I’ve just returned from teaching, coloring, and getting to know some of the wonderful artists of the Rocky Mountain Bead Society. During my class, “Courting Complements,” many a groan was emitted when we began exploring the unique characteristics of blue and orange. Turns out that pure blue and orange are everywhere the media is in Colorado, because they are the Denver Broncos football team colors. The RMBS artists are, understandably, tired of seeing it.
“OK,” I said, “Then here’s your challenge: design a blue-orange color scheme that could not possibly evoke mental images of the Denver Broncos in any form or fashion.”
This lit a fire under everyone and they excitedly rose to the challenge.
Because everyone keeps the color creations they make in my classes, I don’t have the exact swatches to show you. But they concocted some of the most gorgeous blue-orange palettes that I’ve ever seen. And not once did the football team come to mind.
The RMBS bead artists accomplished this by using tints and tones: they altered the value and intensity of blue and orange as much as possible to distance the combo from the fully-saturated one of the Broncos.
Remember, tints are colors lightened with white. Tones are colors to which a complement has been added. Tones are lower in intensity than the pure color. They also altered the value (value refers to a colors’ lightness or darkness).
Here are replicas of some of the combinations they created.

I’ve just returned from teaching, coloring, and getting to know some of the wonderful artists of the Rocky Mountain Bead Society. During my class, “Courting Complements,” many a groan was emitted when we began exploring the unique characteristics of blue and orange. Turns out that pure blue and orange are everywhere the media is in Colorado, because they are the Denver Broncos football team colors. The RMBS artists are, understandably, tired of seeing it.

“OK,” I said, “Then here’s your challenge: design a blue-orange color scheme that could not possibly evoke mental images of the Denver Broncos in any form or fashion.”

This lit a fire under everyone and they excitedly rose to the challenge.

Because everyone keeps the color creations they make in my classes, I don’t have the exact swatches to show you. But they concocted some of the most gorgeous blue-orange palettes that I’ve ever seen. And not once did the football team come to mind.

The RMBS bead artists accomplished this by using tints and tones: they altered the value and intensity of blue and orange as much as possible to distance the combo from the fully-saturated one of the Broncos.

Remember, tints are colors lightened with white. Tones are colors to which a complement has been added. Tones are lower in intensity than the pure color. They also altered the value (value refers to a colors’ lightness or darkness).

Here are replicas of some of the combinations they created. (By the way, if you live in Colorado and are not a member of the RMBS… check out the great bead programs, classes and events they support – they are one the happiest and most fun bead societies around!)

To learn more about complementary colors, check out The Beader’s Guide to Color, or read through the Margie’s Muse archives at www.MargieDeeb.com

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