Color Selection 101

Artist's Paint Palette
Choosing colors is one of the most difficult parts of any project. Fortunately the ultimate artist, Mother Nature, has already done most of the work for us. Below are assorted nature photos to inspire your exploration of the infinite possibilities of color.

The Color Wheel
The Color Wheel
A Color Wheel – all the colors of the visible spectrum, that is, visible to the human eye.

Primary Colors
Primary Colors - Parrot
Primary Colors: Red, Blue, & Yellow – base colors found in nature.

Secondary Colors
Secondary Colors-Butterflies
Secondary Colors: Green, Orange, & Purple – are made by mixing two primary colors together.

Black & White
Black & White - Whale
White & Black – produce shades of color from light to dark. Black and white is a classic combo often used in the textile and interior design industries. Turn the ordinary to extraordinary by adding brilliant jewel tone colors, such as sapphire blue, emerald green or ruby red.

Complementary Colors
Complementary Colors
Complementary Colors: Opposites on the color wheel (red & green; purple & yellow; blue & orange). When used together, they produce the highest contrasts.

Rainbow
Rainbow
All the colors of the spectrum – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue & Violet – in that exact order can be seen in this rainbow. If you want to create a realistic rainbow effect, be sure to get the color order correct.

Fresh Picked Fruit
Fresh Picked Fruit
Pastel Red, Green, Fuchsia & Orange – These are great spring and summer colors.

Tropical Fish
Tropical Fish
Golden & Reddish Browns with White, set against a Green background – Brown & White are another classic combo, which look great with jewel tones.

Hibiscus Bloom
Hibiscus Bloom
Red, Orange, Yellow & touches of Pink & White – Warm pastels with a dramatic red center attract attention.

Molten Lava
Molten Lava
Black, Orange, & Yellow – These colors remind me of my favorite holiday, Halloween.

Floating Lotus Blossom
Floating Lotus Blossom
Pure White & Yellow offset by Green, Blue & Black – White is such a cool, crisp color in summer, and coordinates with any colors in warm or cool tones.

Field of Tulips
Field of Tulips
Orange, Green, & Yellow contrast with Blue – Pastels come alive with a punch of color.

Peacock Feathers
Peacock Feathers
Blue, Green, Gold, & Black – Exotic & luxurious is the vibe created by these colors. The electric blue set against the black makes a bold statement with the naturally shimmering gold and green.

Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms
Pink & Blue – In the case of these cherry blossoms, bold colors would be overpowering. Such tiny, delicate blooms call for gentle, soft colors. Is it any wonder these colors are often used for baby nurseries?

Pansies
Pansies
Purple, White & Yellow – The frilled purple petals resemble watercolors, while the yellow centers look like they were hand painted in this striking palette.

Rainbow Lorakeets
Rainbow Lorakeets
It’s hard to believe that one animal could have all the colors of the rainbow, except purple, and yet here it is in two small parrots. If Mother Nature can come with this, imagine what you can do.

Spiral Stained Glass Windows
Spiral Stained Glass Windows
Blue & Red with Green, Orange, Purple & Yellow accents – The spiral draws your eye toward the center, while the blended colors move you along one frame at a time.

Sunset #1
Sunset - Cool tones
Purple, Yellow, & Blue – Cool colors of evening (blues & purples) provide the dramatic backdrop for the vibrant yellow sun setting at the distant horizon. This palette has a dreamy, relaxing quality.

Sunset #2
Sunset - Warm tones
Red, Yellow, & Orange with touches of Pink & Purple – Blended warm colors have an energetic, motivational effect.

The next time you are looking for some color inspiration for your next project, take a look outside. Mother Nature has provided a feast for the eyes. Don’t be afraid to experiment. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Happy Crafting!

Psychology of Color: Brown

Choosing a color is a very personal decision. This article is one in a series to explore our connection to and meanings behind various colors, and their uses in arts and crafts.

Field of Hay Bales

“Back to Basics” brown is present in the landscapes of all climate zones around the world, from polar ice to tropical islands. Brown is associated with everyday expressions, such as being “down-to-earth” and “having your feet firmly planted on the ground.” It engenders warmth, calm, and relaxation, while enabling us to reconnect with nature to reset our internal clocks. As creatures of the land, brown anchors us as we explore, knowing we can always return to home base.

Tigerseye Jewelry

In fashion, brown is considered a neutral, coordinating with all other colors, but it can also lend an air of drama. For centuries, jewelry has been worn as personal adornments, a means of self-expression. In the above photo, Tigerseye, Black Onyx and silver beads create an edgy, statement piece of jewelry. In the necklace on the right, Tigerseye and Natural Mother of Pearl combine with gold accents, for a softer, more refined appearance.

Chocolate Candy Assortment

Surely chocolate is one of life’s pleasures. Candy makers start with selections of rich milk chocolate or decadent dark, and fillings to satisfy any sweet tooth. Colorful candy coatings provide a visually appealing rainbow of choices. When it comes to chocolate, any excuse will do: Happy Tuesday!

Grapevine Wreath

Grapevine is a natural, renewable resource. Variations in the vine thickness, texture, and growth patterns make each completed project a unique creation. Simulating nature, this wreath features tiny leaves and colorful blooms springing forth from the grapevine, essentially bringing the outdoors inside. Hidden among the foliage, the soft pastel eggs, in shades of green and yellow, are reminders of the coming spring.

Knitted Scarf

Novelty tan and white yarn provides texture, shimmer and extra softness in this knitted winter scarf, which spices up an otherwise boring jacket with a little feminine luxury.

Pyrography - Wood Burning Art

What could be more earthy than a nice piece of wood? The words on this plaque were created using a technique called wood burning or pyrography. Specialized pens are used to burn designs onto wood plaques, furniture, decorative pieces, and can also be used on leather. Different pen tips allow the artist to create fine, detailed lines, stippling effects, and shading. Stencils can be used to transfer patterns and designs onto the wood. Due to the high temperatures of the tools, adult supervision is advised for all wood burning projects.

Happy Crafting!