Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A beautiful fall day here in Georgia - finally!! A day of complements.

Highlands, FAll

Fall is such an inspiring season for so many of us, all those lovely warm colors mixed together....once again nature gets it right!

it's always good to have one dominant color in a piece, one color  that sets the mood for the whole piece.  It doesn't have to be the most saturated, the most intense fact it's probably better if it isn't - that would be too dominating....  but having one main color helps to pull the piece together as a creates a color structure for the piece.  

This is actually very easy to do, and is one of the basic technical "tricks" of artists.  Set the mood with color!  In the above piece I've split the usual red of autumn into orange and pink and scattered those shades, in various values, throughout the piece.  

I've added a little complementary color - green.  This is because having the complement of the color enables the eyes to refresh and so makes the first, the dominant color even richer.

Complements, of course, are simply opposites on the color wheel.
Adding a complement is another artist's tool!  if your colors are looking a bit flat, add a dash of complement!

So: a dominant color, a complement, a quick dash of something bold and intense - if needed - you might already have it...and a good helping of neutrals.....and you have a tasty color dish!

All comments and compliments! gratefully received, most desirable - I've been teaching a square dance class introducing the idea of desirable difficulties in learning!  so I'm well up on desirable!
especially when it comes to difficulties!

If you have been, thanks for reading.   Elizabeth


Catherine said...

I think most experienced, successful quilters do add the elements you've written about. Perhaps it's intuition. Perhaps trial and error, and the brain learning what "looks right." That being said, I thank you for articulating the HOW. I'm not trained in art, and haven't taken many art classes in my over 30 years of quilting. I need much more of the HOW. Thanks so much for your ideas.

Elizabeth Barton said...

Thank you Catherine, for your comment....yes many do get it right instinctively...or the result of long experience beneath the's good to know why you're getting right though...for when it doesn't go right!! then have the ability to analyze and the vocabulary to describe is really useful and necessary for problem solving without a lot of trial and error.

Kristin said...

Beautiful quilt, Elizabeth! Maybe you can expound on 'desirable difficulties' in learning. I'm not sure what that means, exactly.

Elizabeth Barton said...

the notion of desirable difficulties is the research of Robert Bjork and his wife - several you tubes explaining...he runs a learning and forgetting department at UCLA.
basically you get better long term learning if you DON't do it by rote, but rather applying in different situations .....your short term isn't so good - i.e. one hour, and that's what fools people...many educators included! also coaches, trainers, teachers of many different things.....interesting stuff.

Kristin said...

Thank you for the explanation. My husband believes that too.