Thursday, August 9, 2007

Designing with Neutrals

Recently I discussed using the oyster shell image, which was the basis for finding color choices for my current crackle project, as a basis for designing the next warp. That warp, as I have said, which be made of hand dyed silks. I said further:

"I had already thought of it in terms of deep browns and golds and blues, with slashes of black."

Yesterday I was looking at that image again and realized that there are grays! In fact, there is so much gray, I wonder how I could have missed it. What else have I missed? I would never have thought that grays and browns would work in the same image. But there it is.

When I look at the yarns I am using for my current crackle yardage, I see that even here I am using a golden brown and a very very grayed brown. Perhaps my eyes were cooperating but my conscious intelligence had not yet been tapped. Perhaps, once again, this is evidence that I am like the painter who must actually paint the painting he sees to learn from it.

This means that I need to work out my next dye sampling to incorporate grays. For me, grays have been much harder to come up with, but I will try. In general, neutrals are a dyeing challenge for me. That is probably because I have never focussed on dyeing them. My goal is to begin the sample dyeing as I weave off the current crackle warp. Dyeing will be a good alternative activity. Dyeing puts me on my feet for long periods of time, while weaving puts me on my rear end.

I saw a website the other day with an article about creating neutrals from colors that were not opposites on the color wheel, that is, they were not complements. Of course I did not make a note of the url. I have in actuality worked with split complements and I will have to look at the results I got from that work. Split complements, unlike complements, contain all three primaries, and, as I recall, that was the point of using them. That is what, according to the author, made them better than using complements. My thought is that they are not necessarily better, though they may be better for a particular effect. They are just another tool in the dyeing toolbox.

1 comment:

Leigh said...

Isn't it interesting how one's eye can be selective in terms of color. I confess I usually focus on colors that attract me: cool purples, greens, and blues. Not always good, I know. Your oyster shells have become quite the source of inspiration, haven't they?