Sunday, August 21, 2011
Silk painting and color theory: blending complementary colors
While I was doing the square scarves (I made a half dozen of them, just to offer some variety of choice) I decided to play with color theory. I know from a class I took some years ago that colors that are across the color wheel from each other are called complementary colors. That would be red/green, blue/orange, and yellow/purple. If you mix complementary colors, you can get some awesome earthy tones.
So, I decided to play. I chose 4 colors of purple, and 3 colors of yellow dye. I put 4 eyedroppers of the yellows on my palette. (I used the canary yellow twice.)
Then I added a half an eyedropper of purple to the yellows.
The left two colors mixed into beautiful browns and oranges.
The right two however were a little more pink than I wanted.
So I added a eyedropper of saffron yellow to those two mixtures.
I painted the whole scarf with squiggles of color, then added salt in swirls and scatters.
Then I sat back, and watched the paint dry. When that got old, I went and got dinner, and came back later to see what I had. The salt pulled the dye into intricate patterns, and the dye lightened into a beautiful warm, rich scarf.
I have all 6 head scarves dyed, as well as one short rectangular scarf that is a test of coloration for another commission. That last one is currently drying on the stretcher frame. Next up, the scarves need to set for at least 24 hours. After the wait time, I can steam the scarves to set the color. After another 24 hour wait I can wash them and iron them dry, and they'll be good to go.
And yes, I took better notes this time.