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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Artful Color Palettes from Nature

Aren't these photos gorgeous? I love macros of science and plants, but I also love scenery and cultural topics too. Perhaps my influences of painting watercolors years ago will always be with me.

Do you ever look at random photos that appeal to you, and as a personal challenge, make a bead that uses those particular colors or patterns?

I've included some photos that touch me in some way. Whether it's for color, texture or some other
reason. They are all available for sale through National Geographic's Print Store,

The top photo is a relative of a jellyfish, called a Blue Button. What I'm looking at are the different shades of blue, how they look against the very white background, and the very tight inner core pattern, which softens into the undulating lines. I think this photo has many components that could serve as a beadmaking inspirational photo.

For me, the second photo is not only pleasing to
view, but it has wonderful colors for an Autumn palette. I have a hard time working in Fall colors, because they don't speak to me, the way they speak to so many artists. So if I want to challenge myself to use colors that I'm not as comfortable with, then I'll find a photo that I can use as inspiration. I'll even look to see what percentage of each color they have in them, because I know it pleases my eyes.

This third photo intrigued me totally. It uses a variety of green in warm and cool tones with
neutrals. I am always interested in the mixture of warm and cool palettes of the same color in one piece. Watercolor landscape paintings often have the deeper cool shades in the background and the warmer brighter colors in the foreground. Here, nature exemplifies it. I think it would be a great challenge to try some beads where we actively use this criteria. If you have some beads already made, please send me a photo. I'd love to see them.
The final photo is of pigment. They seem to show up better if they have some very light or very dark color with them to help them stand out. And besides, every time I see bright colors like these together, I think of my Mom who never met a bright color she didn't like and is a wonderful artist in her own right. She's the best!

Hopefully you'll be inspired to look around at photos that please you and find some inspiration through them. There are so many online websites that can serve as references. Please be careful to respect the website, if they have rules for using their photos. Or better yet, go take some of your own and send me the photo and the bead that goes with it.

You can always email me- comments, photos, or even questions through my main website, . There's a "contact me" button to click on, which brings up my email address. I'd love to hear from you.

Happy weekend!