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eQuiltPatterns.com Located between each primary hue, secondary hues (orange, violet, and green) create another triangle.

eQuiltPatterns.com

eQuiltPatterns.com Located between each primary hue, secondary hues (orange, violet, and green) create another triangle.

Located between each primary hue, secondary hues (orange, violet, and green) create another triangle. The remaining six tertiary hues (red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow- green, blue-green, blue-violet, and red-violet) result from a combination of primary and secondary hues. The color wheel is a visual map of the relationship between colors. Colors opposite each other are called complements, or contrasting colors.

CREATING DEPTH

with color

To make sense of the world around us, our eyes must interpret flat, two-dimensional images and use visual cues to help us perceive a three-dimensional world. For centuries, artists have employed these techniques in order to create the illusion of depth in their artwork. While there are a number of key elements that can be used to create a sense of depth, color is one of the most important for quilters.

To further understand the role that color plays in creating dimension, here is a brief introduction to the color wheel. This is an invaluable tool and once you understand how to use it, you will be able to easily use color to create depth in your quilts.

The Color Wheel The color wheel is divided into twelve segments that represent primary, secondary, and tertiary hues (or colors) as well as their specific tints and shades. The three primary hues (red, blue, and yellow) form a perfect triangle within the circle.

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Describing Color

Each hue (color) in the middle ring of the color wheel is the color in its purest form, meaning

that no black, white, or gray has been added. In

thinking about fabric, these would be the bright jewel tones. Color is described in terms of

value, the lightness or darkness. By adding

white to any of the colors, a lighter variation

of the color called a tint is created. These

are what we would generally think of as soft

pastels and are found in the inner most ring of the color wheel. To darken a color, black is

added which is called a shade. Shades are found

in the outermost ring of the color wheel. To create depth, we will need to use a combination

of primary colors with their shades and tints. The

key to creating an effective design is to carefully

contrast the brightness and hue of the colors.

Creating Depth with Color Copyright ©2003–2013 Liz Schwartz & Stephen Seifert. All rights reserved. | Distributed by eQuiltPatterns.com

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TOP LEFT

TOP RIGHT

BOTTOM LEFT

Creating Depth COLOR TEMPERATURE Combinations of color evoke certain feelings and share similar properties. Colors that contain a mixture of red and yellow are called warm, and are regarded as comforting colors. They seem to radiate heat and appear to advance, as if they are coming toward the viewer. Warm hues range from red, clockwise on the color wheel through yellow-green.

from red, clockwise on the color wheel through yellow-green. Cool colors contain a mixture of blue

Cool colors contain a mixture of blue and yellow and are seen as calming and soothing. Cool colors tend to recede, or go away from the viewer. The cool hues are from green, clockwise through red-violet.

The cool hues are from green, clockwise through red-violet. The example below illustrates how color temperature

The example below illustrates how color temperature influences depth. The orange star on the left seems to jump out of the blue background, while the blue star on the right is easily seen, it appears to retreat from the viewer.

right is easily seen, it appears to retreat from the viewer. CONTRAST OF INTENSITY By contrasting
right is easily seen, it appears to retreat from the viewer. CONTRAST OF INTENSITY By contrasting

CONTRAST OF INTENSITY By contrasting light and dark values, we can give an object the appearance of being three-dimensional. Objects that have the brightest and richest colors are the closest to the viewer. Objects in the distance will be duller, more faded, or lighter. Shades and tints give the impression of distance because the atmosphere has a normally muting effect upon color, as do conditions such as haze, smog, and fog.

upon color, as do conditions such as haze, smog, and fog. All of the triangles are
upon color, as do conditions such as haze, smog, and fog. All of the triangles are

All of the triangles are the same size and shape; the lighter triangles are pushed towards the back while the darker ones appear closer. Also, notice that the red triangle seems to advance more than the blue one below it.

HIGHLIGHTS & SHADOWS Adding highlights and shadows is another way to add dimension. Highlights occur at the place where

light hits an object. For highlights, use a tint of a color (shown in the center

of the color wheel). Use a shade of the

same color (outermost ring of the color wheel) for shadows. Some painters prefer to use a contrasting shade for shadows, as it makes the object appear brighter. Most three-dimensional effects created using traditional quilt designs are created using highlights and shadows. To use this technique, first decide where the light is coming from (top, bottom, side) and place the lightest color (tint)

in that position. The shadow is cast on

the darkest side (represented by a shade

of the chosen color). The side facing the

viewer is where the pure color is added.

A variety of interesting optical illusions

may be created by varying the placement

of the values. See the examples at right

for common placement of light sources.

As shown in the example at the bottom

of the page, some very interesting

optical illusions can be created by varying the placement of the light source and colors on the block faces.

While this illusion works best with blocks that have perspective, the basic principles can be applied to make certain areas of a design stand out more than others.

make certain areas of a design stand out more than others. With an understanding of basic

With an understanding of basic color theory and a few easy principles in mind, you’re ready to tackle your next quilt. Incorporate one or all of the methods described and you will be well on your way to creating spectacular dimensional quilts.

well on your way to creating spectacular dimensional quilts. MULTIPLE Creating Depth with Color Copyright ©2003–2013
well on your way to creating spectacular dimensional quilts. MULTIPLE Creating Depth with Color Copyright ©2003–2013
well on your way to creating spectacular dimensional quilts. MULTIPLE Creating Depth with Color Copyright ©2003–2013
MULTIPLE
MULTIPLE

Creating Depth with Color Copyright ©2003–2013 Liz Schwartz & Stephen Seifert. All rights reserved. | Distributed by eQuiltPatterns.com

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