“Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint.”
― Pablo Picasso
I think Mr. Bob Ross may disagree on the “one can never learn how to paint” (happy little trees..ha!), but what a beautiful quote. Some colors do just sing, don’t they? Lovely. I feel the same way about some yarns.. Anyway, on with the post.
When I started this blog (about a month ago! Time sure flies!), I reached out to fellow crafters and asked what they would like to read about. One crocheter asked how to choose colors for projects. Now, I don’t particularly consider myself an “expert” in anything really, but I happen to get quite a lot of compliments on my color choices. I’ve been struggling a little with how to describe my process for you. I think, because honestly, it’s mostly just intuition. My best projects are those I don’t have any problems picking colors for. Sometimes, I decide the color scheme before I even decide the project, like the yarn is asking to be used. I’ve even not started projects in the past because when I started thinking about what colors to choose it would give me anxiety, and who wants that?! This is supposed to be fun, and stress relieving, not inducing!
Tip: When I’m having a hard time envisioning how my colors are going to come together in a pattern, I actually grab my colored pencils and sketch it out. This has led to color scheme changes more times than I can count!
- Get Online – We all want to create things that everyone considers beautiful. I’m not saying go copy whatever is popular in cyberspace. I’m saying, one of the best ways to find out what color schemes are “hot” is to do a quick search of your favorite online shopping sites. Let it inspire you.
- Get Outside – Mother Nature is gorgeous if you’d just look at her! Head outside. Lift your head and look around. Stop looking at your phone 😛 (I’m guilty of that one sometimes). What do you see? More likely than not, some amazing colors!
“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”
― Alice Walker, The Color Purple
Seriously. Look around you 🙂
- Go Shopping – At the home improvement store. The paint sections at The Home Depot and Lowe’s are wonderful resources for finding gorgeous color palettes — AND they’re already put together for you! For FREE! Go grab some swatches!
- Experiment – Step outside your comfort zone. Go BOLD. Something. Just try something you wouldn’t normally try. If you’re apprehensive about potentially wasting time on the wrong colors — do what I do. Grab your colored pencils and sketch pad and release your inner artist!
I once bought what I considered to be a fantastically beautiful skein of yarn, only to come home and have my teenager announce that she thought it looked “vomit-ish”. Lo-and-behold, when I completed the scarf I intended it for, I was overwhelmed with compliments on, you guessed it, the colors! Even my opinionated teen later admitted that, when paired with the gunmetal grey, the chartreuse (yes.. really) actually looked quite good.
Color is more complicated than it seems. I’ve taken whole classes centered entirely around color theory and choosing colors that complement each other (in hair school, not for crafting, but someone should offer one!). Get friendly with a color wheel and learn the basics of color theory. This site has a wonderful (and easy to follow) explanation: http://www.colormatters.com/color-and-design/basic-color-theory. It really is helpful to get to know the basics.
Happy Tuesday! What colors are you currently working with? I’d love to hear what inspires you in choosing colors! Feel free to add your two cents in the comments. Any totally odd color combos that have just worked for you?