Colorful Quest

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This post is part of the Exploration Party – a celebration of our inner explorers, led by Tara Swiger of Explore You. You can find other tales of adventure from artists, crafters, writers and biz smarties – and share your own story – right here.”

Tara’s hope is that this party will do two things:

  • Remind you that you already are an explorer. You know how to find the answers to your questions.
  • Inspire you to explore deeper, by seeing how other creatives are doing it.

I mentioned in my earlier post, that I have done a lot of research on how to be a better blogger. I know for a fact that qualifies me as an explorer. I am a blogger. For a year I put off doing a website because I could not even fathom writing a blog. I know this endeavor does not quite put me in league with Magellan. These waters have been well mapped and are traveled regularly.

This is all brand spankin’ new to me though! I have a clear destination in mind. But I have no idea of what I may encounter along the way. Scary? Yeah. Stressful? Oh yeah! Worth it? Hell yeah!

But I need a little break from all the blog business. I have a few art projects coming up. A couple of submissions and a bit of design work. And while I am mulling over some ideas, I have also been playing a lot with color. 

I have been exploring how colors work together, as I experiment with palettes to use. It is always so interesting to me, how colors can change dramatically depending on their adjacent colors. It is so much fun, to see how changing the proportion of colors in a palette, essentially creates a new palette. Duh, right.

One of my favorite sites to visit for color inspiration is Design Seeds.You can search by theme – spring, summer, vintage, vacation, etc. You can even find a color by using the value tool. This site is really fun, with great photos to get your creative powers pumping. Thank you Jessica!

design seeds chick palette

Courtesy of Design Seeds, Click on the image to visit the site.

Take a look at this Design Seeds color palette. It’s warm and sunny right? The yellows and orange dominate the cooler tones. Now what if you take the silver, brown and green as your main colors, and use just a hint of the yellow and orange?

Now imagine the green is the dominate color. Followed by the grey, and the lightest yellow. The colors are all light and bright, pretty much the same value right. They would need a strong color to make really them pop.


Let’s look at these swatches. The first one is part of a fabric collection I designed last year. The kiwi is bold and playful. The large deep blue dots tone it down just a bit, but it is still fun, lighthearted. We can use this simple layout to see the different moods colors can create. 

Polka dot pattern in Kiwi

Using the Design seeds Palette for inspiration, we can create swatches that are warm and sunny, cool and crisp, or deep and rich. See how the different proportions change the feeling of each one?    



sunny yellow palette  How does this make you feel?

Cool dot chick   What does this bring to mind?  

Green dot chick  Or this?

This is completely different, but the colors all come from the same palette.   

brown chick dot

 The peach swatch screams sunny vacation. Drinks poolside with friends. The silver, hmm… office cubicle. This color combo is more serious right? The green makes me think of … chicken enchiladas Suizas! Green chili, cheese and tortillas. Mmmm. Comfort food. Warm and just a tad spicy. OK, well now that we are on the subject of food. This last swatch resembles a chunk of dark chocolate. With nuts and marshmallows. Rich and satisfying to be sure, but a little goes a long way. 

I hope I have sparked some ideas for you. Maybe you will explore new color options for your next project, and be surprised by the result. I would love to hear your feelings on color, and how you use it. Why you choose the colors you do. Favorite colors, not-so favorite colors. Favorite color combinations.

Join Tara’s Exploration Party! Share your story with us, and enjoy the great tales of exploration that others are sharing.

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