Monday, 10 September 2012

Choosing Colours

Inspiration often appears in the most unexpected of places. In fact, one of my favourite places to explore new colour pallets is at the grocery store; rows of produce and provisions that offer a range of colours that otherwise may not be found together.

Gathering artistic inspiration from every day places and things takes practice. In this blog post I will walk you through a quick and dirty way to appropriate an existing colour pallet.

Step one:  Choose a source.

This can be anything- a magazine cover, wallpaper, shampoo bottles, jewellery or, in this case, a painting. Don’t feel the need to limit yourself to an object you find aesthetically pleasing. Some of my favourite pallets have come from paintings that I wasn’t originally drawn to.

Step two: Isolate your colours.

This is the part that many people find to be the most challenging. It can be scary to step outside of your comfort zone, but thanks to digital imaging (and the good old fashioned photocopier) this process need not be difficult. Look at your source and find the dominant hue. This can easily be done by squinting. By squinting, the figures in this painting are replaced by areas of colour. Go with your gut instinct…just because you isolate a colour does not mean it has to be used in your final product.

Once you have distinguished the dominant colour, move on to others in the paintings. This can be done digitally by using the selection tool in your image editing program of choice, or by physically cutting out areas of colour of a photocopied image.

Step 3: Create a colour pallet

Arrange the colours in a way that you find visually pleasing. These pallets have been digitally created, but the effect can also be achieved by thread wrapping.

Experiment with your pallet by adding or omitting colours and changing the placement and width of colour blocks. The possibilities are endless!

Here is an example where I have used a photograph of spices as my inspiration.

Happy weaving! Jena