Colour Scheme fun

Colour schemeChoosing a batch of colours that sit together can be a bit frustrating at times. For people who paint and sketch they can often see a good colour scheme in life, directly in front of them.To my mind this is an easy way to discover colour.  Textile artists often let the materials indicate the colour scheme. So a quilter will choose a patterned fabric and select colours found within that print and match threads and accessories to those colours.

But what does a designer do? How does the designer who created that fabric print come up with some fresh colour schemes? How can you come up with fresh colour schemes?

Analogous Colour schemeThe interactive learning unit at ILU has designed an excellent colour calculator for designers. This is code, for me saying there is a fun designers toy to play with.

Colour schemeThe Color Calculator is simple to use. You choose a base colour, then select a harmony. Simple! As you ‘play’ with this online tool and ‘playing’ with the complementary, monochromatic colour, analogous, split complements, triadic and tetradic colour schemes you can see how they each work.

Triadic Colour schemeThe slider on the left will shift the key ie the saturation and you can either print or save as pdf via your printer settings.

Tedradic Colour schemeScroll down the page to read about the basics of colour theory. If you have never done any art training these basics will prove very useful if you have a reminder never does any harm and then your ‘play’ with Color Calculator will consolidate what you know.

final colour schemeAs you can see with Spring her in Australia I am in Summerish mood! Now could these be the colours of new website? Mmm … thinks to self candy ice cream colours could be fun …


An insight into Art Education

We paid a visit to the V&A yesterday. As Usual we walked away perfectly satisfied and stimulated.

One particular little side exhibit in the British Galleries illustrated aspects of a design education. In Britain from 1837 onwards the government established design schools in centres such as London, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham. Previously drawing schools had been run from private studios.

When the schools were established a curriculum was designed and teaching exercises developed which became known as the “South Kensington Method”. The exercises focussed on drawing ornamental shapes from models and examples including casts which can also be still seen in the Museum today.

Kate Greenaway tile design

This design won a scholarship prize for Kate Greenaway who became famous for her illustrations for children’s books. The National Competition provided funds for 15 students to study at the National Art Training School at South Kensington.

Diagram showing the harmonious relationships of colourThis “Diagram showing the harmonious relationships of colour” was used as a teaching aid in about 1853. The colour wheel aimed to illustrate what colours would go together. Today they look quite muted. It was accompanied by The Elementary Manual of Colour written by Richard Redgave who drew up the first curriculum of the National Schools of Art when they were established.

WS Singer's sketchbookThis is WS Singer’s sketchbook. He became a designer of church furnishings. The book shows tracings of drawings from the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Carl August Menzel panelThis panel is a print, by Carl August Menzel illustrating a series of classical patterns which was part of a set used by architects, interior designers and manufacturers. This print is mounted on card and was copied by students.

John Ruskin, did not like the South Kensington system as he believed this copying and tracing stifled imagination and he started The Ruskin School of Drawing in 1871.

Another little piece of Art Education history that you may want on your next trivia quiz night, the South Kensington School in London, became the Royal College of Art (RCA) in 1896. At the time is shared a site with the South Kensington Museum that became the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1899.