Friday, February 29, 2008

Color, Glorious Color!

Color! We wouldn't have much to work with without it. But our choices in color are as individual as we are. Or are they? We asked the Etsy BeadWeavers the following questions:

When you look at your bead collection what is the dominant color? What draws you to that color and why? And the reverse, what is the color you have the least of and what keeps you from using it?

Their answers may (or may not) surprise you.

Kim at RegalBeads

When you look at your bead collection what is the dominant color? What draws you to that color and why?

I have a lot of greens and yellows/oranges. But, a lot of bright colors in general. I have always loved these colors, and bright colors are fun and cheery.

And the reverse, what is the color you have the least of and what keeps you from using it?

Probably browns and tans. I guess I am just not as personally drawn to it.

Patricia at SilverDragon

I probably have more purple seed beads than any other single color. It is a fascinating color to work with. Or possibly it's the reds. Hard to tell which I have more of. The least populous color would be the browns and that's easily explained - I am not fond of brown. I also have several drawers of recaptured crystal AB beads of various shapes and ages. I love these!

My favorite color is red and I like to mix red and purple families in many aspects of both bead and drawing arts.

Esther at Green Envy Designs

When you look at your bead collection what is the dominant color? What draws you to that color and why?

Green-turquoise-blue, the colours are royal to me, bright and cheerful yet relaxing and not overdone, accenting the jewelry instead of taking so much interest the person wearing the piece stops being in the picture.

And the reverse, what is the color you have the least of and what keeps you from using it?

Pinks, it is not my favorite colour. It is often TOO bright and demanding. It overshines the person wearing it, and I find it a tough colour to work with. Yet I find that sometimes pink mixed into the design can give a warm feel and cheer one up. I refrain from using this colour as a base but it makes a great addition to a piece.

Wolf at Dante's Spirit

Dominant colors- Earth tones- blues, greens, creams, tans, golds, browns, ESPECIALLY greens.

The colors remind me of Nature, which I am very drawn to, of growing things, gorgeous blue skies, warm, rich earth to plant in and feel between my fingers as the Sun warms it.

Least of- Reds, yellows, oranges-

It's odd, as they are all fire colors and I'm a fire sign (Aries). But I don't like red. I won't wear it that often, same with yellow or orange. To me, they seem harsh and cruel. I'm working on it though.}:P As evidenced by my Feb monthly challenge piece.

The husband challenged me to branch out in my artquilts and use more colors besides my standard greens and blues, so I decided to do the same with my beadwork and am trying to use more of the colors I rarely use.

Sarah at The Beaded Lily

I don't think there's a color that I don't have! What I find easiest to use are the cooler colors, especially blue. It's my favorite color and has been for a long time. When I was little I got this idea that since the ocean and the sky were blue, that blue was God's favorite color. I've always found the color soothing, calming and cheery.

My least favorite color is probably orange. I'm not obsessed with it, so I don't use it as often and am less confident in my use of it. But saying least favorite color is like saying least favorite flower or least favorite ice cream flavor. I love all color!

Linda at blu almond

My bead collection is dominated by ambers, ivories, golden browns and yellows. I always reach for these first. I enjoy the light and the warmth they convey. One of my favorite places, visually, is the painted desert in Arizona. My pieces that rely on this particular palette are always my favorites

Lynn at Nemeton

When I look at my bead collection, there's something of more or less every colour, but the dominant one is definitely acid lime green. This is the one colour I keep coming back to; I never wear lime green but it combines so well in beadwork with just about every other colour that I usually find it's sneaked into my 'bead soup' whether it's a mixture of pinks, blues, greens, purples, or earth tones. Often this isn't a conscious decision, but a dash of lime green just seems to lift and sharpen the other colours. My absolute favourite combination is with bronzes, coppers and browns, as in my Green Goddess collar, like new leaves coming out in the spring, but I also love lime, orange, bright blue and purple all together, especially after I've just finished working on something very restrained or monochrome!

The colour I have least of is bright yellow - very odd, as it's the colour right next to my favourite lime green. I find it hard to combine with other colours; I do sometimes use it for small bright accents in a multicoloured palette, but I don't think I've ever made a predominantly yellow piece. I have no better answer than that I just don't like yellow beads! Maybe the lime green hits the same spot, but better, so I've never felt the need to venture into yellow.

Jean at Totally Twisted

I would say I do not have a dominate color – being rather new to beadweaving I am still gathering my bead collection. I love going into the bead store and looking at all the colors and then buying what strikes my fancy that day.

I am drawn to deep rich purple but I have yet to find that color in seed beads – I am still looking and when I find it I will be a happy beadweaver. I am not sure why I love that color but I just know I do.

I looked at my bead collection and find I do not have anything in pink. I never considered myself a “pink” person and if I look at my clothes, pink would be missing there too. I did not have any white beads either - but I did buy quite a bit of white for the March Challenge “Stormy Weather”. I am going with a winter theme.

Triz at Triz

“Color is all. When color is right, form is right. Color is everything, color is vibration like music; everything is vibration.” Marc Chagall -Russian-born French Painter and Stained Glass Artist, 1887-1985 *

“Color possesses me. I don't have to pursue it. It will pursue me always, I know it.” Paul Klee - Swiss Expressionist Painter, 1879-1940*

This is quite a hard question for me to answer as I really don't have a dominant colour in my bead collection. I rarely buy a specific colour because I have a design in mind, I usually choose colours according to the mood I'm in that day and sometimes don't use them for months or even years, but as long as I love the colour I know that eventually it will inspire me to create something. I definitely buy beads predominantly because I'm drawn to their colour. Colour is very important to me, as I find it both inspirational and therapeutical.

Having said that, I do have preferences and one of my favourite colours is turquoise (preferably natural turquoise stone). I find this colour and stone incredibly invigorating and happy and that is the effect I get when I use or wear it. It reminds me of summer holidays, bright blue skies, the sea, the beach.... all the things that make me smile :-) It is a spiritual colour which has been known to symbolise the soul and has been used through-out history to ward off evil. Ancient civilizations such as Egyptian, Persian and Aztec believed turquoise stones to be sacred and it is used until today by Native Americans for protection of the body and the spirit. It is definitely the colour I am most drawn to and I will rarely leave a bead shop without buying something that is turquoise.

The one and only colour that is completely absent in my bead stash is yellow. I never paid attention to this until this question was asked. Am not sure why I don't have any yellow beads, because after all what other colour evokes feelings of happiness and warmth more than yellow? I love yellow and yet not one yellow bead can be found in my collection. This may have to be rectified! :-)

Ann of Inspired Jewelry By Ann Burke

When I look at my beads I seem to have lots of bronze and amber colors, I call them neutrals and seem to use them a lot in the summer and fall. I also have a ton of silver, hematite and gray colors that I love to put together. I would say my colors I have the least of are pinks, blues, yellows and white. I really like all of the colors though, so I guess there are just too many beads and too little time.

MaryLou of Time2Cre8

When you look at your bead collection what is the dominant color?

Blacks and dark grays

What draws you to that color and why?

I've always loved black and white. Black and white photographs can be so much more interesting than color ones, the symmetry and simplicity of a black and white tile floor is amazing, and pen and ink drawings are my favorite both to view and to create. It doesn't surprise me at all that when I'm shopping for beads I wind up with lots and lots of dark colors. I've actually had to resort to carrying a list with me to remind myself that I need reds, oranges, blues, and greens!

And the reverse, what is the color you have the least of and what keeps you from using it?

Yellow. The only yellow beads I have in the millions of beads in my possession are ones that are included in mixes that were purchased as mixes. I know they're sunny and bright, but I just never think of incorporating them into any of my designs. I don't wear yellow and there's hardly any in my house. Maybe I should write 'yellow' on my list...

Anna of A Rose By Name

Ok, here's the weird thing with me. I have a lot of purple! I don't wear purple, I don't decorate with purple, but I have a lot of purple beads, go figure! I also have a lot of blues and greens, but those I do wear and love, especially the sea colors which have a soft spot in my heart and remind me of my childhood in Southern California and hanging out at the beach. The least amount I have of a color was orange. I had only three or four shades of orange, but I did just purchase two or three more shades. Yellow is still somewhat lacking, though. I think maybe the bright colors intimidate me. I've never been one to be the center of attention, so I don't tend to wear or use the "flashy" shades. I wonder if there's a psychological reason behind our choices. Seems like there could be! :)

Melody of Salamander House

What an interesting question, and one I'd never really thought about. I took a look at my stash and found that mostly cool colors predominate. Lots of green, blue and grey. I think I'm drawn to the colors I see most often in nature. Here in the Pacific Northwest that palette is pretty misty! Bright and vibrant colors are woefully under-represented in my stash and I've begun to try to remedy this lack. All I want, really, is an unlimited supply of every color bead in every size. That's not too much to ask, is it?

Sarah of Hands2Heal

When you look at your bead collection what is the dominant color?

My bead collection is pretty well-rounded. I have a good amount of warm colors, cool colors and neutrals like black and white. However, if I had to pick one color as the dominant color, it would have to be blue. I think I have more shades and tones of blues in more types of beads than any other one color.

What draws you to that color and why?

I've always been drawn to blue; to me it's a calming and restful color. Being the color of water, it reminds me of bygone days of playing at the beach, rafting a raging river and clear skies on a warm summery day. Blue can be soothing or it can be powerful. And with my fiery personality, it tends to calm me down and keep me grounded.

And the reverse, what is the color you have the least of and what keeps you from using it?

Believe it or not, I don't have a lot of tan or brown. I wouldn't say that anything keeps me from using it, just that I haven't had a good reason to at this point. I do have plans for some future projects that will utilize more neutrals, but I don't have much of it yet. Most of my collection is centered around bright and jewel-toned colors, the more vibrant the better. It's hard to find a brown that seems vibrant. Most browns seem dull to me.

Poor yellow . . .


  1. I wonder if the bead manufacturers realize there's going to be a big rush on YELLOW beads now? :-)

    Come one everyone (me included)...

  2. Fantastic article! I'm so glad I'm not the only one that has a mental block towards certain colors. Now, if only there were some vibrant brown colors....

  3. I bought a good many yellow beads last month. Now I just need to start using them. LOL

  4. See, maybe we are intimidated by the really bright colors like yellow?!

    I'm currently looking at the diamond pattern and cuff idea that Carol Dean has now stuck in my brain and I'm actually looking at "out of my comfort zone" colors like orange, yellow along with a comfort color like aqua or purple!

  5. It was really great to read about everyone's bead colors. The problem is it made me want to go shopping. Lucky for me in March there will be a Bead Binge sponsered by a local bead society close to me - 30 vendors - I can't wait.

  6. Poor yellow indeed! Interesting post. Very enjoyable.

  7. Not only are all y'all talented, you're also so interesting! I loved reading everyone's thoughts, and hereby resolve to use more yellow.

  8. So many variations. yellow is a good color and I love using it as well as orange - but they are not my favorites. This is a wonderful collection of artistic perspectives.


  9. Great article! I loved reading about everyone's favorite colors. I think we'll be seeing more yellow items pretty soon! :)

  10. Great post! so much fun reading everyone's preferences... and i'm still yellow free... i've come close a few times.... but... something just stops me :-)

  11. Great article, I really enjoyed reading about everyones favorites and not so favorite colors.

    Poor Yellow, but I'm not found of yellow either