Thursday, March 13, 2014

Colors that Pop - Working With Color in Your Life

I had so much fun looking at the Pantone colors with all of you yesterday, I thought I'd take one more day to explore color in a slightly different manner. Color can influence so many things in our lives; primary among those for me is mood. I can change my mood by changing the colors I'm wearing. I make my living with color and I'm very, very good at bringing disparate colors together into harmonious palettes. I watch customers struggle with color every day. I have some suggestions for those of you having difficulty with color palettes.

Step away from your screen and look at this. The colors strike in the order
of that rich golden yellow, then the red which also has an orange undertone
in the car, and finally the green shirt on the driver. Everything else is
neutral and background. The ad, although it has vintage elements, is from 2013. 

Look through the magazines. Don't care about the items or what is being pictured, you're looking for colors. See an ad you like? Tear it out and keep it handy. You don't have to like or recommend the product to love the colors that appear in the ad. People go to school for many years to learn high levels of design which are then used for advertisements. Take advantage of their skills and use them in your own work and wardrobe.

There were many different paintings I could have chosen for color - there are
quite literally millions to choose from. But I chose George Seurat's "A Sunday
Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" because the colors are so wonderful.
Look at his choices in the lilacs shades closest to the front. Then compare those cool
colors to the warmer reds, oranges and yellows of the sun baked grass
farther back. It's a masterpiece, and it can help you choose complimentary colors
of your own. 

Do you see a painting that you just love? Maybe it's not just the image, but also the colors used that are pulling you to it. Often an artist will be able to differentiate different levels of color than the viewer. Again - take advantage of his or her expertise and use their palette for your next choice.

A wall of paint chip samples just makes me drool - they are so beautiful
and so well organized and orchestrated. It's like looking at a box of unused
water colors or pastels *sigh*. A lot of people are making 'art' from cut
paint chip samples. To me that's a bit more like kitch than art, but to each his own. 

Can't decide on a shade to go with that perfect blue? But you know you want a lavender or a pink (or choose any other color you desire), visit your local hardware store. Do you see their paint department? It's color heaven. Choose some of the paint chip color cards to take with you. They're free and the colors are bright and vibrant - pure colors, in essence. Often they will help you decide between similar shades when you put them up to your clothing.

The newest colors introduced a month or so ago are Tangerine and
Iridescent Green. Why do they title them 2015 colors when we're
only in year 2014? Because they always position themselves a year
ahead. This gives designers a chance to get the colors into their
pieces and lines well before the color hits the fashion world. 

What to do about your jewelry? I run into this dilemma twice a year when Swarovski introduces their new crystal and pearl colors for Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer (plus - they always announce them a year ahead of when they expect those colors to hit popularity). But after all this time, I've also grown to understand the company. They work in triads. It might take a year or two (or even more) for the triad to become complete, but it always comes together in the end. The newest colors for 2015 Spring/Summer were Tangerine which works beautifully in the Sun to Red Topaz group, and Iridescent Green which shines with Lumine Green and either Light Olivine or Khaki. I'll be recommending these triads to my customers, and when it comes to your clothing, having that third color in a scarf or blouse can sometimes really make the grouping sing.

This lovely cartoon by Marty Coleman, the Napkin Dad, fully expresses
my general feelings about shopping. Thank goodness my own shop deals
with color, technique, and creativity.  

So, on that fashionable note (from someone who actually abhors shopping so much that I don't do new clothes until old ones die), I bid you a wonderfully colorful Thursday.

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