This guest post was written by Corissa McClay for MakerCraft.
I’ve always found color theory useful in how I design my jewelry, which is why I’m sharing it with you. And here we are at our final color theory post. The first three were Monochromatic and Analogous, Complementary and Triadic, and Black and White with color. If you haven’t read them go check them out.
No Color Allowed
This final post is some general tips on using black and white by themselves, without extra colors to accent them. I’ve always had issues with jewelry designs that didn’t use any color. I’d feel like they should be the easiest thing to design; no color equals less problems. But that’s never been the case. So here’s my thoughts on the subject. Feel free to leave your own in comments.
Keeping Jewelry Classy
On thing I love about black and white is that when you get it right it looks amazing. It matches pretty much any outfit, and can often range from incredibly simple to very complex. In fact, my favorite black and white design I’ve ever made was for my mom to wear when I got married.
Making that taught me a couple things:
- Natural stone is great for classy black and white jewelry: I used hematite and pearl in this. If you’re going for classy nothing is as good as pearls, and the hematite was earthy and solid enough to match. I had originally thought about going with glass, but in the end the natural colors worked best.
- Balance is key: You don’t want one color to overwhelm the other. If you have too much of one or the other you’ll limit what you can wear it with (black on black makes for bad contrast). You can also throw off the design. Too much black can leave your design feeling heavy, while too much white can look washed out. In general, I think it’s best to make sure your jewelry is well balanced.
Since then I’ve felt better about designing in black and white, which let me pick up a couple more tricks.
- Match jewelry color to material: You can get around the issue of how heavy looking an all black piece of jewelry can be by using the right material. A translucent or semi-opaque glass or acrylic bead will lighten the design, and let you work in all one color. Sometimes you can use the translucency to get shades of grey as well, which also adds visual variety to your design.
- White is a statement color: Yes, bright colors attract attention. But an all white necklace against a bright colored outfit will glow. It’s a good subtle look, and if you use lighter acrylic beads you can get a long, maybe multi-strand, necklace without having to worry about weight.
Go non-symmetrical: Black and white are natural opposites. Think the yin and yang symbol. The colors are in balance, but not necessarily put together in a symmetrical way. Black and white are easier to use in more creative designs and patterns because you know they go together. Here’s an example of this:
So there are my tips on designing with black and white. I’m sure there’s more. If you’ve got some, share them in comments. And if you’ve made a necklace with our app using these colors, let me know so I can show it off!