Our color master today is Kathy Weaver.
Tone is the dark side of colors. In dye and paint a color can be darkened either by browns, blacks or by the complement of the color. Tint is the lightening of colors either with white or water.
We somehow fear the dark. We sometimes forget the colors that dark or muddy. But diamonds show up best against a black cloth. Darks are our shadows, our depths, the underside, the forest glade and our art is sorely limited without them.
Pastels offer us a pale world, a shadow delicate mist. I find it hard to go there. I want all my colors bright. But bright colors gleem against a pastel background. In both cases it is a contrast in tone that focuses us exactly onto the art and lights our excitement.
Kathy Weaver has created a quilted world of robots that have always astonished me. She’s color master, part for her choices but largely for her painted imagery that jumpstarts her work. And she knows how to work contrast to make her images shine.
I’m also going to introduce you to one of my favorite online tools. Big Huge Labs is a site that has all kinds of free and fabulous photo tools. This is their swatch generator. It’s an easier way to look at the colors in a piece.
Here is one of Kathy’s works and a swatch list of the colors she used.
Robo Sapiens, Agent 5 has a glowing yellow robot against a deeply toned set of bars.
In Robo Sapiens Agent Four, we have the contrast of this wild pink robot against a beige netral.
Robo Sapien Agent 2 glows against the darkly toned background.
When we look at the swatches we can see the contrast in tone, the light and the dark. In all cases, she chooses the difference in tone to accentuate the figure from the ground.
The figure is our focus. But if it do the same as our background, our ground, the eye has to somehow figure out where it is. Making a visual obvious distinction between the figure and the ground pops it all into view. And making it with differences in contrast is a clean and clear way to that.
It doesn’t matter whether we choose a lighter or darker backg round. The difference itself, either way sets the figure fore and center in our perception. Cyyborg Femail has yellow arms that echo her background. But the difference in the tone pops her out against it. She glows against the background because there’s a contrast.
Fire Slinger glows against the dark because of the differences as well, although this time she’s gone to the darker contrasts.
And Invader has both soft background and foreground, but she lets the edges darken enough to pop the contrast.
Explore more of Kathy Weaver’s fabulous world on her web site at http://www.kweaverarts.com.
Or you can learn from her at her classes coming up at Arrowmont, September 29th through october 5th. Here is the website info. http://www.arrowmont.org/ workshops/venueevents/196-
Make your images pop by choosing differences in tone when you pick backrounds. Go light. Go dark. Go different!
On our refrigerator today we have Lauren Strach from St. Joseph, MI. Lauren’s nature quilts have attracted attention (and prizes) both locally and nationally. Her work sings with color and contrast!
You’ll find more of Lauren’s fabulous work on her facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/lauren.strach