Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Basic Colour Theory

Understanding a little about colour theory can help you to decide which colours to choose for art or craft projects. The success of a project, whether it be woven cloth or a watercolour painting, can be determined by choosing the best colour relationships.

Primary Colours

The primary colours red, yellow and blue are the only colours that cannot be made by mixing together other colours. They can be mixed in different combinations to create other colours in the spectrum.

Secondary Colours

Secondary colours are made by mixing any two of the primary colours in equal quantities:

red + yellow = orange
yellow + blue = green
blue + red = violet

There are now 6 colours on the colour wheel which include the 3 primary colours and the 3 secondary colours.

Tertiary Colours

By combining the neighbour of any of the primary or secondary colours in equal quantities, we can add a further six colours to the colour wheel. These are called tertiary colours.

yellow + orange = yellow-orange
orange + red = red-orange
red + violet = red-violet
violet + blue = blue-violet
blue + green = blue-green
green + yellow = yellow-green

Tints, Tones and Shades

Further hues of a colour can be created by adding black, grey or white. In colour theory, black and white are not considered to be colours. Colours are created by the reflection and emission of light and defined by how the eye and brain interpret them. Black means there is no light and white is pure light.

Adding black to a colour will produce a shade of the original colour, making it darker. White will lighten a colour and create a tint. Tones are made by mixing colours with grey (black & white). Another way to darken a colour is to add some of its complementary colour (see next paragraph).

Choosing Colours for Design - Colour Relationships

Colour theory can also help you to decide which colours to use in design. The colour relationships below will help with choosing combinations that are pleasing to the eye.

Complementary colours are pairs of colours that contrast with each other more than any other colour, and make each other appear brighter when placed next to each other. These complementary colours appear opposite each other on the colour wheel i.e. blue and orange.

Each of the pairs of complementary colours contain one cool colour and one warm colour. When placed side by side, the warm colours of oranges, reds and yellows create a simultaneous contrast with the cool colours of blues, greens and purples.

Other colour relationships include monochromatic, which is shades and tints of the same colour, and analogous which are colours located next to each other on the colour wheel.

Colour theory is a complex subject and barely covered in this post. We recommend Shirley Williams' website Color Wheel Artist and Janet L Ford Shallbetter's website for further information on this fascinating subject.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Christmas Wreath Decorations made from Merino Wool Tops

We love these simple and effective Christmas Wreath decorations made from Merino Wool Tops by Cara and Jo Barrell.


How to Make the Christmas Wreath

You will need a framework on which to attach the wool tops, and these can be found in floristry sections in garden centres. If you can't find one, you can bend a wire coat hanger into a circle, leaving the hook at the top for hanging the wreath.

The Christmas Wreath decoration was made by plaiting 3 lengths of Merino wool tops and attaching the plait around the wire. The wool tops are supplied in a continuous length where possible and breaks can be fixed by overlapping the ends while plaiting.

The wools tops are attached to the wire by passing one of the lengths around the wire as you plait, or the plait can be tied in place with string or food bag ties.

The holly decoration is made from felted holly leaves and berries. You will need to create a piece of flat felt (our Fact File page Making Felted Fabric and Felt Balls By Hand will show you how) and cut out the shape of holly leaves. A small amount of scarlet Merino wool is easily felted into balls for berries.

The Christmas wreath decoration above was made using our Silver coloured wool top. It is decorated with a charming hand felted snowman, two felted candy canes, and stars made from fused Angelina fibres.

The felted snowman with his top hat and carrot nose.

The Merino wool tops are available in 29 colours - take a look