Jewelry Design: Subtle Color Changes Make Significant Design Improvement with Margie Deeb

Would you like to learn about focal points? Focal points are great for creating interesting and visually exciting jewelry. If you know how to incorporate focal points into your jewelry making, you can guide the viewers eye as they appreciate your design. Today, Margie Deeb discusses how to manage and create an eye pleasing flight path on your jewelry. Use color to create a narrative, but make sure you know how to arrange the color on your design. Make your next beaded design amazing, use focal points!

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We love Margie Deeb's intimate knowledge of colors and we wanted to re-share some of our archive articles she has written for us. Margie is an incredibly talented artist, designer, and author. Follow along on her color journey. Let's all become students of color!

Bead Stoppers are one of our favorite bead stringing tools. Bead Stoppers are easy to use. They clip on the end of an unfinished jewelry design so you do not lose your strung beads before the piece is crimped and finished. Bead Stoppers can hold multiple wires and cords. Being the innovators that we are, we helped to create Bead Stoppers with Soft Flex® Exclusive Grip Tips to make this product even easier to handle. The grip tips also make it is easy to spot a Bead Stopper if you drop it and the colors allow you to personalize your collection.

Shop Bead Stoppers!

Shop Bead Stoppers!

Below, Margie discusses how to guide a viewers eye. Learn how to use focal points in your jewelry to make people appreciate your beaded designs on your terms.

Subtle Color Changes Make Significant Design Improvement by Margie Deeb

Study the two versions of the Aqua/Silver Mini-Radiant Sun Earrings. Before you read further, decide which you think works best and why. Read further and I'll tell you my thoughts.

The one on the right is the final version that I sell as a kit. Here's why it is a much better design than the one on the left.

Focal Point

I constantly stress in my teachings and writings that as an artist, its our job to visually guide the viewers' eye and tell them where to look first, where to focus. We do this by consciously creating a focal point. Or several focal points in a hierarchal manner.

Lightest or darkest areas often create focal points, as do areas of greatest contrast (lightest against darkest).

Where is the focal point within the earring on the left?

Finding it is a bit confusing, isn't it? My eye is drawn immediately to the visual horizontal band created by the lightest beads, the silver beads. That horizontal band not an aesthetically pleasing focal point. And it competes with the upper medallion section of the earring, which seems a natural focal point because of the circular shape.

In the earring on the right, the upper medallion section features four silver beads. My eye is drawn right into that upper center, where those lightest beads are. Here the composition and the color are in agreement that this is the focal point of the earring.

After enjoying the medallion focal point my eye immediately shifts straight down the middle of the earring, drawn to the light of the 6 largest silver beads that create a triangle shape. A second focal point! It is the lightest area of the bottom of the earring. And the triangle shape intrigues the eye, beckoning more of my attention.

Subtle Color Changes Make Significant Design Improvement by Margie Deeb

Turning back to the earring on the left, look again at the visual horizontal band created by the lightest silver beads. This horizontal shape disturbs me. It cuts the earring horizontally and fights with the vertical draping of the 3 loops. The elegance of the whole composition is wiped out, and it cheapens the effect.

Now look back to the right earring.The silver triangle shape augments the length and drape, making an elegant composition.

Great design lies in paying attention to the tiniest of details, where subtle changes effect significant impact.

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Margie Deeb

Artist and color expert Margie Deeb is the author of The Beader's Color Palette, The Beader's Guide to Color, The Beader's Guide to Jewelry Design and numerous beading and color publications. She teaches color and beading across the country and her free monthly color column, Margie's Muse, is available on her website. She writes regularly for Beadwork, Bead & Button, and Step-by-Step Beads magazines.

Visit Margie's website for her books, kits, patterns, jewelry, inspiration, and more: