A course in color theory is far
beyond the scope of Temarikai, and there is a great deal of help to be
obtained online. Likewise, there are many books available, either hard
copy or digital, but this is one time it's helpful to stick with a
"real" book. Colors vary greatly on electronic devices and monitors,
whereas print books are done to exacting specifications. One of my
favorites is Color Harmony - A Guide
to Creative Color Combinations
, by Hideaki Chijiiwa (Professor,
Musashino College of Art). It is as much a workbook as reference that
can be applied to any project; there are full color charts, combination
charts, and nifty little window cards that you can punch out and use to
isolate colors from the charts to see how they work together. It also
gives some rundowns and examples of basic color schemes based on hues
(similar, contrasting, same; four color combos, color progressions,
natural colors, contrasting colors, Japanese colors, national colors.
Browse around your local bookstore or online and see what you find, as
it can be very inspiring to invest in one or two references. Of course
the cornerstone is the good old color
wheel, and it's very worthwhile to gain a little understanding of it.
Beyond these foundation stones,
here is a collection of hints and tricks that have come through the
discussion list over the years:
* Choose colors, and leave them out where you will be seeing them for a
few days. You'll soon know if they "work" together or not and can adjust
* Make changes gradually. Try a different tone of the same color rather
than a major change. Keep it simple
* Take a walk. It is amazing what can be seen when one really starts
paying attention to the colors around us; this goes for inside and
* Use Mother Nature. One saying is "God's colors never clash" and you'll
usually find out it's true (whatever you choose to call nature or not).
* Let a child pick the colors. If you don't have your own, borrow some.
* Look at fabrics. You don't have to like the pattern, just observe the
colors. Ditto wallpaper books.
* Browse through magazines (yes, they are still printed). Even ads can
have some great color combos going; after all, it caught your attention,
* In the same vein, greeting cards also usually have attention-getting
color combinations - it's their job to call for attention.
* Don't discount neutrals. Working in black, white, shades of beige and
shades of gray can be a challenge but also produce some great effects.
* If your actual thread stash is a bit limited, collect clippings and/or
small items in colors that you want to investigate; then you can "play"
with them for combinations and then obtain the threads you need.
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