Here's a truly delicious colour exercise that you might just return to again and again.
We're going to build a colour palette based on an image. You'll be amazed at how effective (and enjoyable) this little bit of play can be. Ready? Here we go ...
STEP 1 Choose an image that you find interesting. Don't over think it!
STEP 2 Assign materials to represent each of the colours in your image.
You can work this exercise in any medium. Match your image with yarn, fabric, paint etc..
For this demo I'll do some knitting but further on I've created hand spun yarn and a quilt using the same method. This is a terrific palette builder for weavers as well.
STEP 3 Set your materials aside for a moment and get out your scissors or rotary cutter.
We're going to divide the image into 1 inch strips.
STEP 4 Now cut the long strips that you've made into 1" cubes.
STEP 5 Determine how many squares are represented by a given colour. Squares with multiple colours can be counted in halves or quarters. Using this count assign a percentage to each. You now have a working palette complete with the proportions of each colour to be used.
STEP 6 Implement your new palette using the proportions that you've calculated. This is the exciting part! Go crazy! Have fun.
Knitting a proportional swatch is easy. In this case I knit 100 rows. Thirty six rows (36%) of light blue/grey were mixed with 22 rows of dark purple, 18 rows of light purple etc..
Keep scrolling for quilted and hand spun samples.
TIP Use a clear grid to count off colour blocks if you'd like to preserve the source image.
THE THREE MUSICIANS UNBALANCED
For this next experiment I decided to have a bit of fun playing on the work of Picasso.
The Three Musicians is a painting which delights me in so many ways. Among other things is it's exciting use of warm and cool colours. Using the same cut and count method as above, I attempted to represent colours proportionally. The quilt was made in a very free-form style. It was fun to put together, all the while learning about the painting itself.
SPINNERS Last but not least. This one's for you.
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8/10/2020 06:34:29 pm
Thanks so much Heidi, this is great. I have a real hard time matching colours up. Looking forward to you next news letter.
8/11/2020 11:25:21 am
This looks like fun! I have trouble keeping my small tapestry projects simple and I think this may help me focus on the key attraction which for me is usually colour! Time to play!
12/11/2020 04:56:02 pm
Very nicely written and illustrated! I love natural color palettes. One of your new BFL yarns actually reminds me of the colors of a water lily flower, and I've been wanting to capture those colors together in something... a knitted project will be just perfect. Really like all of your yarn colors :)
11/27/2022 05:22:06 am
Love this idea. Especially with a photographer husband and the Rocky Mountains or the stunning East Coast. Fibre photography !!!
11/27/2022 06:22:17 am
Thanks Pippa, this exercise was passed o me by Laura Kemshall and I've come back to it many times since.
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