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10 Color block busters

© Arenacreative |

Love the look or pattern of a project, but just not a fan of the colorway that is shown? Did you wind up with a kit or a gift of beads in a color that is just not one you would choose for yourself? Leslie Rogalski helps us explore ways to explore color and take chances with our beadwork. ~kk

I used to think, “I don’t wear it so why should I use it?” Then I was challenged to stray outside my “comfort palette.” So, I came up with a list of ways to break through this and other color blockades. 

1. Design for others. If you tend to avoid pink, design a piece for someone who loves or looks wonderful in pink.

2. Less is more. If you really don’t like a color, use it as an accent, in a single focal, or minimally dispersed.

3. Find an appealing shade. It still counts if you use variations. Who says your challenge color has to be “straight from the tube,” as a painter might say?

4. Try a mighty monochrome. Use all sorts of shades of a single color together. The effect can be exciting. 

5. Vary surface and texture. Colors change dramatically according to the bead surface. Shiny, metallic, opaque, translucent, matte, AB — these beads look very different even if they’re the same basic color. You may find that you hate lime but love matte pistachio AB!

6. Use a color wheel. There are a few online which are super inspiring and easy to use, such as Color Scheme Designer.

7. Learn from others. Look at works by other artists who use your challenge colors. How is their work successful or not? Do they use an accent color that makes the color you don’t like more appealing?

8. Find inspiration. You can learn lessons from the world around you. Chances are your challenge color exists harmoniously in nature, in art, even in your pantry. I found orange inspiration in African beadwork.

9. Keep to your style. Use your challenge color in a form that still floats your boat. If you are not into fringes, don’t try to make a fluffy necklace. Don’t use tiny beads if you like to make statement pieces. That would mean you’re working with TWO challenges: color and form. 

10. Try a different technique. If you string beads, try wrapping a few wired bead dangles on chain. Try knotting beads along visible lengths of colored string or wire or ribbon.

FIND MORE: beads , stringing , bead weaving

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