Beadwork Color Theory
    —Simple Beading
        —Bead Therapy
Color Theory

Color Theory is good to know when working with beads, fibers and fabrics. Unlike paint, we cannot stir them to come up with new hues, shades, or tints.

Knowing a bit of color theory can make a difference in your choices for your next project. It will help you to deliberately select and place certain colors to make your creation pop.

The spectrum bent into a circle is the basis for the color wheel. It helps to visualize relationships.

My PETAL Color Wheel (PDF) illustrates the main concepts of color theory.




The Primary colors are Yellow, Red and Blue. When Primary colors are mixed we get Secondary colors: Green, Orange and Violet. Tertiary colors are a blend of neighboring colors on the color wheel. (PDF)

In preparation for a color theory presentation for the West Toronto Bead Guild (WTBG) and the Creativ Festival, my husband and I took the time to graphically illustrate individual color schemes using our PETAL Color Wheel. In my presentations, I had examples of beadwork to go with each concept.

In the Cool and Warm Temperature Colors (PDF) we see how Cool colors are low key, calming and refreshing. Cool colors seem to recede farther away. Warm colors are energetic and seem to advance in relation to cool colors.


By using a dash of Complementary Colors (PDF) in your creation, the little zing makes your project comes alive.


A Tetrad is a creation with two sets of complementary colors like in my Kilim.


Split Complementary Variations (PDF) are any color on the wheel plus the colors on each side the compliment. These striking contrasts create more interesting and vibrant compositions.


Analogous Colors (PDF) compositions are a challenge because you use colors of either side of the main hue. Working with textures, interesting techniques and careful color placement creates sophisticated results.




Hope this basic color theory information inspires you to play with colors beyond your comfort zone.

About us Beadwork Catalogue Gallery Portfolio Contact