An understanding of colour theory can help you to create beautiful and harmonious pieces of jewellery. Although simply experimenting with your beads until you find a combination that pleases you, is a great way to create a piece of jewellery, a knowledge of colour theory can provide you with a head start when you are putting together colour combinations.
The Colour Wheel
One of the best tools for exploring colour combinations is the colour wheel. A colour wheel is made up of a series of colours arranged around a wheel. There are two main colour wheels, one based on the traditional primary colours of red green and blue and the other based on the ink primary colours of yellow, magenta and cyan. The ink based colour wheel allows for the inclusion of bright pink, whereas the traditional colour wheel doesn't.
Both of these wheels can be invaluable when developing a colour scheme for a piece of jewellery.
Traditional Colour WheelThe primary colours (large circles) are Yellow, Red and Blue
Ink Colour WheelThe primary colours (large circles) are Yellow, Magenta and Cyan
A primary colour (large circles in the picture above) is so called because it is a pure colour, with no other colours in it.
A secondary colour (the middle sized circles) is created by mixing two primary colours together, for example red and yellow gives the secondary colour orange.
A tertiary colour (small circles) is created by combining together a primary and a secondary colour.
Warm and Cool Colours
Each of these colour wheels can be divided into two halves, one half with warm colours and the other half with cool colours.
Warm colours, such as red, orange and yellow are exciting and vivid. When used in a piece of jewellery they have a tendency to look closer and to appear larger.
Cool colours such as green and blue are calm and restful. They have a tendency to look further away and to appear smaller next to a warm colour. They often work well as a background colour.
Putting together different combinations of colours from these colour wheels can allow you to create harmonious and beautiful colour schemes for your jewellery.
There are several different colour wheel colour schemes, they include, Monochromatic, Analogous, Complementary, Triadic and Split Complimentary. Although the names sound complicated they are actually very simple ideas.
Please go to the next page for an explanation of each of these colour schemes and how you can use them to design gorgeous jewellery.