Discover Your Color Palette with Tear Sheets

When it comes to developing and honing style, color is paramount. Color expresses who you are; your current mood. The following exercise is one I frequently do when looking for inspiration or clarity for my jewelry line.

We’re diving into the world of tear sheets. Grab your favorite magazine(s) – InStyle, National Geographic, Architectural Digest – blank paper, glue, a pair of scissors and get ready to be creative.

Go through them and tear out any color combination that catches your eye. Don’t second guess yourself, this is not a weeding out process – that comes later. It doesn’t have to be jewelry or clothing, it could be a landscape, or a still life, or a motorcycle.

You can also go to the hardware store and pull out single strips of paint swatches that catch your eye. Don’t deliberate, but when you feel a pull towards a color, take it. Let gravitation be your motivation.

Once you finish the tearing process, lay your findings out on a white surface. Cut or tear out the parts that really attract your attention and start making a collage. Now you have an idea where your palette lies.

Do you tend towards a multi-bright palette (shown on the right) or tend towards a more muted, neutral palette (gold, silver, hematite – shown above)? You may be surprised that you’re putting together colors that have not caught your eye before. Work with that and try something new. If you already have a go-to set of colors, try adding in something new or mixing it up. Use this as an opportunity to bring out a new part of yourself. This exercise may inspire you to put together more than one palette.

Congratulations! You’ve established a base upon which to build your wardrobe and accessories. For those of you who are tech-minded, I’ll be sharing digital ways of building color palettes next week.

What color palettes did you end up discovering? Find any surprises? Let me know in the comments box below.

This is the third in a series of blogs about developing your eye and individual style.
The first post, “What’s your jewelry personality?” asks 10 questions to help identify your style. Then, we went through the steps of conducting a closet audit


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