Color is such a wonderful thing. We all have certain colors we like, but some get confused as to what colors are and how to use them together. Knowing about colors can help you, if you'll learn just a few basics.
There are only six colors. Three primary colors and three secondary colors and everything else has to fall into one of those categories. If someone said to you, "I would like to have a quilt made with Brown, Pink and Cream." You would be able to say back to them that those were not colors. And, you would be correct. So, if someone wanted Brown in his or her quilt, which color group would that fall into? What color is Pink? Or Cream? Let's go to the beginning. When we were in first grade, we were taught the primary colors. Do you remember? They are Red, Blue and Yellow. The only other colors are secondary colors and that happens when we add two of the primary colors together.
·Red and Yellow make Orange, Red and Blue make Purple, and Yellow and Blue make Green.
.By the way, White and Black are not colors.
That is a total of 6 colors, RED, YELLOW, BLUE, ORANGE, GREEN AND PURPLE and that's all you get. Everything else is called a Hue*, which means deviation from pure color. It's no wonder we get confused about all this when every color manufacturer has a special name for each color they come out with. So, what color is brown?
·Of the six colors we have, there is a light, medium, and dark version of that color. After all, if there were no light, there wouldn't be color at all.
·Think about yellow - It can be so light that it appears to be - Cream It can be so dark that it becomes Brown - So, the Brown and the Cream in the above-mentioned quilt both become Yellows.
·What about the Pink? How do we get what we call Pink? We start with Red and add White to it. That's all Pink is. So the colors that person really wanted her quilt to be is Red with light and dark Yellow. Since Red and Yellow are both primaries, they will look wonderful together. I can guarantee you that the finest paintings completed by the "Old Masters" were never painted without the three primary colors.
If you ever see a quilt with colors you just absolutely love, but have trouble seeing what's really there. Ask yourself these 4 questions:
1.What color do I see? (Has to be one of six)
2.What hue is it? (It can be a pure color or a hue – you have to figure out which it is)
3.What tone is it? (Is it light, middle value or dark)
4.What intensity is it? (Is the saturation of color - an emerald vs. an olive)
Working with color can be so much fun. Have your favorite quilt shop teach a class on color if you want to know more or are having trouble with it in your quilts.
*Hue is a two-word color. For example: A pure color would be RED - a Hue would be an Orange/Red, Yellow/Red, Purple/Red.
NOTE: The quilt shown above is Snow Trails....the colors used were Red (pinks) and two values of yellow (light yellow-cream, and dark yellow-brown)