Monday, August 11, 2014

Part 1 Beginners Guide to the Elements and Principles of Design - Colour

Elements & Principles of Design

Creating the 'perfect' design is not something that just happens, well not for most of us anyway!  There are a number of factors that make it a perfect design, so lets take a look at what those factors are?

Elements of Design:
These are parts that make up the design, you can either touch or see the elements of design. These include colour, line, shape and texture.

Principles of Design: 
The basic principles of design include unity, proportion and scale, balance, rhythm and harmony.

By applying the principles to the elements of design brings them together into one design. How you apply these principles determines how successful a design may be!

Elements of Design

Colour is all around us, the clothes that we wear, how we furnish our homes and in nature.. we are surrounded by colour!

Some people have a natural ability to put colours together, creating very pleasant results every time, however these people can also fall into the trap of using the same colours time and time again... I know that I can be guilty of that, I think it’s being safe and inside my comfort zone, and even I need to be pushed out of it on occasions!

“ Creativity involves breaking out of established 
patterns in order to look at things in a different way”.

In the QBN program we learn about the following colour harmonies:

Triadic (tri-ad-ic - meaning groups of three) - consists of any three hues (colours) that lie equal distance on the colour wheel. A classic and well know triadic colour harmony is blue, yellow, and red. Blue, yellow and red are primary colours that cannot be made by mixing any 2 colours together, but when they are mixed together they create a new colour).

Colour Wheel

Triadic Colour Harmony - Primary colours Red, Blue & Yellow
When we see primary colours we think of children, circus and of course Qualatex!

This was a sculpture that I created a few years ago with 'Circus' as the theme, the domineering colour harmony is Red, Yellow and Blue, which gave it a very strong visual impact.

But a triadic colour harmony does not always have to be primary colours, if you mix the primary colours together you get secondary colours!
Blue + Yellow = Green
Red + Yellow = Orange
Blue + Red = Purple Violet

Triadic Colour Harmony - Secondary colours Green, Orange & Purple Violet.
You can also mix a Primary colour with a Secondary colour, these are known as Tertiary colours, That's why the hue (colour) is a two word name, such as blue-green, red-violet, and yellow-orange.

Complimentary (com·pli·men·ta·ry)- consists of any two colours that lie directly opposite from each other on the colour wheel. A classic and well know complimentary colour harmony is red and green, when we see these two colours together it usually means Christmas!

The use of  complimentary colours  creates one of the most dramatic colour harmonies in terms of contrast!

Very Best Balloon Blog
Candy Swirl Arch using complimentary colours Green & Red
Arch design by Sue Bowler CBA

Entrance Arch using complimentary colours Yellow & Purple Violet

Analogous (a·nal·o·gous) - consists of any three colours that lie side by side on the colour wheel, of the three colours one should be dominant and the others more of an accent.

This colour harmony is easy on the eye and are often seen in nature

This is the perfect example of an analogous colour harmony! 

Monochromatic (mon·o·chro·mat·ic)  - consists of one hue (colour) and it’s tints, tones and shades, creating a striking yet subtle colour contrast.

Sometimes it is very hard to work in a single colour, this is a fantastic way to create a design that has contrast but without introducing a second or third colour.

Here are two designs that uses a monochromatic colour harmony, using just one colour and it's tints, tones and shades.

There are some great online resources that talk about colour harmonies, one of the most visual is on Pinterest! You can see some great examples of colour harmonies and there is some great additional reading on this subject too!

So, the next time you are working on a design think about the colours that you are using, maybe consider working with a colour harmony that you have never worked with before. When talking with your customers, help them with their colour selection and wow them with your knowledge of colours and colour harmonies!

I will be writing more beginners guides working through the elements and principles of design.

Happy Ballooning!


jay72uk said...

Thanks for the great help Sue

Unknown said...

Thank you Sue and it was a pleasure meeting you this past week at Ballooniversity 2017!!!��

Unknown said...

Great read!

Unknown said...

This will really help me. Thank you!!!

Unknown said...

Kindly let us know if there is any workshop in dubai in coming month