Sunday 15 November 2015

Colour Theory

I saw an online class advertised by Craft Daily for a workshop with Pam Carriker on how to effectively use the colour wheel.  That reminded me that I had done some work on colour many moons ago and had always planned to follow it up.  When I says many moons I'm talking 2008.

I have taken photographs of my journal pages from back then and the photos of photos aren't really of a very good quality. (Sorry.)

I used embroidery threads to show the colours in the colour wheel rather than use paint.

Primary colours - red, yellow, blue

Secondary colours added - orange, green and purple.  Secondary colours are achieved by mixing two primary colours together.  Red + Yellow = Orange.   Yellow + Blue = Green.   Blue + Red = Violet.

Then I added the tertiary colours.  The tertiary colours are made by mixing one primary colour with the secondary colour adjacent to it.

Tertiary Colour mixing
Red + Orange = Red-Orange       Yellow + Green = Yellow-Green    Blue + Violet = Blue-Violet
Red + Violet = Red-Violet     Yellow + Orange = Yellow-Orange    Blue + Green = Blue-Green

I made a larger colour wheel using lots of different types of threads.

I wound the colours around cards using different shades.  This helped to see what colours look like by the side of another colour.

I found magazine pictures to demonstrate warm and cold colours.  Warm colours are considered to be yellow through to red-violet on the colour wheel and the cool colours are yellow-green through to violet.

I found this exercise in a magazine.  Cross stitch leaves to show analogous colours.   Analogous colours are those colours next to each other on the colour wheel.   You can use two to five colours.

And finally stitches with black, grey and white to show shades, tones and tints.

A Shade is the colour plus black.  A Tone is a colour plus grey.  A Tint is a colour plus white.

Harmonious colour schemes
Complementary colours (not shown here) arre two colours directly opposite each other on the wheel eg blue and orange.    A Triad scheme uses three colours equally spaced from each other on the colour wheel eg orange, violet, green.  A Tetrad is a combination of 4 colours that are two sets of complements eg blue and orange with red and green.

This information is always in the back of my mind and I own a couple of shop bought colour wheels. But it's always worth trying out paints to see how the colours work, which I haven't done for a long while.

So I signed up for Pam Carriker class and I have started - hopefully I will finish.  Here's a sneak preview of one page of the journal we had to make for the class.

Next Sunday I'll show you some of the journal pages from the class.

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Wow Bernice, what a lovely idea- it would make a great sampler somehow... Did you use a pattern for the wheels? Are they DMC threads that you have listed? Just gorgeous. I'll have to pull my thread box out, it's been a while!

  2. Adore all the thread photos.


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