Friday, May 1, 2015

Color Theory

Before we begin to crochet a new item, we always consider the color of yarn that we would like to use for the project. Color is important to most of us and provides aesthetic appeal to the finished object. It also provides a sense of order, harmony and context.  

Color has three main theories. The first is the Color Wheel. The Color Wheel provides a sense of order, structure and relation to other colors. There are 3 main color wheels. There's the primary color wheel, secondary color wheel and tertiary color wheel.

Primary colors are the three colors, red, yellow and blue. These colors cannot be mixed or formed by any combination of other colors. 

Secondary colors are green, orange and purple. These colors are formed by mixing the primary colors.

Tertiary colors are yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green and yellow-green. These colors are formed by mixing a primary and secondary color.That's why the hue is a two word name, such as red-orange.

The second color theory is Color Harmony. Harmony can be defined as a pleasing arrangement of parts. In this case a it would be a pleasing arrangement of colors. It engages the viewer and creates an inner sense of order and balance for the visual experience. When we do not have harmony, we have boredom or chaos. When choosing a color scheme, we can base them on several patterns. The patterns are as follows:
  1. Analogous Colors - Any three colors which are side by side on a 12 part color wheel. Usually one color predominates.
  2. Complementary Colors - Any two colors which are directly opposite of each other on the color wheel such as red-purple and yellow-green. The opposing colors create maximum contrast and maximum stability.
  3. Nature - Choosing colors you see together in nature. An example of this is would be a red flower with a green stem.

The third color theory is Color Context. This theory describes how color behaves in relation to other colors and shapes. It is the most complex area of color theory. Observing the effects color have on each other is a starting point for understanding the relativity of color. The relationship of values, saturation and the warmth or coolness of respective hues can cause noticeable differences in our perception of color.

How will you pick the color of your next project?  What theory will you be applying?