Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Take It Further, One More Time

Thank you to everyone who commented on my Take It Further piece. The best part of the challenge for me has been hearing from so many new people, and seeing what they're working on. The Flickr group for the challenge has some lovely things.

Before giving this topic a rest, I have a few more thoughts on the color scheme and on color in general. Clarifying some ideas will have to be the "further" part of the challenge for me. I complained about the colors, but while putting away some purple fabric, I found this in my drawer.

I bought this a while back simply because I liked the colors and thought it might be a focus fabric! Ironic, isn't it?
And then, on my wall is this piece I made a couple of years ago.

Same thing again.
The challenge palette, the fabric, and the little quilt thing all have the same triad color scheme of bluish purple, bluish green, and reddish orange. What's different is the values of the colors and the proportions. So here are my conclusions:

1. Value makes all the difference. What I disliked about the palette was the small range of values, no real dark (although there was a light).
2. Proportion is important. Equal amounts of all colors is boring. Again, I looked at those equal swatches and went "Yuck!"
3. These three-color combinations really need all three colors. I wasn't joking when I said that the purple and green alone make me wince. There has to be a third color.

None of these conclusions are new to anyone who works with color or has any art training. I "knew" them myself; but sometimes you need a real, concrete exercise to make things clear. Which leads to a conclusion about myself: I jump to conclusions! But then, I knew that too. Thanks, Sharon, for a great reminder.

8 comments:

McIrish Annie said...

Your piece came out great. I like your analysis. Hope others will post their conclusions. It's helpful!

Debra Spincic said...

I am having lunch in front of the computer--I just finished my first rose and stuck with the colors as closely as I could. I am not that fond of it; although it is pretty. Almost instinctively, I said to myself, "I need to add another color in that rose bouquet." I think you are so right--something is missing with just the 2 colors; probably because they are not direct complements of each other. They work better in a triadic scheme.

Nellie's Needles said...

Thank you for sharing your insights. There is so much we instinctively "know", but not the reasons for it. Any of the triadic combinations from the color wheel work. But leave one of them out of the mix and there's a feeling of discomfort. This is nougat of wisdom that we all need to have tucked away in the recesses of our minds.

Kay said...

Thanks, Debra and Nellie. You reminded me to add that the missing color in the triad is why red, white, and blue may look great in the flag, but usually not so great in a quilt. Even a tiny bit of gold or a yellowish ivory/beige instead of white looks better, IMHO.

Barbara Hagerty said...

First, congratulations on a great finished piece!

I've gone back and read all your TIF posts, start to finish, and it's so great to see the detailed development of this piece in progress!

I love that you have posted a "post mortem" on the first challenge! How very, very helpful to all of us. And you're absolutely right about value, and about balance. Using all the colors in equal amounts is not what it's about and could be really boring!

sharonb said...

I am pleased you enjoyed the challenge

Rian said...

That's why it's called a challenge. Thanks for reminding us of the basics of color composition, we all need to revisit the 101 from time to time. Hmmm. I think it's time to read a Joen Wolfrom book again....

MargB said...

I liked your finished piece. I liked your explanation on why the colours didn't work for you. I had the same trouble -so added some gold but even then while I knew to use different quantities of each I hadn't worked out something - of course it was the values! Thankyou