Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Jane Davies colour class, Lesson #3

Analogous colour study, using 3 hues next to each other on the colour wheel:
magenta, red and orange, along with white to make the tints
plus some collaged bits of paper
This week in the on-line course "Unlocking the Secrets of Colour", we are exploring the wonderful world of colour theory. First, we used paint to produce tints and shades of colours. We did this by taking a single colour straight from the tube, and then adding increasing amounts of black paint to it (shades) and increasing amounts of white paint to it (tints). See results below.

It's always fun to see how adding black to yellow produces olive green. Black is a very powerful pigment and just the tiniest bit makes a difference, which is why most hand-dyers never run out of their first purchase of black dye powder. When dyeing shades, only a few grains of black dye are needed. When dyeing tints, the quantity of dye is reduced.

Then we moved on to create secondary colours from primaries.

Usually, yellow + blue = green, yellow + red = orange,
and blue + red = purple
Actually, the result depends on exactly which red or blue you choose as your "primary".  Ultramarine blue mixed with red will produce something quite different from cobalt or manganese blue mixed with the same red.  I can achieve this effect with cloth by doing gradient dyeing: changing the proportions of dye colours in the dye bath.

And how do we get muddy earth tones? By mixing complementary colours, from opposite sides of the colour wheel.  I especially like the ochres I can get by mixing yellow and violet. I can achieve this effect with cloth by "over-dyeing", or by gradient dyeing, as above.

Then Jane Davies suggested we make little compositions using various colour schemes. A monochromatic scheme relies on one colour straight from the tube along with black and white to create shades and tints.

Pure cadmium yellow light, along with its tints and shades.
I used some collaged bits from old magazines too, for texture.
An analogous scheme, like the one shown at the beginning of this post, uses two or three colours found side-by-side on the colour wheel. And finally, a complementary scheme uses two colours found opposite each other on the colour wheel. Below is my effort using the opposites of yellow and purple.

with a few bits of paper collaged into place.
While this theory is not new to me, it's always good to have another opportunity to explore colour. I'm especially enjoying the chance to make small compositions, just 5 x 7. Practicing putting together line and shape, dark and light, straight and curved, large and small, to make something interesting is time well spent.

1 comment:

Dianne Robinson said...

What fun! I love what you are doing.