilt books in a thread I read once - there are some wonderful color combo's in them. I also love to check out Sundance, Coldwater Creek and Chico catalogs as well....

bdswagger
10-28-2004, 01:52 PM
I tend to go with simple color combos. Muted tones/shades of one color with one contrasting color.

I REALLY like greyed-down colors-blues, greens, berries-but untill I can get started working in pc, I'll have to do without those, sigh.

Also rusty reds, oranges and yellows are really lovely.

I have lots of art books-though can always use more!-as I also paint, as well as use to do ceramics, which I miss like the dickens. The paint chip idea is a very good one. I'm going to make use of that!

I'm off to the Sherman Williams store!

Leigh