Sunday, November 27, 2011

Color Theory - Analogic

I've been working on Christmas gifts for the holidays this past week.
I've been digging through little vials of seed beads and pulling out chunky stones and tiny charms that I've had forever and laying them out and mixing and matching shapes and colors to really create some fun designs.
But one of the areas where I really love to get creative is color mixing.
So, I thought I'd share some color tips with you this week for your Christmas creations and show you a collection of bits and pieces that reflect great color mixes so you can see with your eyes what a good color combo really looks like and challenge yourself to get creative with color.
First up in the color combos is the Analogic combo.
This simply means that you're pulling colors from the same side of the color wheel in an almost monochromatic combination.
In the example below, I've chosen this deep crimson red as my main color and then allowed the wheel to show me some colors that would be in an analogic color scheme moving left or right along the color wheel.

Here's an example of a combination of bits and pieces that would create a great necklace using this deep crimson red as the main color. I've also tried to focus on a woodland theme to create continuity within the piece. I've pulled in soft pink with the glass beads, orange with the copper chain, and brick red with the little foxes. (clockwise from top left):

4. Bright red faceted jasper (a different finish to a bead can almost look like a different color.)
5. Deep Crimson leaf pendant from Humblebeads (this was my main inspiration)

This next grouping lies along the blue/green section of the color wheel.
You'll notice I chose colors that would be considered very dark, that lie along the outside of the color wheel. These colors contain more "black" if you will and less "white" so they have a deeper shade. I also chose dark chain to mimic the depth of my color choices. (clockwise from top left)

This last grouping is collection of pieces lying along the orange/yellow section of the color wheel.
I would consider this a "tight" analogous combo because the colors are extremely close to each other on the color wheel. (As opposed to the blue/green combo which represented a bit more movement along the color wheel)
To create interest, and keep the colors from blending in to one another, I've chosen different finishes and textures on the beads. (clockwise from top left)

I hope these combinations have helped you to see the possibilities in an analogic color scheme. Using the same or extremely similar colors doesn't have to be boring. Look at it as an opportunity to play with texture and finishes.
Try mixing and matching bead shapes or pick a theme such as the forest or woods as I've done here.
Accent with chain and charms and choose one great focal to truly highlight your color choice.

Now it's your turn.
Visit the color wheel and experiment with the analogic color scheme.
What's your favorite color?
Can you see the variations between the light and dark shades?
Think about how using light vs. dark can evoke a season or mood with your jewelry.
Experiment and play around to create your perfect pieces this holiday season and even if your combinations never become jewelry, try bagging them together and storing them with similar colors for quick and easy pieces in the future.
You never know when you'll need a quick handmade gift.

I hope you enjoy your handmade holiday this season!  


  1. This is a beautiful post! Thanks for featuring CascadiaBeads, it's a pleasure to be included. Cheers, Jenni (cascadiabeads)

  2. Beautiful color combos. I consider myself to be very color challenged and need all the help I can get! ;-)

    And thanks so much for sharing my little foxes here! (Sorry for the delay in responding -- there was a power outage due to a burning utility pole here and I'm just now catching up on things.)