That Colour Thing..

I’m really pleased that you want to play That Colour Thing.. with me.

This is how we’re going to do it… Go on Pinterest or Flickr or just Google.  Think of images to look for – a beautiful garden, a sunset, a summer beach. Or you could look for your favourite artist, designer or your favourite colour….   Pull out a photograph or picture and then work from there.

Obviously it’s going to be best if it’s a picture with more than 2 or 3 colours in it, because the aim here is to work out what makes a good colour combinations – helping our brains learn the colour combinations that really work, and that work for us.

Once you have something you think you can work with, look at the colours used in your image – try and pull out the individual colours that make up the whole – you could use picture editing software like Photoshop or to sample the colours in the picture and print them out individually. But if that’s too technical, you could always use coloured pencils or paints to identify colours, or just work from your picture.

After that it’s up to you – you can use your creativity to pull stuff together, inspired by the picture. You could use paints, textiles, objects you have around the house, or cut images from magazines or use other images from the web to bring together a colour palette that reflects the colours in the picture you’ve chosen. Don’t stress about it (as I found myself doing at first!), just relax and enjoy the discovery process…

So here’s one I made earlier…

My chosen image is this lovely pattern for a carpet by one of my favourite designers, Charles Voysey. I chose this image partly because I love it, and partly because I wanted to experiment with my fabric collection, and I know that the colours in this design are well represented in my stash.

voysey carpet

Next I used to pull out some of the main colours in the design:

colours from voysey

Having this crib sheet really helped – let me know if you’d like me to describe how I did that bit – but I wont bore you with it now!

Then I sat down with some of my fabrics, buttons, threads etc., and pulled out things I thought would work. Here’s what I came up with:

fabric choices 1

What do you reckon? There are actually some fabrics that would never have come to my mind to put together – especially the 4 in the top right corner, so this was a bit of a revelation to me. At first I had thoughts that I would never be able to work this through, but after a while, the process of looking out different likely fabrics, threads and buttons became addictive. It was also interesting that several times I grabbed a fabric that I thought would be perfect, but although the shade was right, it didn’t work because the tone of the fabric was just too bright for this particular combination. I think what this lacks is something with a bit more of the rusty red shade in it, and maybe a little more dark purple would be good to make this really effective.

As I worked, I found myself thinking about the way different prints worked together, as well as textures, and how some colours worked as strong central characters, and others were bit part or supporting players. This is a really useful idea that I got from Suzuko Koseki’s Playful Patchwork, and which is slowly beginning to make sense to me!

If you decide to have a go at doing this yourself then please share your results – just click on the little froggy face to leave a link to the relevant post on your blog – the link share will be available to use for the next couple of weeks.  And if we have fun, maybe we can do it again…

9 thoughts on “That Colour Thing..

  1. This is such a great idea, I haven’t got as far as finding my fabrics, but I did have lots of fun picking colours out of my photos! Will be taking my swatches with me to the LQS next time as my stash is not big enough for this!

  2. I need to do it as well, many times I feel stuck with colors, but this seems like perfect exercise for me… Thank you for brainstorming me ;D

  3. “Having this crib sheet really helped – let me know if you’d like me to describe how I did that bit – but I wont bore you with it now!”

    Yes please 🙂 I have a picture in mind and will probably start a Pinterest board for it but it’d be handy to have to colours clearly together like that.

  4. What a great way of looking at colour. I recently saw on someone else’s blog some fabrics and yarns they’d pulled together working from a holiday photo. Might have to have a go too now!

  5. Ooh, we have homework 🙂

    I have a feeling my initial picture/scene/photo won’t be as complex as the design you’ve chosen to work with but I’m excited to try this out as I was never any good at Art at school – but have only just realised thar ‘art’ and ‘creativity’ are two very different things. This exercise actually seems really accessible, even to me, I think that all of us who take part will learn a lot from it.

    I’m grateful to you for ‘pushing’ me a little into exploring different aspects of how we work.

  6. That’s so awesome! I love the result you got! The fabrics you pulled look great together! Will have to try this out! 🙂

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