Use Delicious Color to Make Your Designs Pop!

As an artist who struggles with color (I’m colorblind) I love working with our guest artist for this week, Cynthia Gougian.  Her rules and ideas about color are so eye-opening to me. Take her tips, and translate them into sugary sweets for our Sweet Treat Challenge…think of the fluffy cupcake icing colors, chocolate chips, summer-time strawberry shortcakes and lemon coolers…  excuse me, I have to go raid the fridge now…but do enjoy Cynthia’s posts on color…she has some wonderful information in it.

Lexi Erickson, President of Wubbers University

Any marketing professional will tell you, color is a very powerful design element.   

Large corporations hire color experts to design their logos. They know that humans are visual creatures and color creates strong associations in our minds. Red and green is instantly associated with Christmas, orange and black with Halloween. People proudly wear the colors that represent their school, or their country’s flag. But, color not only evokes emotions, it can also be used to create contrast, movement, or harmony in a design.

When designing a piece of jewelry, color sets the mood.  

Red is a passionate color. Blue a more serene color.   Yellow is energetic, and optimistic. Pastels are associated with femininity, primary colors are associated with youth and playfulness. Neutrals have an earthy feel. Color choices can determine if a design is elegant, whimsical, casual, or formal.

Color can create interesting contrast in a pattern.  

Intentionally placing small of amounts of a bright color like red, or orange in a design that contains largely neutral elements produces a nice contrast. Using complementary colors (colors opposite each other on the color wheel) is another way to create contrast in a piece, for example a string of blue beads surrounding an orange focal bead.   Even combining very dark values with very light values of a color results in contrast.

Using color in a gradient is a nice way to create movement.  

The eye follows the flow of the deepest values to the paler values, or vice versa.   Color used in a repetitive pattern also moves the eye around a design.   Placing a single color at specific intervals in a design is another way to generate movement.

A good color scheme creates cohesion, or harmony in a design.  

The basic harmonious color schemes are monochromatic, analogous, complementary, split complementary, triad, or tetrad. Color wheels, or color wheel software use masks that allow an artist to view the basic harmonious color schemes. Most color wheels also include basic color concepts and definitions.

Often, new jewelry artists, use guess work to choose colors.  

They may not know how to select agreeable color arrangements, but they at least recognize when a color combination isn’t working, and start over. This can be frustrating, and time consuming.   Learning to use a simple color wheel makes choosing harmonious colors schemes very straightforward, and fun!

Enroll in Cynthia Gougian’s course on Wubbers University!

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