Quilting – How to Chose Colours for Your Quilt – Colour Theory Part 1


Hi there, It’s Karen Brown of Just Get It Done Quilts. Since I started this channel, the video I’ve wanted to do most is ‘How to choose colours for your quilt’ Well today’s the day. So stick with me
and I’ll show you how to do it. So I started making this video on how to
choose colours for your quilt… and then realize I couldn’t really do that unlessI talked about colour harmony… and then I realized I couldn’t really talk about colour harmony unless I talked about colour so this is actually number one of
a three-part series This is about colour What exactly is colour? So our world is filled with electromagnetic radiation And on one end we have gamma rays and
x-rays And on the high end we have microwaves and radio waves And in between these two we have the visible spectrum Humans can see these colours
because at the back of our eye we have cone cells, three different types one for blue, one for red, one for green and these three colours make up the primary colours and through their combination you can make all the colors of the rainbow You’re probably saying, “Karen, that’s not what we learned in kindergarten. “The primary colours are blue, red and yellow.” Well this is where colour begins to get
confusing. These primary colours are called ‘additive’ primaries because when you add all the colours together you get white When I was growing up the only
time you ever heard of this system was when you were talking about TV sets but nowadays with computer screens, smartphones, iPads, digital publishing and Photoshop everyone uses it. It is referred to as RGB Primary ‘subtractive’ colours take advantage of the light that’s reflected off objects So with these glass bottles, white light shines on it and the green and red light is
absorbed. And what remains is what we see reflected, and we see this as blue. We most commonly see it in the printing industry And we probably all have a
printer that has these cartridges We refer to this systemas CMYK But long before modern science, people studied colour When Sir Isaac Newton put his mind to the task the colour wheel with the red, yellow, blue
primary colours was the result and then others got into the game, colouring his black and white drawing and even though it has been proved to be incorrect it’s still in common usage today mainly because it’s a really neat system So the three primaries are red, yellow, blue and they combine together to make orange, purple and green And then you combine the primary colours with the secondary colours to make the tertiary colours which have these very scientific names red-violet, blue-violet, blue-green, yellow-green, orange-yellow and red- orange Together they all make ‘the colour wheel’ What Newton also said was that every warm colour had an opposite cold colour Like I said, it’s a really neat and tidy
system. Now you’re probably saying, “Okay, that’s all fine and dandy, Karen, but
where do all these colours come from?” So all those colours which are a
combination of primary secondary and tertiary colors are called hues. I’ve just chosen a random eight here for an example. So if we take those hues and we
add WHITE we get TINTS If we add BLACK to those same hues we get SHADES and if we add GREY which is a combination of black and white to the same hues we get TONES And this is where those flat color wheels or maybe you see one like this have a hard time explaining the whole story because colour is not flat Colour has three dimensions and is shaped more like a cone The HUES of the colour wheel
are around the top edge The TINTS sit on the top surface and fade to WHITE in the middle. The SHADES are on the outside bottom cone and fade to BLACK at the bottom And throughout the inside are all the variety of TONES that fade to GREY on the middle axis So just to illustrate this we’re gonna
start with a hue that I’m gonna call AQUA If we sliced into that color cone, this is what it would look like approximately . It would have the hue in the top-left corner along the edge Then you would have the TINTS getting progressively WHITER along the top to the centre You would have the shades along
the outside edge going to black at the bottom point And all those tones in the
middle until they fade to grey It’s the same with every hue Let me show you another slice, this time with a hue that I’m going to call CORAL. So as a quilter, you need to know three things about colour. One, you need to know about hue. So hues we’ve seen before They’re just the colours on the colour wheel. It’s the primary colours and their combinations. White and black and all the greys in
between are not considered colours because they have no hue Two, you need to know about saturation. So a pure hue is called ‘Fully Saturated’ As we add white and grey our hue loses more and more of its colour untill it’s finally ‘Desaturated’ But as quilters we don’t often get our colour as a solid piece It’s usually in a pattern with some other colors and a neutral mixed in Here is a palette of oranges all from one colour line The palette has a nice bright orange colour with a shade of the same hue. a yellow, and then a background of
white. So the orange in each one of these fabrics is quite saturated but it’s the presence of white and how much white that desaturates it. So I like to go through my fabrics and organize them from the most saturated to the least saturated. And three, you need to know about value. We use a greyscale to describe value. Black being the lowest value and white being the highest. So the lowest value black is at the bottom of the cone And as you go up the cone of colour you get higher and higher values. This is a good exercise to practice value. Go to the paint store and get the set of chips that are all from the same hue. These chips are all from the 500 series. And then just practice organizing them where you think the common values are. Continue sorting them until you feel that you’ve got all your values on the same level And then take out your camera and take a black-and-white photo. How did you do? There is one final complications with value. Not all hues have the same value. Yellow has a much higher value than blue. So when you’re mixing yellow fabrics
with blue fabrics, your yellow fabrics will be inherently higher in value than your blues With hue, saturation and value, we can
describe almost any colour If we wanted to describe the colour in
the white circle we could call it a desaturated aqua with a low value So I’ll talk more about saturation and
value in my next video on colour harmony I’m gonna leave it here today. So thank you for joining me. If you like this video please give it a thumbs up. If you haven’t yet subscribed, please hit the subscribe button below and if you hit that bell you’ll be notified when the next video is ready. You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook. So take care and I’ll see you next time