Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bead Color Triads: Beach Palms

Airlie Beach Palm Tree by Rob Sangster
Airlie Beach Palm Tree
by Rob Sangster

Summer vacation is reaching the halfway point, which means it’s time to soak up as much sun as possible before the cool weather of fall approaches. Of course, sun and sand is a way of life for some, and just a quick plane ride away for others. The rest of us pretend that we really love snow!

When it comes to perfect climates, a tropical beach is one of the most common types of imagery. Just look at a palm tree, and you can forget whatever the weather is doing outside. Even when it’s hot, seeing the cool blue waters of the ocean can cool you off. The combination of water, sand and vegetation makes for a great color palette, too. This month’s Bead Color Triad was inspired by the perfect getaway.

Tropical Beach Color Palette

The palette begins with a deep, lush green and golden, sandy brown. I always like to include a fourth color for flexibility, so I grabbed swatches in two shades of blue - one for the water and one for the sky. Then comes the fun part - matching up the beads.

The first group, River of Jewels, started with a sapphire rivoli, which is a perfect deep sea blue. I kept going with the jewel tones and added transparent emerald 15/o seed beads, then topped off the palette with some shimmering gold 11/o’s. Although it has very little resemblance to a tropical beach, the palette does have warmth and exotic flair.

River of Jewels Bead Palette

I hadn’t planned on literally making a beach palette, but when I paired some wood beads with dyed blue shells, I couldn’t resist. The colors are so vibrant and rich, I decided to cool them off a little with white-lined peridot seed beads. The unusual shade of green can still pass for leaves - I’ve used it in a bamboo palette - but it brings down the volume of this Sunny Day very nicely.

Sunny Day Bead Palette

The final palette is quieter than the rest. Dreamscape combines shamrock lined seed beads and aqua blue pinch bicones with golden bugle beads. All three colors are very faint compared to the other selections, and together they have a very relaxing quality. Although this palette looks nothing like the inspiration, it has the same sleepy feel as a hammock under a palm tree.

Dreamscape Bead Palette

Which one would you use first?

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading


  1. For a sophisticated statement I would go with River of Jewels. If I wanted something lacy I would go with Dreamscape. And for casual flair I would go with Sunny Day. Can I pick all three? I love your palettes. I want to go get paint cards to play with colors now!

  2. The swatches do come in handy once in awhile! I'd have to have a whole decorator's set to make real bead matches, but it is fun just to get ideas to start from.

  3. I love the way you displayed them. They all look so inviting. I go for the denim blue theme. Take care - Dita


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