Writing Color Stories
It is very possible that if you've followed along with this color-theory lesson, your head is spinning a bit. Please remember that you already understand color in an important way; you know what you like. Having an organized way of thinking about color can help you in your soap designs.
Understanding Color Stories
The next part of the color-theory lesson is all about stories — color stories. Think of an advertising campaign for makeup, clothing, craft supplies, or home décor. There will be an identifiable unifying idea behind the campaign. For example, the “New Fall Colors” may consist of colors that make you think of turning leaves, harvest, and cooler weather. Such colors may be “Harvest Gold,” “Fading Yellow,” “Rusty Brown,” and “Deep Wine.” This is called a color story.
The color stories you create for your soaps can be as straightforward as traditional color combinations — for example pink and blue soaps made for a baby shower. You may want to tell a story in color about the herbs that you've used in your soap. Or you may want just the perfect shade to pull your towels, tile, and paint together in your bathroom.
Creating a Color Story
As an exercise, go into your bathroom and look at the color details. List the colors of the paint, fixtures, tile, wallpaper, and decorative accents. This list of color forms the foundation of your color story. For example, let's create the color story of a hypothetical bathroom. The paint is very pale pink; the tile is white with a thin, pale green-blue accent border. The fixtures are white, and the towels are light sage green.
Using the color wheel, look at the nature of this color story. The light pink and the light sage green are unsaturated versions of the complementary colors red and green. Blue-green is next to green on the color wheel, on the way to blue. So, you've got a pastel complementary scheme with a tertiary accent.
Try to keep the amount of colorant in your soaps to a level that will not make a mess on washcloths, in the shower, and in the tub. Very rarely will a soap colorant color your skin, but it can happen. Follow usage guidelines and common sense. Luckily, since the pigment is delivered to the surface by soap, it will usually wash out. But not always!
You'll be setting the soap on the white sink or tub. It will probably be seen with the pink paint and a light sage green washcloth in the background. Since the color scheme is low contrast, you will probably want to keep the soap low contrast as well. A pale pink soap in the same color range as the paint with a sage green swirl would be soft and pretty and feminine. A light sage green soap with a thin light green-blue swirl would add a touch more color and tie the blue and green together. Try this exercise in your own bathroom. It will be very interesting to see what you come up with. It's fun to tell a color story.