Thursday, January 15, 2009

Learn to mix and match colours

Even if I´ve been making jewelry since 2004, I still have a hard time to combine colours. Most of the time I end up with using only hues of one colour. And I so admire jewelry artists that are good at combining three or more colours like Sky Dreams or Elle a Belle. But I work hard to get by this and I think I´ve become better in the past year.

I use some tricks that I want to share to you poor designers that are in my situation...I know most of you are not. So I guess this post will not help many, since most people seem to manage this fundamental skill !

The first thing you should start with if you want to approve how you handle colour, is to read some about colour theory. You may recognize some words from this in the back of your head, you probably heard them in school; primary colour, complementary colour and so on. This kind of theoretical information is great to know, but are not very inspirational.

Today there are many tools available at the Internet to help you mix and match colours. Mainly they are developed by web designers, but they can be handy for more people depending on colour. For example, try the “colour wheel machine” you can find at Colours on the web. There you can spin the wheel virtually and get examples of colour combinations you can use in your jewelry. The tricky part can be to find stones that match the example. If you want to use what the pro´s use you can download Color Wheel Pro where you can get more variations. Eni Oken, well known jewelry designer, has a colour match program for free download too.

But finding combinations you like are actually easier than that. Just look at nature, on butterflies, flowers and birds. Nature never chooses wrong and you can find amazing colour schemes that you can transform to your jewelry. Or why not take that pile of glossy magazines saving dust on your coffee table and use it for this purpose. Pictures of interiors or fashion photos give you an endless combination of colours.

All the examples so far are great, but my favourite way to find combinations is from fabrics with patterns. I just choose one I like and try to dissect which colors they´ve used, and I often end up with 5 colours or more. I also note which one is the dominant to achive the same balance.
So far I´ve never had that many matching stones at home, but I have managed to use this method to come up with a combination of three colours. And that is much for me!!!!
Make 2009 your colour breakthrough!


  1. I also find this very difficult, even though I bought a colour wheel a few years back it hasn't helped much. I managed to colour match my wardrobe a bit, though, and that's a good thing :-) But making 2009 to a more colourful year sounds good!

  2. Take it from someone on the other side of the pendulum, I get an actual migraine when trying not to think colours and create something in pastels and/or neutral shades!!!

    Be nice to be able to do a bit of both, eh :)


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