This year, I want to do more quilt design. One of my goals is to do more colour exploration. From unexpected combinations to monochromatic studies, I want to incorporate new colour palettes into my work.
I have worked with colour wheel and design before but most often in a digital format. In an effort to focus on colour, I enrolled in a Craftsy Class directly related to my goals: Color Play for Quilters with Joen Wolfrom. This course caught my attention especially because my library already included a Joen Wolfrom color tool and a copy of her design book, Adventures in Design, which is full of great exercises.
In the first lesson, Joen enthusiastically recommends taking the time to mix paints to create a colour wheel. I had never done that so thought it would be both fun and informative. First, I collected my supplies:acrylic paint in yellow, cyan and magenta for a basic colour wheel as well as white, black, grey and several other colours for further exploration.
Once I had everything gathered, it was down to the fun part. I spread a sheet of white paper on my desk and started painting some cards (index cards cut in quarters), mixing a range of colours between each of the three foundations of the colour wheel (yellow to cyan, cyan to magenta, magenta to yellow). From those cards, the next step was to arrange a spectrum of steps then take pieces from the cards in the spectrum to create a colour wheel. Mixing the colours step by step really gives a better sense of the range of colours and how colour is formed. Here are a few shots of my progress. You’ll notice the gap in my colour wheel where I didn’t yet get a suitable colour. Colour mixing is definitely an inexact science and I managed a variety of lovely salmon and coral corals but not quite the colour that I need… I’ll need to do an update.
If you are interested in colour and have never physically mixed colours, you should definitely give it a try! I have my black, white and grey ready to start playing with tints, shares and tones. But that is a story for another day.
The Craftsy class on Color Play is a wonderful place to learn about colour and the “play” is a big part of the process.
Here are a few other resources on colour theory:
- Color Wheel Artist: Exploring color in your daily life.
- ArtyFactory: Offering free lessons in color and design – and a color quiz.
- Color Marketing: Showing the impact of color in marketing design and more.
What is your experience with colour? if you are a quilter, do choices at the fabric store intimidate you? Are you someone who agonizes over each colour selection or do you pull together perfect combinations with ease? Or perhaps you are between the two extremes. Share any colour selection experience or tips in the comments.