Using Color Schemes from Home Decor

Green talks to Black, a painting by Peony and Parakeet. Get inspired by using interior color schemes in your art!

In the early 1990s, I bought an interior design book from the UK. It’s called “Design and Detail” and it’s written by a famous designer Tricia Guild. She was not as well-known as she currently is back then, and I hadn’t known her before I saw the book.

Creating Art using Color Schemes from Home Decor

I felt drawn to the interior color schemes and the decorating style presented in Tricia Guild’s book. Never before had I felt such a strong appeal to home decor. I knew I liked to be surrounded by strong colors, but I had never seen them used in such a powerful way. Since then, my every home has had elements and spaces inspired by the book. Whether I lived in a small single room as a student, in a flat or a house, I have always browsed the book when I’ve needed inspiration for interior color schemes.

Tricia Guild's home decor book Design and Detail

Last week, I saw a picture that had one of the color selections that are presented in “Design and Detail.” It was the combination of green and black including a little bit off-white, yellow and muted orange-red. We already have that color scheme in our bedroom but at that moment, I wanted to play with those colors again. So I started a painting that has green and black and followed the instructions from my upcoming class Planet Color!

Green talks to Black, a painting by Peony and Parakeet. Get inspired by using interior color schemes in your art!

Once it was finished, I painted more interior color schemes from the book. Again, I used the 7-step method from Planet Color. I had so much fun creating these!

Warm and Inviting Colors

The dining area in Tricia Guild’s book looks very cozy. The striking combination of yellow and black is balanced with earthy colors and then brightened with a few warm, bright spots.

An art journal spread by Peony and Parakeet and Tricia Guild's book Design and Detail. Get inspired by using interior color schemes in your art!

My art journal spread is inspired by the flowers and vases. It also plays with angled and round shapes as seen in the dining room.

An art journal spread by Peony and Parakeet. Get inspired by using interior color schemes in your art!

Whites and Neutrals

I am definitely out of my comfort zone when using pale colors in larger quantities whether it’s creating art or home decor. But I wanted to try to get inspired by Tricia’s master bathroom. It was surprisingly easy when I focused on expressing the textures shown in the photo. The narrow color scheme also made me focus on adjusting the colors only slightly.

An art journal spread by Peony and Parakeet and Tricia Guild's home decor book Design and Detail. Get inspired by using interior color schemes in your art!

It is surprising how many tones can be created from a very restricted color palette. I also quite like the red/orange spot on the right and how it balances the upper left corner. When using neutral colors, even the smallest colorful detail can make a difference.

An art journal spread by Peony and Parakeet. Get inspired by using interior color schemes in your art!

Many Shades of Yellow

I had a bedroom that had quite a lot of warm yellows when I was a child. But before “Design and Detail,” I never thought I could have bright yellow walls. But during the years, I fell in love with the warm yellow shade that I call “Tricia Guild’s yellow.”

An art journal spread by Peony and Parakeet and Tricia Guild's home decor book Design and Detail. Get inspired by using interior color schemes in your art!

In the art journal spread, I played with various shades but six years ago, when we moved to our current house, I wanted to have that particular “Tricia Guild’s yellow” on a wall.

Yellow wall inspired by Tricia Guild's home decor book Design and Detail

Even if there were tens of yellows available as paint, “Tricia Guild’s yellow” wasn’t found in the color charts. I thought people must think I am mad being surrounded by all the yellows and shaking my head. Then I just picked one that was closest and we started painting. But it wasn’t the right shade and after one layer, it felt too warm. After carefully analyzing the yellow in the book and comparing it with the wall, I decided to add warm black to adjust the tone. And so we got “Tricia Guild’s yellow”, just the perfect tone on the wall!

Home decor - Mixing yellow paint to get just the right color

This story shows how many colors there are in the world and how little you experiment with if you are using only ready-made colors. Start mixing your colors! It is a reason why I built Planet Color, my color-oriented workshop!

An art journal spread by Peony and Parakeet. Get inspired by home decor!

Colors from Potted Garden Using Leftover Paint

After creating so many paintings, I ended up having some leftover paint on the palette. I decided to use the paint by getting inspired by exteriors too.

An art journal spread by Peony and Parakeet and Tricia Guild's home deocr book Design and Detail. Get inspired by using interior color schemes in your art!

Expressing a potted garden with circles is easy. Angular tiles are also easy to add to the picture.

An art journal spread by Peony and Parakeet. Get inspired by using interior color schemes in your art!

Sign up for Planet Color!

Planet Color, online painting workshop by Peony and Parakeet

Take your favorite interior design book, or Pinterest board, or any source that inspires you with color, and sign up for Planet Color! I’ll show you how to experiment with colors so that your painting is more than just a selection of color samples. I’ll show how you can make colors interact and how to enjoy adding more instead of just making a mess! And if you are more of a minimalist, you can omit some steps of the process and create a simple yet eye-catching painting! Reserve your spot now!

What Acrylic Colors to Buy?

Tosca, a mixed media painting by Peony and Parakeet

This is a very practical blog post but let’s start it with my recent artwork, called “Tosca.” It is inspired by Giacomo Puccini’s opera. I went to see the opera last week and it was an experience that I wanted to communicate visually. The drama has always appealed to me and the contrast between the most beautiful sounds and the big emotions, often agony, was unforgettable.

Before the evening at the opera, I had just realized that I need to buy some more acrylic paints. I had run out of almost all the basic colors. I love Golden Heady Body Artist Acrylics, so I went to a local art supply store to get some. I know there are lists of what colors you should buy when buying the basics, but as my selection is a bit different, I thought I might not only share it but also give some general guidelines of what acrylic colors to buy. These can be applied to colored pencils and watercolors as well.

Guidelines that I Follow when Choosing Acrylic Colors

1) Always buy basic white and black. They give contrasts and are great for color mixes.
2) Never underestimate the amount of yellows you need. I use yellows for everything. I love the color itself, and use it a lot for color mixes as well. I often make a mistake of adding too much another color with yellow and then I need to add some more yellow to get the right tone. So I need a lot of yellows!
3) Warm and cold tones of each primary color are usually enough. I don’t buy browns and greens unless I find a specific tone that I fall in love with.
4) Always include some personal favorites. When I open the box where I store the tubes, I want to become happy. Cerulean blue reminds me of the time when I painted icons. I think of the sky when I see it and it makes me feel creative and happy. Whatever the current color trends are, cerulean blue always feels great. When I buy colors, I think about creating as an experience and don’t just focus on what is generally recommended.

Cerulean Blue acrylic paint tube, read more about what acrylic colors to buy!

My Basic Collection of Acrylic Paint Colors

A basic collection of acrylic paints, by Peony and Parakeet

Basic Colors:
1) Titanium White – because it’s basic white
2) Mars Black – because it’s basic black
3) Quinacridone Red – because it is great for mixing pinks and purples
4) Pyrrole Red– because it’s fiery and pure warm red
5) C.P. Cadmium Yellow Primrose – because it’s ideal to get beautiful greens but it is still a strong pigment, not a mix
6) C.P. Cadmium Yellow Medium – because it’s the most beautiful warm yellow I know
7) Primary Cyan – because it’s basic and more affordable than many other blues
8) Ultramarine Blue – because I have used to using it for decades

Extra Colors:
1) Medium Magenta – because I like pinks
2) Hansa Yellow Light – because it is an affordable extra yellow
3) Cerulean Blue Chromium – because it makes me happy
4) Manganese Blue Hue – because I like turquoises

I also have some special effect tubes, for example, gold and silver and some odds and ends. The more I paint, the more I rely on basic pigments and don’t like to spend money buying color mixes in tubes or jars.

A Red Day

Sometimes one color seems to be more appealing than the others. This happened to me last week; it was “red red red” that I thought all morning.

Three red acrylic pigments: magenta, pyrrole and quinacridone

Even if I had the new tubes and all, I started with watercolors and 12-by-12 inch watercolor paper. Playing with water is so liberating!

Painting a background with watercolors

Then I changed watercolors to acrylic paints and turned the music on.

Adding acrylic paint over watercolors

Puccini’s Tosca was playing in the background but as I had not visited the real performance yet. So I put this away to wait for the more detailed insight.

Colored Pencils Make the Details

A couple of days after seeing the opera, I was ready. I continued with colored pencils. They are wonderful art supplies. They are brilliant with watercolors, but they are ok with acrylics too of you create thin and even layers.

Tosca, a mixed media painting by Peony and Parakeet

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Draw Your Own Coloring Page

2 art journal pages created with the same idea, by Peony and Parakeet

These two art journal pages have been made in the same way: drawing simple lines and shapes and then coloring them with colored pencils. This is a fun exercise especially for those who like abstract art and want to show it in their art journals, and for those who are into coloring but want to create more personal images.

A) Draw a Coloring Page!

Drawing an easy coloring page in 4 steps, by Peony and Parakeet

With a thin-tipped drawing pen, create lines and shapes:
1. Draw a wavy line across the page.
2. Draw another wavy line in the opposite direction.
3. Add 1-2 angular lines on the top. The example above has only one long angular line.
4. Add some circles and squares in an area where you want to turn the focus.

B) Color Freely!

Choose your color scheme and add layers of color.

Coloring an art journal page with colored pencils, by Peony and Parakeet

Add even more layers …

Coloring an art journal page with colored pencils, by Peony and Parakeet

C) Add Journaling!

With a drawing pen, add your thoughts on the page. You can erase lighter areas for the journaling.

Journaling on a colored art journal page, by Peony and Parakeet

My page is about my latest visit to an art museum. They are such inspiring places!

An easy art journal page, instructions by Peony and Parakeet

Get more coloring instructions: Buy Coloring Freely!

Create Pastel Softness!

Soulmates, an illustration by Peony and Parakeet. Read more about using pastel colors and see how this artwork was made!

This time it’s all cute! I had the feeling that this blog is getting too serious. Don’t get me wrong! I want serious, I love serious and hope that you do too! Still, behind all good art, there’s a big portion of imagination. And the best way to embark that imagination is to play a little!

Pastel Colors in Teddy Bears

Cute collector teddy bears manufactured by Steiff and Teddy Hermann

So I asked my teddy bears if they were willing to help me with this post. And they responded: “Yes, sure!” When I interviewed them, they reminded me that there are two big factors in cuteness: softness and pastel colors. “My friend is a black teddy and he does not get so many hugs as I do”, said Apple Blossom. Pink Princess continued: “It’s not just the color, but it’s the fluffy softness that’s important too!” And then they both agreed that the huge nose and strong eye contact make a teddy even more successful.

Paste Colors in Old Scap Pictures

Then I showed them the old scrap pictures that I had found from an antique flea market some years ago.

Cute vintage scrap pictures. Read more about using pastel colors in art!

“Oh yes!”, they giggled. “If you want to create something cute, these sure are good examples! Round shapes makes them look reaaaaally soft!”

India Ink and Circles

I picked up my india ink bottles (used also in the video blog post last week) and tried to think about what kind of soft and cute to create with them.

Dr Ph Martin's Bombay india inks. Read more about creating pastel colors with them!

Then I remembered the round shapes. That could be the start.

Read more about using pastel colors and see how this artwork was finished!

So I painted some round shapes with pastel colors on a thin watercolor paper. While painting, I noticed that to get beautiful pastels you need to use a lot of white. Sometimes adding a lot of white can create hues that lack softness if the base color is cold. You can fix that by adding some yellow or a tiny portion of black. Speaking of soft and white, meet another teddy of mine called Niamh …

A white teddy bear, Niamh, manufactured by Charlie Bears

I am not a big fan of white but who could not love the color after seeing her!

Clustered Shapes

Back to the painting: Small shapes were added near the large ones to create cute creatures. I made some large shapes form the part of the background. More shapes were painted to made creatures more interesting.

Read more about using pastel colors and see how this artwork was made!

I made the shapes look dimensional and detailed with colored pencils.

Read more about using pastel colors and see how this artwork was made!


I finished the painting by adding more details and sharpening them with a white gel pen and a thin tip black marker. As a final touch, I added white acrylic paint on the face of the biggest creature. It lightens up the work and makes great contrast with the black. Namely, if you look at the scrap pictures and the teddy bears, the black color makes pastels looks so soft and bright. Small black dots here and there on a pastel colored circles can be enough to create a page that’s all soft and cute.

Soulmates, an illustration by Peony and Parakeet. Read more about using pastel colors and see how this artwork was made!

So, why not have a go: create a pastel colored art journal page to soften the hard world!

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How to Mix Colors?

On Sundays - An art journal page spread by Peony and Parakeet. Advice on mixing colors.

Here’s an art journaling page that I made to show you the gentleness of pastels and the strength of muted, darker shades. I often see art journaling pages that have a potential to be awesome, only if the color palette would be more unified! Meaning: only if the artist would have mixed the colors instead of using them straight from the tubes.

Choosing Color Combinations

Here’s the problem: we are pampered with many great colors by the art supply manufacturers. Like the colors of my Faber & Castell Gelatos, they look so pretty!

Faber & Castell Gelatos. Advice on mixing colors.

Still, you can pick colors there that won’t look so great together. Those colors have no common base color. Like the bright red, blue purple and mint green shown below. They have nothing in common. The bright red is a primary red; blue-purple is muted with black and mint green is muted with white. If you take out the mint green and mix the red and blue- purple, you can get a better combination. The brown, which is the mix of purple and red, ties the two colors together.

Advice on mixing colors.

Similarly, if you use only red, orange and pink straight from the box, they look more separate than if you also use the colors that are mixes of them. Like parents and children, they form a unified color family.

Another example: the colors that have a common base color, like the pastels below, suit well together. You can also mix them without fear: they produce lovely combinations. If you don’t want grays or muddy browns, avoid mixing contrast colors together. The contrast color pairs are red and green, blue and orange, yellow and blue-purple.

Advice on mixing colors.

Sometimes people are afraid of getting grays and browns, and so they avoid mixing any colors. But those muddy colors make the brighter colors pop. See how muddy colors support the other colors in the art journal page that I made.

A detail of an art journal page spread by Peony and Parakeet. Advice on mixing colors.

Playing with Tints and Shades

Advice on mixing colors.One reason to mix colors is to get more natural, lively look. If you look at any photo, you can see a lot of colors there. The variation of light causes the huge amount of colors.

In the late 19th century, there was a genre of artists called impressionists. They were inspired by the daylight. They wanted to focus on the light, not on the objects themselves. If you are afraid of mixing the colors, look closely at Claude Monet’s Cliffs at Etretat and count the various tones there!

Instead of using primary colors like basic bright reds, blues and yellows and mixes of them, I encourage you to play with tints and shades: mix white or black to the primaries and get softer colors!

Using Faber & Castell Gelatos

When I began creating the art journal page, I chose to use gelato sticks with acrylics and hand decorated papers. I decided to use the background that I had made weeks ago, as its pastel colors reflected the cheerful mood I was having.

An art journaling page in progress. Acrylic paint background. Advice on mixing colors.

I like to create backgrounds when I am tired or uninspired. Then, when I start creating, I feel that I am already half done. When using various supplies in each layer of a page, I will get more variation in color without extra effort.

Faber & Castell Gelatos. Advice on mixing colors.

Faber & Castell Gelatos look like lipsticks, and they have similar kind of waxy feel. You can dilute them with water, but I think the greatest way is to mix them with a paper towel or soft sponge.

Softening Faber & Castell Gelatos. Advice on mixing colors.

Gelatos work great on a painted surface. Notice that I created color mixes with slight variation in darkness. I used both tinted colors (mixed with white) and shaded tones (mixed with black).

An art journaling page in progress. Faber & Castell Gelatos. Advice on mixing colors.

Repeating Colors

One more thing to consider: color repeats. I am very careful of not repeating the same color too much. In general, when the color is used only once, it represents an individual. If it’s used twice or three times and the areas are closely located, they represent a group. But if the same color is here and there or evenly spread, it is often just a mess. The rational side of us wants to create color repeats. But once the work is finished it does not look rational at all! One more reason to mix those readymade tones!

An art journaling page in progress. Faber & Castell Gelatos and handdecorated papers. Advice on mixing colors.

When I began to add hand decorated papers, I followed the same rule of controlling the number of repeats: not too much of the same paper.

Using hand decorated papers is a great way to add thin lines to a page. The gelatos have a waxy surface that can be difficult to handle with thin markers. For the journaling, I used Faber & Castell PITT brush pens.

A detail of an art journal page spread by Peony and Parakeet. Advice on mixing colors.

To make the collage look more integrated to the page, I added color with Gelatos on the papers.

An art journaling page spread by Peony and Parakeet. Advice on mixing colors.

If I had to define art shortly, the definition would be: creating great color mixes and communicating with them. At least that is the step to take when you feel that the page you made does not represent what you wanted to create!

Read more about colors: Yellow, 5 Tips to Choosing Colors

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Using Black in Art Journaling

Scotland inspired art journal page spread by Peony and Parakeet

Last week was great. I went to Scotland! I started with a small business conference in Glasgow and then had a couple of days sightseeing. My husband joined me in the end of the week and we really enjoyed our time. To celebrate the journey, I made an art journal spread which is based on the easy, yet effective technique, using black in art journaling.

Eating breakfast at Willow Tea Rooms and art journal page about the designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, by Peony and Parakeet

Before I get into the process of creating the spread, I want to show a page of a smaller art journal which I had with me. I made the page while I was eating breakfast at Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow. It is a wonderful place for a Charles Rennie Mackintosh fanatic as I am.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a designer and architect in the early 20th century. I have admired his and his wife’s Margaret MacDonald’s work for ages, so I wanted to look around the tea room area really carefully. Because sketching not only makes me observe things in detail but also memorize better, I recorded most things that I saw.  The first tip of this post is to create sketches before making the actual pages. It is easy to keep a black pen and a small journal in the bag.

St Conan's Kirk, Scotland

When I saw this doorway of St Conan’s Kirk, I knew it would be inspirational after getting back home. When thinking of doorways and windows I remembered a page spread in my largest art journal which was started some time ago but was not finished. I often create jumpstarts for the future pages. This was just perfect for the theme!

Creating of a Scotland inspired art journal page spread by Peony and Parakeet

To get to this stage is really easy:

1) Paint a background with watercolors. Use various colors and brush sizes. Do not repeat colors or patterns too much but create areas that differ from each other. Create few layers and let each layer dry before adding the next.

2) With black watercolor, add a new layer on the top. Leave empty areas so that the previous layers show through.

Creating of a Scotland inspired art journal page spread by Peony and Parakeet

And after the black layer is dry, the real fun begins:

3) Doodle on the black areas with color pencils and gel pens. You can also add details in the other areas. Feel free to use decorative papers too.

Kelvingrove art museum, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Mackintosh house

I wrote to the art journal that my best experience of the journey was to visit Mackintosh house. Taking photographs was not allowed but I did manage to take a couple of photos of Charles Rennie Mackintosh work. The first photo is from Kelvingrove art museum which is located near the Mackintosh house. In the second photo I am standing on the front door of Mackintosh house. There were no stairs as the house was a replica of the real house and was built inside Hunterian art gallery.

When walking around the interiors designed by the creative couple, Charles and Margaret, I wondered what kind of discussions they had had in their beautiful home. Margaret’s remarkable collage art showed extreme talent but she was not valued as an artist back then. Charles also struggled at times. Still, what those two people shared with each other, must have been wonderful and deep. I just wish I could take a time machine and spend at least one evening with them, talking about the form, design and philosophy of art!

Inveraray castle, Scotland

These photos also worked as inspiration to the art journal spread. Here is Inveraray castle and its beautiful entrance with summer flowers.

Stalker castle and scottish highlands

The day we visited the highlands was sunny and the nature looked incredibly beautiful. The Stalker castle was not available for visitors but the view from it must be breath-taking.

Scotland inspired art journal page spread by Peony and Parakeet

Here’s the finished spread again. Hopefully you enjoyed the photos of the journey and fell in love with Mackintosh couple’s work. I also wish that you’ll try my technique of using black in your art journal!

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How Does the World Look Like?

Woodlands, nature-themed art, a collage by Peony and Parakeet

When I was a child, I used to draw with my sisters. My sisters are over 15 years older than me so I asked a lot from them. One winter day I asked my oldest sister: What color is snow? And my sister answered: snow reflects a lot of colors so you can use a rainbow of colors. That’s a brilliant answer! It answers any questions of what color to use for nature-themed art. Yes, you can use a rainbow of colors! Like I did in this forest themed card.

I take a lot of photos just to learn from the nature. Here are a couple of them just to prove how realistic my little collage is. There really is a lot of colors and variety in nature!

Sparkles after the rain

Speaking of rainbows …

Rainbow after the rain

My advice is: when you create, stop repeating and start adding variety.
Use combinations of various papers and colors. Add layers and create elements and group with various sizes. Let your art grow and change like the plants and trees do.

Woodlands, a detail, a collage by Peony and Parakeet

What do you think? How does the world look like to you?

P.S. Here’s another card that uses the same principles.

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Yellow Color

Yellow collage by Peony and Parakeet, using yellow color

If I had to pick only one color, I would choose yellow. It is unconventional, energetic, and brilliant with other colors, mixed or not. I love to make green by mixing yellows with blues or black. Yes, isn’t it surprising that you’ll get olive green if you mix yellow with black! Best oranges come when mixing yellows with reds instead of buying ready-made oranges. I often put a tiny portion of black to get a slightly muted shade.

Yellow collage on canvas by Peony and Parakeet

I created the yellow collage on a canvas mostly with acrylic paints. If you buy only one tube of acrylic paint, I would recommend buying good quality yellow, warm or cold.  Then create your art with color pencils, markers or watercolors and finally add a very thin layer of yellow on one or two areas. You will witness the arrival of the sun, warmth, and all the good things!

If you buy two tubes of paint, I would recommend yellow and another primary color, red or blue. You can create almost anything with those. The intensity of good quality yellow paint is amazing and in acrylics, I prefer to buy few and good quality instead of buying cheap sets.

Yellow collage on yellow wall, by Peony and ParakeetIn our house, we have a long hallway painted yellow. It is a particular shade of yellow that was not found in any color charts. I mixed it myself by adding some black to the closest yellow I could find. I saw this yellow first time in Tricia Guild’s old book Design and Detail about 20 years ago. I fell in love with it, and when we bought our house a few years ago, I knew that the dark hallway would look amazing with that yellow.

I think that yellow has a special connection to two colors. The first is black. Try this: pick your yellows and think about blacks. If it helps, find music that represents black for you and turns it on. Paint yellow and think about black. I love that mind game!

Another color that I connect yellow with is blue purple. It is the contrast color of yellow, and it makes yellow pop even more and vice versa. If you look at the collage, there are a couple of tiny circles on the small square on the left. Yellow makes them look lovely and bigger than they really are.

Yellow Color begins a blog post series about color. I will post these color-themed posts now and then. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy these!

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Fire With Water(colors)

One Friday evening I was so fed up with seeing white and grey all week. In Finland all the public places, offices, most homes (excluding mine!) are white or pale grey.  And now when the colour starts to fade from the nature too, it’s just too much, or should I say little, for me!

I needed this – to play with colors:

I was not interested in the composition or shapes this time, I yearned for color and spent hours mixing water colors. Then I added small details with pens and color pencils.

Fire with Watercolors, detailed view

The end result reminds me of wood that is burning in the fireplace! Using water colors can be a really fun way to set the colors on fire!

5 Tips to Choosing Colors

People often comment the colors on my work. No wonder as my design process is very color driven! Here are some guidelines that I have developed for choosing colors.

1) Start with the color

Whether I am about to dye, paint, knit or make a new design, I often start with the feeling that I want to express. I see the feeling in color; there’s often the exact hue that comes to my mind. Sometimes it’s a combination of two or three colors.

I have learned to interpret abstract things to colors by observing color in everything I see. Try to omit the functions, shapes, and patterns of the objects and concentrate on colors. Do not worry about what you are going to make, choose the materials by their hue and start creating!

My paper designs often start with color. This lime yellow represents the warmth of summer for me!

2) Mix the colors you hate with the colors you love

The one mistake you can make is that you only give attention to the colors that cause positive reactions. I often go deep into hues that I hate. I have noticed that by combining them with the colors I love creating great impressions that are more real than if I use only my positive colors. And within the time I learn to see the beauty in every color.

Like I used to hate pink. Nowadays one of my favorite color combinations is muted orange red and pink. I get emotional when I see these colors together. They represent something about my childhood that I cannot put into words.

Alku yarn in Eleanor colorway, the hated pink and the loved orange-red!

3) Control the quantity of each color

I like to control the quantity of each color. I often have a few colors that cover the most of the surface and then some that I use in small amounts. When making a color palette for your design, keep in mind that you don’t need large quantities of the color you want to turn the attention to. Small colored areas that locate in the main focal points can create great impact. The colors interact with the composition of your work.

You can practice this by taking photos and analyzing them. Analyze why the certain colors in a photo draw your attention.

This photo looks black and white to me. The focal point is the place where the light hits the road. It emphasizes the darkness of the shadow.

4) Make your own colors

I try to avoid colors that come straight from the jar. Even if they look beautiful. At the end of the creative process, they look artificial anyway. Probably because it’s so easy to use them in too large quantities!

If you mix your own colors, you will get exciting variations of the same color. This makes your work look more natural. You can also use the same components in many different colors. This makes them go better together. When you start with the blues, yellows, and reds, you can create a huge amount of colors and hues with less cost and with better controllability. And if you end up creating ugly colors, see step two!

I often add a hint of black to create a muted tone, but you might prefer pastels and use white instead.

Mixing black with yellow to achieve the right hue for the hall (the result is shown in the first photo of this post). / Using white to create soft pastels in knitted fabric.

5) Put the color theory into practice

With this blog post, I do not want to underestimate the value of color theory. I have learned Josef Albers color theory during the designer studies. For Josef Albers, the color was everything, see this inspiring video of him and his works! Whether you learn the basic color theory or dwell deeper into Josef Albers experiments, it’s always good to experiment too. Get your safe color combos and then move to the more dangerous ones! You can never know too much about colors!

Here’s a snapshot of the library room where I like to create most of the color combinations. I am surrounded here by colors, textures, and patterns, and I find it so inspiring! One of my newest fabrics is on the chair, and I think it suits the room perfectly!

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