Monday, March 14, 2011

The shape of colour

The second colour class has been and gone. After I got everybody to make their very own colour wheel based on the common clock face we were ready to talk about colour families.








Colour wheels are readily available at art stores and even fabric shops. I do recommend making your own because it reveals what you have in your stash and helps notice subtle differences. The commercial ones can sometimes be intimidating/confusing with all the extras.

This wheel has cut outs for helping identify the fabric colour.



This is the back side of the artist's colour wheel which has two layers and can be rotated.



Both wheels show the shapes that help chose colour combinations.


If you put your finger on any single colour you have an individual. By using every tint, shade, bright, dull, light, medium, dark, patterned or solid fabric in your stash you will create a monochromatic quilt. Easy Peasy! But if you want to expand from single to couple, you need to find a partner.

A partner can be the next door neighbour or the guy across the street. Very often we pick opposites. The key to a successful relationship with opposites is one needs to be noisier/bossier/smarter/ etc. So the key in quilts with two colours is in the amounts of each you use. Red and green are opposites but even flowers know to have long stems, leaves and even thorns to balance that deep red rose.
Then the kids start coming!

If you married the guy next door the kids are probably similar. If you married out of the neighbourhood the kids are going to relate to those differences in exciting ways.

Shapes can give visual clues just like photograph albums reveal familiar family characteristics.

The semi circle shows colours that touch one to the other. These are analogous colour schemes and are fairly soothing. The kids fall somewhere between the parents who can be at each end. This can be a family of 3 or 10! A complete circle would be polychromatic.


Often children are different from their parents. This would be represented with a triangle. The triangle can be equal sides or 2 sides equal. This is a triadic colour scheme.

If the family is our four and no more then it is a tetra. A square or rectangle will touch the four key members.
And then of course are all the other variations that are found in families who do family planning. A coloured pencil and a blank colour wheel and you can plan the perfect family. Of course the first colicky kiddie and then gramma comes to stay! LOL


When making your own colour wheel place the red, yellow, and blue colours first. Then add orange, green and purple next. This will make finding those remaining, inbetween colours much easier.

Disclaimer! I am no expert on colour but because I have found it quite fascinating and luv to have pleasing arrangements and examples in my home, I have spent lots of time reading, analyzing, and studying. I hope this is helpful to those who also want to understand colour. If someone further along this fascinating road has something more to share or correct I hope they'll have the freedom to do that.


Next class is my Achilles heel. Value!

5 comments:

Vicki W said...

Great article!

Yvonne said...

Very helpful! Thanks!

Createology said...

Elle Congratulations! This is quite the comprehensive lesson on color and one I find very helpful and interesting. Your descriptions and clock color wheel and samples are far more helpful than any commercial color wheel I have ever seen or purchased. Thank you sincerely for your knowledge and help in this colorful arena. I may just make myself a color wheel of fabrics...

My Sweet Prairie said...

This is terrific. PS- I shared a linked to this on my "Tips on Tuesday" post. : )
~Monika in Saskatoon

Mary MB Carroll said...

Elle - Such a good article! You made it so clear and simple. Love the fabric color wheel. Have you ever studied the Munsell Color System? Look at my blog - I have two articles on this system marysartmusings.blogspot.com