Monday, November 9, 2009

Colour 101

I've been writing my dew drop girl sewing pattern, and something dawned on me... it would be fabulous (sorry if you're finding that I'm over using this word right now, I seem to be utterly addicted to it...), if I included a note about how to pick fabrics and colours for beginners in that pattern... then it dawned on me that I could write a post about too... so I am!

I know we all probably did a little colour theory in kindergarten and possibly in high school, and those of us who studied creative things at uni would have had it piled onto us in first year (I did, thanks to Nicole Punt-- a totally awesome teacher!), but I feel like it is so thoroughly ingrained in my brain and my way of seeing the world that it helps me so much with what I'm doing, so here goes, it's super basic...

dolls on the color wheel, originally uploaded by myfriendamy.

Red, yellow and blue are primary colours.

Orange, green and purple are secondary colours.

Red and green, yellow and purple, and blue and orange are complimentary colours... these are combinations of a primary colour and the secondary colour that does not have that primary colour in it... these colours pretty much always work together, and so do shades of those colours.

I find that mucking around with block colours is a really handy way to get to know what works, and what works for you... because everyone has their own preferences and colour styles, and it's great to play with strongly contrasting colours.


And likewise, working with one colour and print is a great way to find yourself and get confidence with what you are doing.


I find that limiting my colour palette is sometimes the handiest thing to do, and so when I first started making dew drop girls, I was really only thinking about blues and greens, and when I got more confident I started to work in other colours.

miss clemence

But sometimes I can spend weeks deciding which fabrics will work together, I'll cut out a dress piece because I'm busting to use a certain fabric and I just won't be able to make anything work with it, this happens quite often... sometimes I cut out a whole doll and then decide it doesn't work... so there's lots of trial and error involved. I cut out the bird fabric on this doll below long before I found the star bursts would work with it... it sat there for weeks and weeks!

dew drop girl

Well, I think that's enough 'teaching' for today... if you have any colour tips please add them to the comments and I'll write them into the post-- links are good too! I hope this helps someone out there!



beck said...

What amazing colours, patterns, faces and loveliness there is in this post. You should definitely trust your colour choices as they work so well together. xo

Kirsty said...

Great post! I've saved it for special moments when I need a little bit of help.

Louise said...

ps I absolutely LOVE the blue dolly with the house print head!!

Louise said...

Brilliant! Thanks so much! Colour has always been my hang up! So much so, that sometimes I just don't do things cause I just can't combine colours, let alone add prints. It can be terrible going into a fabric store, so much to choose, such lovley fabrics.....but does it really go with anything? I think that's why I haven't really gotten into quilting. It is great to hear that you have pairing up problems some days too. I am really looking forward to the next installment!

kim said...

I love your dolls! They are soooooooo cute :D They make me smile everytime I see one or make one. I am glad to see I am not the only one who sometimes struggles to splice things together.

jenny said...

Are tose dolls made of the fabrics you bought from Riyo? She told at her blog that you have made them. That's how I came to your blog by the way. ;-) I am a friend of Riyo