Thursday, August 27, 2015

Let's Talk about Color! Part 1.

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Color Wheel
Today I'm going to talk about choosing and using color. Let's start with the color wheel.

Just as a review: 
Complementary colors are two colors across from one another, like yellow and purple.
Analogous colors are two colors adjacent to each other - think blue and violet.
Triad - these would be three colors at the points of a triangle, superimposed on the color wheel. For example, yellow-red-blue would be a triad.
Split Complementary is created by choosing one color, then picking the two colors on either side of its complement, e.g. red is across from green, so pick chartreuse (yellow-green), and teal (blue-green).

So, that was a quick introduction to the color wheel.

Keep in mind also that if you take a wedge out of the circle you will have lighter or darker tones of that same color, You can have softer or duller versions of that color; you can have lighter,  brighter versions of that color. These can all be combined to give you many many choices.   
No wonder it seems overwhelming!  


Color Families

Now let's talk about color families. Warm colors are generally energetic and exciting. Cool colors are considered calm and soothing. Think about how you choose to paint the rooms in your house -- do you want to relax at home or do you want a bright lively environment?
Neutral colors - for me, these are my safe conservative colors. I often find them sophisticated and elegant, but they can also be thought of as boring. 
Bright colors are festive and exuberant (notice how nearly all national flags are comprised of bright colors?), but some people don't like them (sometimes referred to as “clown barf”).

Lighter colors (i.e. pastels) can be calming and happy – but some might find them insipid. Jewel tones (one of my favorite families) are rich and elegant, but can also be considered depressing and dark, if over-used. Subtle grayed-out forms of colors are pretty (think "dusty rose") but some folks find them dull.

The lighter brighter values are happy and cheerful -- but some people say they are for the young. And darker values can be dramatic but can also be considered too heavy.
So for every color grouping, there are some people who like it, and some who don’t. 
Color is very individual.
But the good news is: you only have to please one person – yourself (or the lucky gift recipient)!

Combining Colors

How do you choose and combine colors?  Think - is the color warm, cool or neutral? Is it a pure hue, sometimes thought of as a primary color? Is it a tint with white added? Is it a tone with black added or is it a shade where grey has been added?

Value refers to how light or dark is the color. If you took a picture and converted it to a black and white photo, would it be darker or lighter than the others?
For example, if you're choosing colors to use together from the group below, note how the red and blue look like they might provide a good contrast, but when you see the black-and-white version, you see they don’t contrast at all!

So it would be best to include yellow or white in the mix. 
Some people say when you're looking at combining colors, always include one color you hate. This is actually a good rule for me because I tend to play it safe with my colors.

Recently I was just playing around with color in a class I took. I paired deep forest green, and light yellow. And then I added bright fuchsia pink. I would normally never put those colors together, but they really worked. Look at how the colors pop!

Next time I’ll talk more about color combinations: whether you're choosing yarn colors for a shawl, or putting an outfit together.

And, I’ll share with you my fave color combos that I’m currently in love with.

See you next time !

P.S. More News

Did you know that I have an Etsy shop?  It's called GoodStuffCrafts. I'm selling Project bags - both drawstring style and zippered type. Perfect for your knit, crochet or other crafty projects. The zipped ones make great notions bags or makeup cases.  Here are a few:
The first 5 orders will get a free purse sized tissue holder, lovingly sewn by me on my vintage Bernina, included with your shipment. Have a look!

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