Before I came over to Dakota Stones, I spent years in the retail end of the bead industry. In working with both design veterans and newcomers, I found that many customers struggled with color selection, particularly if they were trying to keep the design in the same general color family. One of the easiest ways to "cheat" is to add a strong neutral or metallic element to the design, however, that changes the palette significantly.
Here are some combos I put together that I feel wouldn't need any additional elements when to make a cohesive piece.
Here, I used diopside and two different strands of peridot. When creating a more monochrome palette, I favor incorporating at least one strongly contrasting shade to maintain visual interest.
In the spirit of working with something a little more "single stone", I played with labradorite. The rondelles have both gray and green elements, which pick up the pebbles that read more gray, as well the lighter, greener top drilled stones. In this situation, you may need to sort for best results - it can take some time to sort beads by color intensity or hue, but I've found that being mindful of subtle and not so subtle color variations makes a huge difference in how much I like my finished piece. _____________________________________________________________
I jumped off the monochrome color palette with this Hessonite garnet, matte carnelian, rutilated multi-quartz group. The garnet and carnelian could have been fine together on their own. However, I love, love, loved the opportunities presented by the rondelles- they have both the warm, rusty tones in the rounds, as well as oodles of options for subtle and bold color pops.
When I try to stay closely in a color family, my selections either look a little dull or a little "off". The easiest remedy is a bead with significant contrast. It creates visual interest and salvages an "almost perfect but not quite" match.
The contrast can range from subtle to significant, whether using all the same stone, some of the same stone, or entirely different stones.
I had a great time pulling beads for this blog. If you'd like to see more color pairings or musings here or on Facebook, let me know - [email protected]. Got wisdom or a design you'd like to share? Send it my way- our creative community will benefit from your wisdom!
PS - When you're on the fence about whether or not your colors are good together, look at them in several different types of light - there are times that a pairing has looked great under one type of light, but not so great in another.