Jewelry Design: The Magic Of The Analogous - Complementary Combo with Margie Deeb

Let's look at the color wheel. How can we use it to make our jewelry come alive? Today, we will look at analogous and complementary colors. Analogous colors sit adjacent to each other on the wheel. Complementary colors are directly opposite on the wheel. This quick read will show you how to pair your analogous colors with paired complements. Your beaded projects will be rousing and magical.

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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!

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Below, Margie discusses how to use analogous and complementary colors to create magical jewelry designs. Learn how to use the spectrum of a color wheel to your advantage.

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Excerpt from The Beader's Guide to Color

Something happens when you pair the enchantment of adjacent colors with the gusto of complements... something rousing and vigorous, coursing with life. This "something" is technically called the analogous complementary scheme. But what really happens is magic.

Begin this magic by choosing an analogous group of two or three colors adjacent to each other on the wheel - okay, four if you must! This group becomes the dominant color force.

For the complementary part of this alchemy, select the color directly across from the middle of the analogous group. This direct complement becomes the accent color. Or, choose a near-complement (one on either side of the direct complement).

You have now created a dominant color grouping of three similar colors accented with the direct complement (or the near-complement) of one of them. See the color wheel below "Waning Crescent".

Waning Crescent by Margie Deeb

The Magic Of The Analogous-Complementary Combo by Margie Deeb

"Waning Crescent" by Margie Deeb exemplifies the analogous complementary scheme. Tranquil blues
play the dominant role, emphasizing the meditative reverie of the night drenched dreamer.
One complementary accent–moonlight yellow–commands our attention.
Tapestry created by Frieda Bates in peyote stitch.

Pattern available in The Beader's Guide to Color

Got it? Good! That was "Analogous Complementary Magic 101."

To graduate to "202," switch the dominant color to feature its complement rather than one of the analogous members. Mingle accents of the analogous colors into the dominant background made of the complementary color.

Necklace by Margie Deeb (based on a technique by Diane Fitzgerald)

The Magic Of The Analogous-Complementary Combo by Margie Deeb

A show-stopping combination of brilliant, irresistible colors comprise this
startling analogous complementary scheme.
Necklace by Margie Deeb based on a technique by Diane Fitzgerald.

In the necklace and accompanying color wheel above, the blue sits directly across the wheel from the orange of the yellow-orange analogous group. It could have been used as an accent color, with startling results. But instead, blue was used as the main color. The results are equally stunning.

To practice "Analogous Complementary Magic 303," extend the palette. Rather than using just one complementary color, put two or three to work. See "Chanin Study" (below).

Chanin Study by Margie Deeb (created by Frieda Bates)

The Magic Of The Analogous-Complementary Combo by Margie Deeb

An extended, complex interpretation of the analogous complementary scheme.
"Chanin Study" by Margie Deeb (created by Frieda Bates) was inspired by the abstract
Art Deco ornamentation on the Chanin Building in New York.

Avoid a random mish-mash of colors, logical relationships have been established. The analogous members are grouped together: violet, purple and red serve as a background, greens and yellows swirl and flow in front.

An extended analogous complementary scheme is as complex to work with as it is to say aloud. Juggling these many colors, especially complements, requires planning.

But it is worth every effort. What happens when you harmonize and balance this lively array of color? Pure magic!

Necklace by Margie Deeb

The Magic Of The Analogous-Complementary Combo by Margie Deeb

Accents of magenta among the green-to-yellow analogous group are an
unexpected surprise, pulsing this scheme to life.
Necklace by Margie Deeb.

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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: