From Jennifer: Margie Deeb is an internationally known author and bead artist. She has written two books about color specifically geared for bead artists, and is a popular instructor at Bead Fest. If you've ever felt intimidated by using color theory in your beadwork, check out Margie's thoughts and easy suggestions for getting the most out of your innate sense of color.
We are all capable of creating beautiful color harmonies
with a little knowledge, a little confidence, and a lot of play.
Color and design are two of my most burning passions. I've
published four books, two of which were about color for bead artists: The Beader's Guide to Color
and the award- winning The Beader's Color Palette
. The ultimate goal of
both books is to inspire bead artists to find their unique color voice and
confidently express themselves through color.
In my journey I've learned that many people are afraid of
color. Color is the strongest determinant of a first impression: when someone
sees your beadwork, they'll accept or reject it in less than one minute. The
colors you use account for 60% of that decision.
Given this, being intimidated by color is an understandable
A palette from the seashore designed by Margie Deeb, as seen
in The Beader's Color Palette.
The biggest obstacle to tapping color's power is fear: fear
of not knowing how to use color consciously and fear produced by too many
You can let go of the fears now! Here's a secret: You
already know how to use color in a uniquely expressive way.... you just are not
conscious of it. I know that's hard to believe. But open your mind to it. Every
participant I've ever had in class - despite trying to convince me how "bad"
they are with color - has proved this to me. After gaining a basic
understanding and being given permission to play, even the most color-timid
people create stunning color combinations... right before my eyes. These people
inspire me the most.
To begin tapping this innate power take small steps, like
you do when getting in shape, or navigating your way around a new app. Try this
1. Learn the basic properties of color:
color is easier than you think. Bright, saturated colors in every hue form the
essence of the color scheme of "That Silver Ribbon of Road".
intensity, temperature (don't let the words intimidate you, this is easy
stuff!). My Margie's Muse archives are a great place to start learning: over 84
articles with illustrations, diagrams, and photos explaining concepts of color
2. Cultivate an understanding of the color wheel and its
geometric relationships. (You might want to check out my Instant Colorwheel
Guide, an invaluable reference guide to getting the most out of your color
3. Develop intimacy with hues: their physical,
physiological, emotional and cultural impact. Start being conscious of why
certain shades of purple make you swoon, and others bore you.
4. Most importantly: PLAY! You create your most delightful
harmonies when your heart and mind are open to color's magic. Play with it and
let it play with you.
vivid tones combined with gold and black make a spectacular combination.
On a solid foundation you'll start tapping that innate power
and voice within you. Together, you and color will create beauty you never knew
you were capable of.
Beverly Ash GIlbert, (author of Beaded Colorways) and I have
partnered to create a twice-a-year color journal and website that will offer
all kinds of color info, including your questions answered, for free. To
subscribe to the journal, "Ask the Color Queens," email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org with the word "subscribe" in the subject line.
You can read more about Margie, her work, listen to her podcasts and purchase her digital publications about using color in your beadwork on her website, MargieDeeb.com.