Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Color wheel

 So I've been pondering my color choices lately for my latest weave and wondering why they look so good together.  I don't know a whole lot about color theory, BUT I have picked up a few things along the way.

I referenced my Color in Spinning book by Deb Menz because it has a great chapter called "Understanding Color Principles most useful to Spinners" and it's all about color combinations, what they are called, and how they work.  Even though this book is aimed at spinners, I feel in a general way it will help me as a weaver.

First, considering my color choices, I think the obvious things working together are the hues, or colors that appear close together on the color wheel.  The purple & blue work together in the same hue to make up the cool colors, likewise the orange, yellow, and pink all work together to make up the warm colors.  Deb Menz says this about warm & cool colors, "Warm and cool colors react different when combined in a design.  The warm colors appear to pop out and come forward and the cool colors seem to recede and stay in the background.  This is because saturated warm colors have high values than saturated cool colors.  To achieve a harmonious composition, it takes a larger portion of cool colors to balance the warm colors."  (pg 33)  And I can both totally see and feel that in my weaving, I tend to put it a lot more blues and purples, and just little bits of pink, orange, a yellow.  The pink kind of seems like it can transition between both the cool and warm colors, it blends and works well with both groups. 

It also happens that these two color families are opposites on the color wheel.  In fact, if you drew a line between all the colors, it would almost end up in a square shape.  That is why I would label these 5 colors as a tetrad harmony.  Deb Menz says this about tetrad harmonies, "A tetrad includes four hue families, two pairs of complements that form a rectangle on the twelve-hue color wheel.  The relationship of complements is being used, but in a slightly different context.  You are working with the complementary relationship and with the relationship between the paris of complements, basically a warm/cool relationship.  Yarns using this harmony are more complex than ones that employ only one relationship at a time."  (pg 42-43) This fits my colors perfectly: they are working as warm and cool but also within themselves, like the purple and blue look so good together, so does the orange, yellow, and pink.  This is so neat!

I found this color wheel that labeled all the secondary colors, or colors you can get when you mix the primary colors together.  Notice how I have 2 families of colors working together, but they are opposite each other.  That is why it works so well.  It kind of forms a square shape,

When I was warping my loom, I saw groups of my colors that looked really good together that I wanted to investigate further.  Like the orange, blue, and yellow were a great combination!  That is split complementary for sure, as well as the purple, blue, and orange.  Also, the pink, purple, and blue were pretty together, and a good analogous combination.  Another analogous combination were the yellow, orange, and pink, and that combination would make for some exciting dishtowels as well.  These colors will be fun to play with a little bit more when I'm done with this project!

I love colorful projects! 

Fun color tool:

Great color wheel for weavers: