Who doesn’t love bead soup mixes? Certainly not me!!
I work with them so much, that I don’t really think about the colour theory part of it. But perhaps I should explore this subject a little further!
Rosemary was de-stashing, and offered me a cool little book called “Beaded Colourways – Creating Freeform Beadweaving Projects and Palettes” by Beverly Ash Gilbert. I had never heard of the book, despite the fact that I fell in love with Beverly’s richly coloured bead soup mixes, at the start of my beading journey. I followed her blog for years (but probably an older version of the blog), and she used to sell her mixes. Unfortunately, by the time I knew that, she was already winding down that side of her business. It made me sad!
I must admit that I haven’t read the book completely yet, but what I did see, I absolutely loved!!! At the back of the book, are a couple of colour wheels (for a saturated, and a pastel palette), plus a set of templates that will de-mystify your choices!
Will I use the templates? Probably not? However, they’re one heck of a tool, for people who are not comfortable with their colour choices. Every time I teach a class, there’s always at least one student that says “I’m just not good at choosing colours!” Yet most times, they just need a little education, support, and encouragement. If you can choose your clothes, then you can certainly choose your beads!! Colour is not the same as design, yet even design can be learned!
Beverly gives you a set of six black wheels, with cut out sections, to signify colour relationships. There are three more sub-sets, but I won’t deal with those here. The ones that I know the best, are Complementary (colours that lie opposite to each other on the colour wheel); and Analogous (colours that sit next to each other on the colour wheel).
Then it gets confusing! Split Complementary; Triad; Tetrad: and Square Tetrad! Whew! It’s beginning to sound a lot like math! Interesting to read, but I think that Complementary and Analogous are the easiest to work with.
Check out the yummy colour in Beverly’s necklaces!
My recommendation is that you buy yourself a colour wheel, then start to play!!
Or, if you’re brave, choose my method, and construct your bead soup mixes by the seat of your pants! Choose a bunch of colours that you feel go together, dump them on your bead mat, mix them all up, then start beading! If you like the look of your bead soup mixes, when they’re in a large pile, then you’ll definitely love them when they’re in your project!!
I never sort out my bead soup mixes, after I finish a project! As far as I’m concerned, they’re just waiting for the next project!
If you don’t like any of these choices, then check out some of the bead soup mixes that BeadFX sells. We have Toho, and ColourFX, but if that’s not enough, there’s also our own curated (in-store), Auntie Gwen seedbead mixes!
By the way, if you’re interested in freeform projects, try to get your hands on a copy of Beverly’s book! I’m not sure if it’s still in print, but I did see copies available on Amazon for various prices. An added bonus is that Beverley has some interesting freeform netting projects in the book, with clear instructions, and using some of her saturated colour mixes! They’re to die for!!!
By the way, here’s another of Beverly’s books that looks interesting, and also illustrates her colour wheel system. I may need to buy it!!
Now mix things up, and go forth and play!