Saturday, January 8, 2011

More Color Resources

Angela R McIntyre wrote me that she had researched color schemes, color theory and color wheel sites and tutorials. She was kind enough to share these and to give permission for me to share them on my blog.

Here is her memo. Please send her thanks.


--- On Tue, 1/4/11, wrote:

a while back I did some research on color wheels, online color theory classes and tutorials, and color theme generators.

Here are a few sites I found that you all my be interested in:

Color Scheme Designer 3 this is my favorite, and they have upgraded it too!

Multicolr Search Lab - Idée Inc. this is actually to search for images with a predominant color theme, quite useful!

there is SO much on the web, we are very lucky to be able to access so much information right at our fingertips! hope this is helpful to some of you.

Creating Depth with Shading - Part IV

Using Value to Establish Depth

The first stage of applying color to the quilt top is to establish where the light is coming from. In this case, the light is from the upper left. That helps me to establish where shadows might be and where highlights will be.

The rose hips are rounded by changing value around each hip so that the lighter area is the rounded areas closest to the viewer, and the darker areas are to the back of the hip.

To reinforce the viewer's understanding that the left hip is in front of the right hip, the right hip is slightly darker than the left hip, it has a shadow on the left side caused by the left hip.

The shadow was created using a shade of red, that is red with a little black in it and also a bit of green to dull it just a bit. The use of the complementary color will dull the color it is applied to.

Notice there are also shadows on the upper right leaves to help convey which leaves are on top, middle and bottom.

Next time we will look at how the degree of warmth or coolness effects depth.


Creating Depth -- Part III

The first step in creating depth is in the initial design work. Overlapping images is a very basic tool that those of us with Western art perspectives probably all understand how to interpret. Eastern art uses different techniques.

In this case the left rose hip is in front of the right rose hip. At the top right, the leaves are on three slightly different levels, the larger left leaf is in front, the partial leaf in the right corner is between the top left leaf and the lower bottom leaf.

Since this photo was taken, I added a small leaflet onto the front of the underdeveloped rose hip.

As I work with the inks, I will need to remember which leaves are in front, and consider how to make the leaf on the undeveloped rose hip appear to be in front of the hip.

The colors I choose can either make the image confusing or carry the initial design forward.

If you are an abstract artist, this may seem like it does not apply to your work, but it helps to know what makes areas move forward and move back in the visual plane so you can choose what you want it to do in your art.

Next time we will look at color choices and how they change the depth perception.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Feast for the Eyes at Mint Hill Arts Gallery Opening of Fire and Fiber

The annual MHA fiber show has been expanded to include pottery and many kinds of fiber art including clothing, felting and quilts of many varieties. In turning in my art for the exhibition, I got to see some of the other art and it is a delicious feast for the eyes.

Opening reception is tonight from 7-9 at
Mint Hill Arts, Mint Hill NC. The gallery is open from 11- 3 every day from Tuesday through Saturday.

This exciting exhibition will run through February 3.
Hope you can come see it. The receptions at MHA are terrific. Lots of food, wine and lovers of art - a hard to beat combination. Hope to see you there.

The photo above is a detail of Orchid Rhythms: Stems that is featured on the exhibition postcard.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Creating Depth in a Quilt - Part II

My second choice in creating a quilt, is to choose the fabric that will go with the design. I use hand-dyed fabrics from Heide Stoll-Weber for their subtlety. This piece was cut from a larger meter of fabric. Getting the courage to cut into her luscious fabric was one of the big challenges for me.

I choose this piece of fabric for the fall leaf color at the top that will imply additional leaves in the background. And the warm pink tones at the bottom will hint at the red rose hips. I also like the light area that will allow me some clear colors on the rose hips.

Next I begin choosing colors for the design. Given how well this piece of fabric conveys the season and mood that feels right, I will go with natural colors.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Color-aid -- A Terrific Art Tool

Today, my box of Color-Aid papers is my most important tool for understanding and solving specific color quandaries. While the Color-Aid sets come in many different configurations at many different price points, from small color chips to full sheets of color, my set consists of 314 colors that are 3 x 4.5 inches.

You can see the box of papers and a small section of these color chips in the photo on the right. Notice that some of the colors - Yellow and Green- are bright with no hint of white or black. These are fully saturated hues. Then for yellow and green there are several color chips
with different degrees of white in them. The oranges are mainly tints with some pastels (tones)- with both black and white mixed in with the hue.

What is so useful about the Color Aid papers is that for each hue there are systematic tints, shades and tones of the colors and the colors used to mix the color are named on the back. For instance, R-T2= red, tint two. Which means that the color is the second lightest tint of red. And another example is : YGw-P4-1. This is a tone or pastel that is four shades of darkness, one level of tint, and a warm yellow-green.
Please note that these are just a small sample of the yellows, greens and oranges in the box.

While this system may initially seem complicated, it is easy to use. I frequently consult the papers to determine an existing color that is beyond what my eye can understand to check what hue, and amount of black and or white make up the color. For instance, I was trying to duplicate the color of ripe persimmons and could not figure out what colors to use. I went through the pack of color papers and found the closest color chip. Low and behold it was a pastel (tone) of red. The combination of black and white with the red was fooling me.

I often work with complementary colors (opposites on the color wheel), and I could not figure out the complement until I could figure out the original. Other special effects can be achieved by putting different colors next to each other. Joen Wolfrom's book elaborates on some of these. Working with the pack of color chips makes the choices to achieve special effects much easier.

Your local art store may have these available or you can contact: Color Aid Corp. 38 Lafayette St. Hudson Falls, NY 12839 9212)673-500

Dear Reader, please let me know if this review has been helpful.
This concludes my review of books and tools that I use on color.

My next series will be on depth perception for both the realistic artist and the abstract artist.

Thanks for reading.


SAQA "This is a Quilt!"

Happy New Year to all!!

Last November I had the opportunity to collect specimens for upcoming quilts. I plan on blogging on the process of creating a small, 9 x 9 inch piece for the Studio Art Quilt Associates exhibition, "This is a Quilt!".

Each of the pieces will be matted to a 8 x 8" opening and put into a traveling trunk show to demonstrate what is being done with quilts today.

This a photograph I took of a specimen of rose hips and some distressed leaves. Note the one undeveloped rose hip nestled close to the upper leaves.

Below is the design that I have created on freezer paper. I cropped closely to make it more dynamic and to produce the square format required for the exhibition. I will cut templates from the freezer paper to allow me to apply the design on fabric with inks.

I will post progress on the piece as I work. Please let me know if you find this interesting.

One of the first issues that I need to identify is what elements of the design need to come forward and what elements need to recede. This helps with choosing colors, and specifically in determining value and warmth or coolness of colors chosen. We will look at my choices next time.

First of all, the red hips are round with some wrinkles on them with dark centers.
One hip is in front of the other and is throwing a shadow on the hip behind.
The undeveloped hip's stem is in front of the stems for the other hips.
The three leaves at the top overlap each other, so the front leaf will need to come forward and the smaller middle leaf will have to drop behind the other two.
And there will need to be clarity in the leaf combinations on the upper left.
The undeveloped hip has a folded leaf on the front side of it, that will need to show the fold.

I have some challenges in front of me. I hope you will keep tuned to see how I resolve some of these issues - or if I can.

Happy quilting!!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Update: Alternative Color Wheel Options

Turns out that my color wheel is so old that it is not available. Of course, the tool is so useful that a variety of newer ones are available. A little Google researching turned up a variety that are available. Here is one resource.

I liked the Rainbow color wheel a lot for selecting fabrics and identifying colors in a fabric. And I think I made get the shaded color wheel. Often the shaded colors are the ones I find the most difficult to identify. Don't know if this difficulty is the result of my aging eyes, or a lack of good color sense, or I am still learning. Hope it is the latter.

If you look down on the linked page, you will several options, including options for aid in mixing colors. Your local art supply and quilting shops are good places to look for color wheels.

Thanks for reading, and my next post will be on Color-Aids one of the best tools that I have for complex color decisions. And they are still available.