Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Color lessons from dish towels...

Marny here...I received this delightful trio of dishtowels as a gift recently.  Would you take a look at the amazing set of colors?  Clear aqua, a bright orange red and an intense red violet really leap out at you.  I love intense colors.  Many of the designs tag (small t) brings out from year to year visually intrigue me.  Some of their paper products and small dishes are at home in my cupboards right now.

The towels come tied with red violet twill tape.  Look at the color story!
Why these colors?  Why group them this way?  While not sure these questions got answered, they certainly got examined.
From left to right, the clear aqua, the intense red violet and the bright orange red.
Wielding my Pocket Color Wheel and my curiosity here is what I discovered.  And all the following comes with a big disclaimer.  I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination.  It is fun to learn and explore once curiosity strikes.
Ah ha!  An easy one.  A complementary color scheme.  Start with Red and cross over the wheel to Green.  They are directly across from one another on the color wheel or you could say opposite one another on the color wheel.  (Notice too that all the colors woven in come from one half of the color wheel.)  

Moving on to the next level in Color Wheel 101, we've got a split complementary color scheme.   Here Red-Violet was chosen to start.  Cross over the color wheel to find the complement (Yellow-green) and see the colors on each side of the complement, Green and Yellow.  The photo makes the greens in the dish towel just a bit yellower than they are in real life.  This is a true split complementary color scheme.  
Ok.  So this one stumped me.  I kept trying to make it fit to a tetrad, or a triad because those have little diagrams on the wheel.  This of course kept me from seeing how simple it was.  It starts with the Blue-green, has lots of Yellow-green and Yellow-orange.  Another ah ha...these are Diads.  Blue-green is two colors from Yellow-green and Yellow-green is two colors from yellow-orange.  Double diad anyone?  Of course the simplest answer is Analogous.  You can see Blue-Green at the top and all the colors heading counterclockwise to Yellow-orange and creeping into Orange.
It takes this cat no more than ten seconds to arrive when fabric gets put on the floor.  While dishtowels are not as comfy as a quilt spread out for photos they do require her always helpful attention.  What is it with pets and fabric/quilts/laundry on the floor?
It is fun to question what you see, explore and develop curiosity!  Three traits we have as children that should be nurtured throughout our lives.
Till Tuesday.... 


  1. Wow looking awesome and so colorful thanks for sharing.

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  3. This is great! I just spent the last two weeks trying to convince my design students that actually knowing color harmonies is a useful skill. :) I am going to show them this! :)

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