Ancient Egyptian Color

by Margie Deeb
Ancient Egyptian Color Excerpted from Margie Deeb’s book, The Beader’s Color Palette

For roughly 3,000 years tomb painting in Pharaonic Egypt employed a consistent palette: three- to four-color combinations hinged on red or yellow. These combinations, and the hues within them, varied. But overall, the palettes remained consistent.




Because much of their art was religious, the ancient Egyptians used color symbolically to convey messages rather than for realistic portrayal.

Minerals and metals were used for their spiritual and therapeutic values: lapis lazuli corresponded with joy; turquoise with delight.

Some were identified with specific deities: copper and malachite with Hathor; and gold with the deity of the sun.

Their limited painting palette represented the Nile valley landscape: yellow-red of the desert, blue of the river, green of papyrus, and pale blue of the sky.

Red is the most variable color because it came from local ochre sources. In Theban tombs it is a warm, earthy brown. In other areas the red leans heavily towards purple. Blues, blacks, and greens are predominantly accent colors.

The wealth of magnificent jewelry they left us employs a wide range of stones including quartz crystal, carnelian, amethyst, jasper, onyx, lapis, and silver and gold.

The ancient Egyptians developed the art of glass used for its own sake, and for imitation gemstone. Their glass beads, which held spiritual and magical properties, were the finest of the ancient world.


    Artist, designer, musician, and color expert Margie Deeb is the first to author of several beading books about color, including the popular The Beader’s Guide to Color and The Beader’s Color Palette (June 2008, Watson-Guptill).

    She teaches color courses for artists, interior designers, and beaders and her free monthly color column, “Margie’s Muse,” is available on her website. She produces a free graphically enhanced podcast, “Margie Deeb’s Color Celebration,” available on iTunes.

    Her articles have appeared in "Bead & Button" and "Beadwork" magazines, and she writes a regular color column in "Step-by-Step Beads" and "BeadBugle.Com" She has appeared on the 2008 PBS show “Beads, Baubles, and Jewels” speaking about color. Visit Margie’s website for her books, patterns, jewelry, inspiration, and more: The Art of Color for Bead Artists.





Return to top of Ancient Egyptian Color
Return to The Art of Color for Bead Jewelry Designers
Return to Beading Design Jewelry home page.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

site search by freefind

Bead Manager Pro
will save you time and money.
With fully automated inventory and pricing of your jewelry pieces you will always know whats in stock
and what to charge!

Bead Manager Pro Jewelry Software Automate your business,
saving you time and money





Like to know how
easily this website has
risen to rank not only in the
top 1%, but the top 0.5%

of over 100 million active
websites online.
Click here to read my
Website Success Story!

Special SiteSell Promotion

Recommended Articles:

How to Build A Website

Introduction to Color Theory

How Colors are Created

Using the Color Wheel to Create Stunning Combinations

Color Schemes
Learn how to design stunning bead jewelry using and experimenting with various color schemes.
Monochromatic Color Scheme
Analogous Color Scheme
Complementary Color Scheme
Analogous-Complementary
Dual Complementary Color Scheme
Modified Triad Color Scheme
Near Complementary Color Scheme
Split Complementary Color Scheme
Square Tetradic Color Scheme
Triadic Color Scheme

Symbolic Meaning of Colors
Discover how the meaning of colors can help add a certain expression of feelings and emotions to your jewelry designs.

Beige
Black
Blue
Brown
Gold
Gray
Green
Orange
Pink
Purple
Red
Silver
Turquoise
White
Yellow

Awareness Ribbon Color Meaning

Ancient Egyptian Color

Artists' Historical Palettes:
Modern Art




Recommended Books:

The Beader's Color Palette

The Beader's Guide To Color


Beader's Color Mixing Directory

Make Money Doing
Something You Love!


Discover How You Can Start Making Money From Your Own Home Based Jewelry Business

The Complete Bead Guide.
The Complete Bead Guide Answers All Your Questions About Beads And Is The Ideal Ebook For Beginners & Experienced Bead Lovers!


FREE e_Books:

Site Build It!
Thinking of building your own website? Or want to improve
your online presence with the website you have now?
Turn Your Knowledge
Into Revenue!

Checkout these FREE ebooks.


Visitors Since Nov 22, 2011

free counters