Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bead Color Ideas: Picasso Daggers

Although neutral colors like black, white, and beige are meant to go with everything, they can sometimes be tricky to work with in bead form. The subtle changes that a bead’s finish can add to a base color demand more careful consideration when choosing a great palette. I recently treated myself to a lovely strange of Picasso finish daggers, and although the color is essentially brown, the hints of green and orangey topaz make it difficult to match. Before I can get to work on a new collar with these uniquely shaped beads, I need to find just the right mix of colors.

One of my favorite ways to use brown is as a replacement for orange in contrasting palettes. Rather than substitute, I thought I’d first try to combine these daggers with a more obvious shade of orange. This bright and peachy orange is a lot more cheerful than the muted daggers. The addition of Capri blue, which is bright but not busy, helps blend things together in Desert Sunset.

Desert Sunset Bead Palette

I was pretty happy with how the first palette turned out, so I thought I’d try the same method again. This time, I added pretty wisteria purple for the contrast, and dark topaz for the other ‘orange’. It's not as bright as the first palette, but the wisteria makes it somehow sweeter. I particularly like the way the purple highlights the hints of pea-soup green in the daggers. I’m calling this palette Spring Fog.

Spring Fog Bead Palette

The complementary colors seemed to be working just as well as the contrasting ones thus far, so in the final trio, both seed bead colors are variations of those in the accent beads. For Driftwood, I chose light topaz for a softer brown, and shamrock green to give things a little kick of freshness. Although the seed bead finishes are completely different, both work well together when balanced with the Picasso.

Driftwood Bead Palette

Have you ever found a bead’s finish difficult to match? Which finish is your favorite for versatility?

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  1. Hi Mortira,
    Thank you for the informative and interesting blog!
    Where in the heck did you find those awesome triangle daggers! I love them.
    Debra of DatzKatz

    1. Thanks, Debra! There were quite a few styles in the clearance section of


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