Choosing and Combining Colors:  Design Tips for Paper Crafters and Cardmakers

Choosing and Combining Colors: Design Tips for Paper Crafters and Cardmakers

Do you get baffled when trying to choose colors
for your paper crafting projects? Do you wish you had a better idea of how to choose colors
that go well together? Stay tuned because I think I can help you
out. Hi! This is Sage Kimble, aka the Mad Stamper,
with color tips for card makers and paper crafters. Choosing colors and combinations for handmade
cards and other projects is an important part of paper crafting. Some crafters seem to have an innate sense
of colors and how they go together while others struggle to make combinations. I’m going to use the 2014 In-Colors from Stampin’Up!
to show you some tips that will help you understand more about combining colors. I’ve made 5 versions of the same card design
to use as examples. Of course, these cards reflect my taste and yours may be very different. But these ways of looking at colors will apply
to whatever part of the spectrum you’re drawn to. A very simple and effective approach to color
combining is to use colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. This is called an analogous color scheme.
And I’ve used it for the most part with these cards. The combinations are easy to pick out and tend
to have a harmonious feel to them. So let’s start looking at the individual colors.
I’ll start with Hello Honey and compare it with some other yellows in the Stampin’Up!
palette. Daffodil Delight is probably the truest yellow in our collection. Although
it isn’t fully saturated meaning it has just a little white in it. Next to it you can see that Hello Honey looks
darker and muddier. A color will look muddy if it has some black or grey in it to tone
down the brightness. Crushed Curry and Hello Honey are very close
to each other with Crushed Curry being just a little brighter. So when I choose colors to combine with Hello
Honey, I want something that’s going to accentuate its warmth without making it look even muddier. So if I look at this spectrum I can see that
for a yellow, if I’m using an analogous color scheme, I can move into oranges and all the
way through to green. If I’m looking at oranges, I’ll stay away
from the ones that are kind of pink like Calypso Coral because that make the Hello Honey look
even muddier. But oranges with more yellow in them like Pumpkin
Pie, Tangelo Twist, or even Cajun Craze will all bring out the warmth of Hello Honey. Going the other direction on the color wheel
will get into the greens. Again the best greens are going to be ones with more yellow than
blue. Mossy Meadow and Old Olive both enhance Hello
Honey’s warmth. Bluer greens like Wild Wasabi and Garden Green, they’ll also be okay; they’ll
just have a cooling effect. On this card I’ve combined Hello Honey with
Tangelo Twist and Mossy Meadow, staying in the warmer side of the colors. Let’s move on to Tangelo Twist. This is a
highly saturated color meaning it doesn’t have any white or grey in it to lighten or
tone it down. It’s very close to Pumpkin Pie, but even brighter. It has more yellow in it than red so it feels
very different than say Tangerine Tango or Calypso Coral that are more pinkish oranges. On this card, I combined it with the analogous
colors of red and yellow. I chose Daffodil Delight instead of Hello Honey because I wanted
a brighter yellow. But I chose Cherry Cobbler instead of Real
Red to cool down the combination a little. For a brighter combination, you could use
Real Red and Daffodil Delight or you could get even a little brighter and wilder and
use Melon Mambo. Mossy Meadow is a luscious dark green. It’s
muddy with some black in it, but compared to another muddy green like Always Artichoke,
you can see it’s warmer; it has more yellow in it. For this card, I combined it with Pear Pizzazz
which is a pastel of a yellow-green. Instead of using the truly analogous blue or blue-green
with this Mossy Meadow, I went a little further into the purples. I chose Elegant Eggplant for a dark purple,
but the ink was too dark so I went with Perfect Plum for the ink. Now let’s look at Blackberry Bliss. What a
rich and yummy color this is. However it’s such a dark purple with enough black in it,
that it can almost look brown next to a lot of colors. So I wanted something that would heighten
its richness rather than dulling it down. My favorite color for this purpose is Crisp
Cantaloupe, a very light coral, which is pink with a little bit of orange in it. Here’s the card and I used some Calypso Coral
with it, which creates a really stunning color combination and brings out the richness of
the Blackberry Bliss. The last color we’ll look at is Lost Lagoon.
This is another very muddy color, this time in the blue-green range. You can see how muddy
it is next to something like Coastal Cabana which makes it look almost grey. Bermuda Bay does the same thing. It goes well
though with the pastel blues of Soft Sky and Pool Party, which show off the beauty of Lost
Lagoon without dulling it down even further. In this card, I went with Pool Party and Blackberry
Bliss. So this exploration of colors and combinations is just a tiny look at a very large subject. If you struggle with combining colors in your
projects, then you’ll want to check out my online class, Use Colors Like a Pro; Color
Theory Made Simple for Paper Crafters. Click on the link below to see why this class
will take the stress out of choosing colors for your handmade cards and other projects. If you’re serious about learning to use colors
more effectively, then you’re going to love this class. Use the link under the video to
hear all about it.

4 thoughts on “Choosing and Combining Colors: Design Tips for Paper Crafters and Cardmakers

  1. Very interesting way to look at colors… It's not something I struggle with, but I like your explanation.

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