Saturday, May 9, 2009
Colorful and Color Feel
Last week I spent 4 hours sorting through colored stones for a series of designs. I heard myself saying over and over, "No, not that yellow sapphire, it has a green undertone. I need one with a warm undertone to go with the orange center stone." Or, "the tourmaline needs to have a blue-green reflection, not purely green." Or, "that purple stone is too close to the red, it blends too much. I need a purple with more contrast, with more blue in it."
This is the beauty of working with a myriad of gemstones. We really can paint with them. Warm colors (reds and oranges) come forward and cools (blues and greens) recede. The undertones of a given color can either be warm or cool and can push the color in one direction or another. So a blue can have either a red undertone, making it warm, or a green undertone, making it cooler. Often it is the contrast of warm and cool or the saturation levels of colors which create a more visually intriguing piece. The eye spends time weighing the intensity and capturing the nuances of the variety of tones. This visual intrigue is my goal.
Different Color combinations have different emotional undercurrents. A ruby, orange sapphire, yellow sapphire combination seems intense and fiery, attention-grabbing and yet, sunny. A blue-green tourmaline with bright green tourmaline seems to capture the serenity of the sea. For me, tanzanite and sapphire suggest gathering clouds before a storm. The combination of aquamarine and peridot has something of the freshness of spring about it.
What do your favorite color combinations suggest for you?