Saturday, 5 January 2008

Colour studies

I was very pleased that this week I managed to stick to my New Year's resolution of having 2 dedicated creative days per week. I got on well with my C&G colour studies on those days and found that with the extra time available I was much more relaxed and able to approach the task without feeling that I should be doing something that would result in a finished piece.

I completed my blue 'story' as described in the previous post and also the purple collage. The only problem is it's a very messy process, with bits of paper and glue everywhere! Still it did give a good idea of the range of tones you find in each of the hues, and it made me think about the emotions that are evoked by different colours, so all in all it has been a valuable exercise, so far. There are still 3 more colour stories to complete, but by way of a change I moved on to the next part of this exercise.

This involved painting a colour wheel based on the three primary colours, which were then mixed to make the secondary colours and then the tertiary colours. Sandra Meech explains all this beautifully in Contemporary Quilts, Design Surface and Stitch, an absolute must for any textile artist’s library, in my opinion.

The next exercise involved painting patches of different colours and then painting small squares of another colour in the centre to see the interaction of the those colours. It's an exercise in contrasting values. 'A colour will look lighter against a dark BG and darker against a light BG' (SM). I don't think my examples show this off too well, as I didn't really understand the meaning of the exercise till I read Sandra Meech's book. Also I think it would have worked better on the computer where the colour is flat and easier to see the reaction between the colours. This applies particularly to the grey square with the orange in the middle as this is supposed to show ' a neutral colour is influenced by what appears with it. When a colour of medium intensity is placed next to areas of different colour strengths you will see more intense colour contrast......' (SM)

Another section of this exercise was to make a hot to cold collage. I enjoyed this as I decided to use a new tool I’d bought on yet another visit to the dreaded craft shop. This time it was a square die cutter, what a lovely little tool, it chops nice little squares of any weight paper the same size every time, so I decided it would be fun to use it for this collage.

The last exercise I tried was where you add a little black to the primaries and the secondaries and keep adding it till there is no colour left. This gives you the range of shades in the colour, which is quite a surprise when you see the range that appears. The same exercise was repeated using white to get the tones in the same set of colours, and this produced a lovely set of pastels.

So far this module has been a bit of an eye opener, I thought I’d done colour theory, but discovered I obviously hadn't. I'm also very impressed with the amount of colour theory that's involved with quilting, and how successful it appears to be. I often wondered why I have always been attracted to the quilting area of embroidery; maybe I should have done my C&G in that!


Ro Bruhn said...

Love the colour studies Sharon, they are works of art, I love the blue one. Enjoy creating.

Shirley Anne Sherris said...

Thanks for the comment about my little box.
I have numerous books which have the first chapters covering your colour explorations exactly as you have done them. There are lots of colour rules but I quite like breaking them and getting unusual effects especially using the computer.
I have a book by Libby Lehman who makes the most fabulous quilts and her use of colour is exceptional. Have been browsing this book in prep for my triangle quilt - hope it isn't a nightmare!!!

Doreen G said...

My word you have been busy sharon--well done.

Linda said...

The colour studies have worked well, I really like the hot to cold one.

Julie said...

Well done for achieving your 2 creative days Sharon. Keep it up! Colour theory is fascinating and you can play for hours with colour combinations. Thank you for sharing the details of your course - if I had the capacity I'd follow along. :) Maybe later.

Becky Vigor said...

I'm really enjoying your colour studies, and especially like the hot to cold collage. Now I want a square die cutter! Well done for using your creative days so productively :)