(Excerpt from Margie’s Muse May 2009 Edition)

Imbuing your beadwork with the essence of springtime has as much to do with bead surface finish and the overall texture of your piece as it does color. Color is only one ingredient of the spring palette. I’ve focused on spring color, especially greens, in the last two Margie’s Muse editions, lets explore these other properties.Light, fresh, clear colors

Spring is a colorful profusion of life and activity. Its colors are warm with golden undertones, as if bathed in sunshine. Hues gently shimmer and hum, never shout. Keep the palette light: no low-intensity, shadowy colors. Pastels are part of the spring bouquet, but you want to avoid the chalky, over-whitened, sacharrine look that too many pastel colors can produce. So use a vivid tone or two for contrast. And be sure to add some sparkle.

A full spring palette. Notice that even the brights aren’t screaming, and the tints aren’t washed out. Clear color abounds. Think of the shimmer of the Impressionists’ palettes to string the spring into your beads.

A full spring palette. Notice that even the brights aren’t screaming, and the tints aren’t washed out. Clear color abounds. Think of the shimmer of the Impressionists’ palettes to string the spring into your beads.

Not only do spring colors need to be high-key and light, they need to be clear. They must look fresh, as if washed by the rain or melting snow. There’s no better finish for springtime palettes than transparent glass, which creates dewdrops of liquid color. Light passes through transparent beads, illuminates them from within, and tosses back rays of color.
Include finishes that augment the clarity of transparent beads. Silver-lined finishes flash like reflected sun. Color-lined beads look like morsels of color suspended in drops of dew. The softness of transparent luster, opalescent, and pearl finishes furnish a soft glow with a little less color, so use them for necessary contrast. Judicious numbers of tiny cut-beads add lively sparkle—but don’t overdo.

Click to download the free PDF and read the rest of this Margie’s Muse edition

Learn how to work with Pantone’s palette in Margie’s Color Report for Bead Artits Spring/Summer 2009

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