Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Confused by Color?

I have a little secret site I'm going to share with you. It's called and is a great site, full of information for web designers on how to make your web pages beautiful. It's also a great site for beaders. Color choices can be a real challenge with beadwork. Ever get stuck in a color rut? I do. There is a program on this website called "color schemer". Color schemer generates colors in the most wonderful of ways and will get you out of those ruts.

So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to tell you how to use the color schemer. First, I want you to click on the title above. That will navigate you away from this page. Then open a new window and come back to this page. Adjust the window sizes so they are side by side - so you can read my instructions and play with the schemer at the same time. Have you done it? Great.

Okay, first I want you to click on the color wheel- choose any color you want. Notice that the default is set for monochromatic (the boxes under the color wheel - called color generators). Next, I want you to go over to the colors on the right and click on "variations" located under the colors: pastel, dark pastel, light pastel, contrast, and pale. So now you have a feel for what the variations look like. Go back to default and leave it there.

Next, I want you to click on the generators: contrast, triad, tetrad, and analogic. Again, this gives you a feel for what these do. Notice when you get to tetrad a box shows up with "angle distance". Play with that - go far left, then far right and notice the color changes. Let's set it over to the far right, at "max". (Pretty exciting colors, huh?)

Notice that the colors generated are extremely contrasted. Notice also that at the top of each of the four colors generated, there are four boxes - each one a shade difference. The top left corner box is the color you originally chose. Of the four tiny boxes lining the top of this color - the tiny box on the left - the one that's slightly larger is the current color shown. Click on that box.

You will see a big square of color shades. Look very closely. You will see a tiny round dot signifying the color you chose. I want you to mouse over that dot and see what appears: it should read something like: S=100%, V=100% and the CMYK number. (The upper left corner is that button position). I want you to also notice that the grid is actually a grid of squares. If your dot is in the upper left corner, click on the dot and move it down three squares and over three squares. Your position should be S=85%, V=85%. I want you to do the same thing for the other three colors- so that they are all at the position "S=85%, V=85%" (Place all of your colors at the same position on the grid). What did you notice about doing this?

You should have noticed that you were placing your dot onto the same square on the grid for each different color - 3 down from the top and 3 over to the right. Now look at your color scheme - it's a little nicer - not so contrasted. (I'm counting the top left corner square as "0")

So what did we learn from this? Take a bead color that you like - this will be the main color of your beadwork design. Find the closest matching color on the main color wheel. Generate the scheme you want (contrast, tetrad, etc). Then generate the variation you want (pastel, etc). Hint: If you chose a pastel color, it's a good idea to choose a pastel variation. From there, play with the colors, keeping the positions all similar. You should generate a pleasing color combination with this. Then go to your stash of beads and find the closest matching colors!

Remember, color perception is relative. Your colors don't have to be an exact match to the color schemer generator - it is only a guide to help you with your color choices.

Now for the best part. Wellstyled designs has a program you can download for free - for personal use only. Find it HERE. Have fun!!!
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Connie Marie said...

To open a page without shutting your original page down just hold your mouse over the link you want to open, right click and go to Open in New Window.

I like the idea of using the color schemer for choosing colors. I will try it.

Thanks for all your ideas and links. Glad you are getting your Blog back together. I hate when problems like that happen!

SuzyQ said...

Hi Connie
Thanks so much for that information. I didn't know how to do that!
I'm so glad you like my blog.
Best wishes,