Project : Colour Relationships – Exercise 3

Project: Colour Relationships

Exercise 3 : Colour Relationships

a) Combinations of primary and secondary colours

Taking into account the harmonic relationships suggested by J. W  Von Goethe, with the brightness values of yellow 9, orange 8, red and green 6, blue 4 and violet 3.

Red and green should be 1:1.  The red phone box appears quite dominant in the scene, but I’ve taken into account the green of the tress and grass as well as  the litter bin.

Orange and blue should be 1:2.  Sainsbury’s shopping trolleys are orange and blue something that had escaped my attention before.  I cropped this image to attempt the correct ratio.  I’m still not sure I’ve captured it, although the blue handles are larger in the foreground which does  bring the blue more to the forefront.

Macro shot of a viola which I was sure was violet.  To me, a flower, being from nature should contain natural harmonic colour relationships. The ratio, according to Goethe, should be 1:3. It’s almost there but not quite.

b) Colour combinations which appeal to me

This shop window  shouted out to me as I went past it a few weeks ago.  It was the orange which drew me.  It doesn’t fit the ratio of course, despite the several shades of blue which can be seen, so there is a marked imbalance.  It’s just a splash of hot colour .  The lettering at the top of it looks near to violet so primary and secondary colours are all there.

Blue and orange hues again and I think the ratios are there.  I like the more muted tones. The rust is more towards the yellow spectrum and the blue has some green with white I think.

I went into one of our local charity shops this morning and immediately noticed the wonderful orange boots.  I admired them and their owner agreed and said she thought they went really well with her tights.  What a combination – certainly eye-catching.

There is more green than red here, although the  red of the poppies is bright. wooden fence has reddish tones as well and provides balance.

I like clear, bright colours on the whole although, since starting the Course, I’ve come to appreciate more muted/de-saturated colours as well.

July 2011

4 Comments on “Project : Colour Relationships – Exercise 3”

  1. AMANO says:

    Sounds like you are relating to the colours you see here .. its’ not just theory!

  2. Janice says:

    I find your work on this project really exciting. I want to finish my work on Design and start your Colour work myself!
    Things are moving slowly at the moment. I’m looking forward to the London visit in September to the Whitechapel gallery. Are you going?

  3. Alright I had this wonderful section about Von Goethe in my art book years ago, but it seems to be hard to find the same relative information online.

    I recognize that for balance in a photo of purple and yellow, purple should be the dominant color – BUT – if the numbers are Purple:3 and Yellow:9, how does that equate to 3:1 for purple? If you reduce the numbers shouldn’t it be 1 portion purple for every 3 for Yellow? I feel like I’m forgetting something important.

    • Catherine says:

      I can’t believe it’s a year since I studied this Nicole so your query is good for me as a revision. The way I’m understanding this is that the numbers relate to the brightness of a colour. Yellow is the brightest and is three times as bright as violet – therefore to gain harmony between them you need to reduce the amount of yellow. Catherine

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