Summer School – It’s Your Turn to Learn: Color Saturation


Thursday is here already, and we hope you’ve been enjoying Session Three of MFT Summer School. These are the types of classes it’s fun to take, and the homework isn’t too taxing, right? We really can’t wait to see what you are learning and how these lessons are helping you create wonderful designs! Be sure to catch up with lessons one, two, and three from Session Three if you happened to miss them.

The first three lessons this week covered several design priniciples dealing with balance, but we’re going to end the week giving you two lessons that will give you the tools you need to confidently create with color. And with all of the colors available through My Favorite Things, you’re sure to want to find a way to use every single one of them!

Get ready for another fantastic lesson filled with an array of color. Are you ready class? Let’s begin.

Lesson #14 – Color: Color Saturation

Our lesson today centers on understanding Color SaturationColor Saturation refers to the intensity of color. The more white or gray that is added, the less saturated the color becomes. You can add black to deepen the saturation. Cards tend to work best when the saturation of the colors are on a similar scale.

Let’s take a look at two examples from Melania Deasy and Erin Lee Schreiner to better understand the way that the saturation (or desaturation) of color can change the look of a card design.

Handmade card from Melania Deasy featuring Birthday Wishes & Balloons.

Melania’s desaturated card features soft colors that are the result of lots of white added to the original shades of pink and violet.

Handmade card from Erin Lee Schreiner featuring Rose with Overlay Die-namics.

Erin Lee chose intense versions of pink and green for her super saturated design.

Today’s instructor is My Favorite Things Design Team member Kay Miller. Let’s settle in for a visual tutorial to learn more about using various types of Color Saturations you can employ in your designs.

Kay tends to use highly saturated colors on her cards as a general rule, but she admits that sometimes lower saturated colors can be very soft and pretty. Today she is going to show you examples of both desaturated and saturated designs so that you can see the difference.

Handmade card from Kay Miller featuring Desert Bouquet stamp set.

In order to showcase a desaturated color combination, Kay chose low saturated colors: Spearmint, Peach Bellini, Pink Lemonade, and Grapesicle. She lightly sponged Grapesicle to create a soft background for the bouquet, and then she randomly stamped the flowers and greenery with the other soft colors. The Vintage Frame stamp and sentiment and matching Die-namics were stamped with Spearmint ink to continue the soft look. She added some detail with a white gel pen and some pastel Pretty Pink Posh sequins.

Handmade card from Kay Miller featuring Desert Bouquet stamp set.

Kay’s second card uses the highly saturated colors Razzle Berry (a personal favorite of hers), Daffodil, Limelight, Grape Jelly, Orange Zest, and Jellybean Green.

Handmade card from Kay Miller featuring Desert Bouquet stamp set.

She randomly stamped the flowers and greenery from the Desert Bouquet stamp set and added a small strip of black striped paper from the Dots & Stripes Neutrals paper pack and a saturated yellow border for awesome contrast. The pink striped paper from the Dots & Stripes Sorbet paper pack adds another punch of color, too. Adding black to a desaturated card would likely come off too harsh, but it pairs oh so well with a saturated color palette!

Handmade card from Kay Miller featuring Desert Bouquet stamp set.

Doesn’t the finished product look amazing? And now that you know a little more about this color rule, you can confidently create with color!

Kay created an AWESOME chart of the different colors of MFT dye inks that she used for her two cards so that you can see the difference side by side.

High Saturation Colors vs Low Saturation Colors

Remember: high saturation means the pure intensity of the color. Low saturation means less of the pure color because of the addition of white or gray. A baby card would probably use softer, less saturated colors, while birthday cards often tend to use bright, highly saturated colors.

To aid in your learning, we have created a My Favorite Things Summer School Session Three Study Guide. Download it HERE, and then print it. It will be a handy tool that you can refer to as you design!

This week you’re the student, and instead of grades, we’ve got two prizes per day and two ways to win. Using today’s lesson, we’d love for you to create a project that exemplifies what you learned and upload it to the link below. Master the lesson and win a $50 voucher from My Favorite Things and be featured on the blog on August 25th. Just by participating, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $20 voucher, so everyone has a chance!

MFT Summer School Color Saturation

All entries must be submitted by noon EDT on August 21st. Winners will be announced here on the blog on Tuesday, August 25th.

Here’s your homework for your chance to win:
  1. Create a project following the lesson you learned today.
  2. Be sure to link your project below for your chance to win!

Before you go, be sure to stop by the blogs of these members of our Creative Team for more lessons in how to use the various types of Color Saturation in your projects.


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Now make sure to do your homework! Class dismissed.