"I'm terrible with color!"
How often have you heard someone say that? And you can see when you look at their work, whether it be an art quilt aka a fiber painting aka fiber collage....or a watercolor....
And yet, following a few simple guidelines, color is probably the easiest thing to fix!!
And there is so much that we CANNOT fix...so you can feel really good about finding something you CAN fix!!
Here are some of the major errors I see with color:
Problem: Too many different colors! oh my!! In Yorkshire (from whence come I many moons ago!) we call such work "cor blimey" pieces!!! Literally "cor blimey" means God Blind Me!!! and frequently those mixes of colors do. I'd love to go surfing on the 'net and find examples but with my luck it would be a piece by somebody really famous and litigious that I would pick! BUT I would encourage you to go and look!
Solution: choose a color scheme at the outset! There are several different ways to choose a color scheme and it's always best to do these BEFORE you begin making your art in color - I'm presuming of course you have a value sketch to follow!!!
Problem: art looks drab and mousy.
Solution: Almost certainly you don't have a good range of values...check to see if everything is medium value. Much commercial cloth is mid value. Best way to check is to take a photo and then convert to grey scale....
Problem: Art looks messy and confusing, no real direction.
Solution: Again it's most likely you've got too many different colors and there's no real color theme to the work. It's really helpful to have one basic color and then build on that. count up how many different colors you have!!!
Problem: colors don't look good together.
Solution: Colors, like people!, interact and have an effect upon each other. Adjacent colors can dim or brighten the partnership!
Problem: Everything appears to be of equal importance, no focal point.
Solution: If all the fabrics are equally saturated in color, then nothing will stand out - whether the level of intensity is great or minor...
The best way to indicate focal areas is by the use of contrast - of one or more of the properties of color: hue, value, saturation and temperature.
Problem: no sense of ambience or atmosphere.
Solution: Two things will help with this: one is having a dominant color, i.e. one that there is more of than any other color...doesn't have to Dominate!....but does have to have a significant presence.
The other thing would be to choose an analogous color scheme, or a monochromatic one, rather than a complementary one.
You're probably wondering - why no pictures!!!!
Well - while I'd love to explore and find all kinds of egregious examples...it wouldn't be too polite!!!
But if you want to contact me about coaching etc...I'm happy to look at your color issues....
okay! here's a picture too....
I wanted to show the feeling of coolness and greenness as you come down our heavily forested and twisting driveway...
And, if you have been, Thanks for reading!!!
PS: There's an interesting selection of fiber art blogs to be found here: