Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Color Theory, Color Wheels, and a Nifty Bracelet

"The Art of Color
for Bead Jewelry Designers

"You will learn the science of color, color theory, and how to use a color wheel to create great color combinations.

"We will discuss the emotional aspects of color, including color therapy as well as the meaning and symbolism of color.

"Margie Deeb, author of The Beader's Guide to Color said '"You can learn to use color in extraordinary ways. You already possess the most important tools...'..."

What caught the Lemming's eye was that 'color wheel bracelet.' It's - colorful. Pretty. has more than a nifty photo and a book to sell, though. That page links to some pretty-good introductions to color theory, and "Using the Color Wheel To Create Stunning Combinations," which won't make the reader into a world-class designer: but does cover enough to get started with. Plus a bit.

The Lemming thinks they really meant "Using the Color Wheel To Create Attractive Combinations." The Lemming has used 'color wheel' theory to create designs: with a personal taste that led to stunning results. The Lemming's daughter who's a commercial artist analyzed one of those stunning creations. Her assessment was that it looked like an explosion in a paint factory.

The Lemming thinks she was right, and that's almost another topic.

The point is, a color wheel and understanding of color theory won't guarantee results. The Lemming thinks it's a good idea to know the basics, though.

Color Theory From Another Angle

"Color Wheel"

"A color wheel (also referred to as a color circle) is a visual representation of colors arranged according to their chromatic relationship. Begin a color wheel by positioning primary hues equidistant from one another, then create a bridge between primaries using secondary and tertiary colors.

"These terms refer to color groups or types:

"Primary Colors: Colors at their basic essence..."

Taking the same basic content, starts with color as an idea, not colored beads. Which is also okay. This page mentions the familiar red-yellow-blue color wheel, and different ways the colors can be presented in a graph.

A tip of the Lemming's hat to, for mentioning two of the other color wheels out there: the "Printers' color triangle," and Goethe's nine-part harmonic triangle.

Color Theory: More Text, Fewer Pictures

"Color Theory" Ford (2007)

"For a long time, now, there has been a problem that fledgling designers have run into on a constant basis. This problem seems insignificant to most, but in actuality it is quite possibly the most important factor in a design or piece of artwork. Yes, you guessed it...I'm talking about the issue of COLOR.

"Color can be a touchy subject. Sometimes artists use colors that evoke certain emotions. Other times artists use colors simply because they like the way they look. While any design instructor will tell you that the latter reason is completely wrong, I tend to disagree. In my personal opinion, color always has meaning. This meaning can be, as I mentioned, an emotional one or it can be a personal preference on the part of the artist himself, but it ALWAYS has purpose behind it.

"There is nothing wrong with choosing a color because you like it because, after all, it is your work. However, when choosing a color you still want to make sure its use does not conflict with what you are trying to say with your work. Proper use of basic color theory can help you decide what colors match, as well as what each color makes people feel...."

Ryan Ford's approach is more like the textbooks the Lemming's familiar with. Ford assumes that the reader can visualize the color wheel, and refer to that mental image while reading.

The Lemming's comfortable with that approach. But then, the Lemming's:
  • One of those folks who read cereal boxes during breakfast as a child
    • Including the ingredients list
  • Loves to see data as a matrix
    • Then create graphs and tables so others can see it, too
Let's face it: the Lemming's not normal.

Ford deserves mention, for explaining what RGB, CMYK, and PMS) mean:
  • RGB
    • Red
    • Green
    • Blue
  • CMYK
    • Cyan
    • Magenta
    • Yellow
    • Black
      • "K" for "black"??
  • PMS
    • Pantone Matching System

Kudos. Although Ford could have explained why "K" for "black" makes sense.

Still, this is a pretty good place to start learning about color theory. The Lemming's seen to many 'introduction to' articles and texts, where the author assumes that folks who want an introduction to some topic already know the field's jargon. Uff da. (Which isn't jargon: "Uff da" is dialect, and that's another topic.)

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