Sunday, April 28, 2013

Value Advice Please!

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I always have a struggle with value.  It just isn't something that comes naturally to me when I work with color.  I have enough color theory at the forefront of my brain to intuitively know what colors *match* and what *complements* but even as far back as my studies in college my professor criticized the lack of value in my painting.  He kept saying it looked flat.  I thought it looked spot on and had no idea what he was talking about.  To me - flat looked good.  This is probably why I shied away from color altogether after that experience because it was just safer than defending my preferences for flat.
Option: Flat
When I chose this palette I wanted something soft and muted...but as it sat on my shelf and I worked on other projects around it I wondered if it was a bit flat.  All the colors are largely in the medium range.  I played around with a few layouts via computer and it still reads pretty medium all around.  But, is that what I want?  Does that give me the soft look I want?  Do I have to stick with all mediums?
Option: Flat Different Layout
So I looked in my stash and thought about adding Kona Eggplant.  It would add a dark and pick up some of the purples in the other prints.  
Option: Eggplant & Beige & Peach
The purple really stands out and everything else fades.  It just becomes Dark and Medium.  Plus, it is no longer soft.
Option: Daisy & Beige & Peach

Then I cut the purple and added the Posy Bouquet in Daisy which reads closer to white.  I left in a beigey print.  Still soft, but I missed the depth, maybe warmth, that the purple added.
Option: Eggplant & Daisy & Peach
THEN...I cut out all the beige, left in the peaches because I really do love all of those ranges, kept in the Posy Bouquet in Daisy AND the Kona Eggplant.  
This is where I am now.  I'm leaning towards this last option because it is still sweet, but warm, and tender.  I think I'd use the eggplant sparingly but enough to add depth.  Maybe more cream and less peach?

Clearly I need to mull this over before I cut anything...  I am thinking of adding at least a peak of yellow if not an all yellow binding to really make it that little sweet girly feel I am trying to get.  I tried adding it within the layout and it really popped too much making it a much louder composition than I am going for.
[Miss O pretty much wears all pink with a yellow sweater/hat these days!]

Critique Please?  What are your thoughts?  Which Option and why...or is there something else I haven't considered?

- rebecca lynne




14 comments:

Leanne said...

I have no art training or anything, so feel free to ignore me on this. I would scrap the eggplant and add a darker preach or two or three. I like a lot of different solids that are in the same colour range. I would also consider adding a lighter peach solid or print more like your whites.

Or if I were adding the eggplant, I would add some other purples too. To me having one single different colour is jarring, unless it is whitish or greyish and is acting more as negative space. Of the options you have here I like the second last one the best. Whatever you do will be lovely, these are beautiful prints.

Annabella said...

I think I'm probably useless at value..at least i'm not sure I know much about it! I like the last option but feel perhaps the eggplant is still a little harsh on its own. Could you add in a slighter lighter purple too? Or a darker pink as well? I like the aubergine oops eggplant, I just think perhaps it needs a friend. Good luck! Your stuff is always beautiful - I'm sure this will be too.

Dora, the Quilter said...

We might want to consider that because the values are so close it gives the quilting a chance to shines. Maybe because quilting is my favorite part, I'd go with the lovely fabrics you've chosen and just enhance them with quilting--probably feathers, because they are so enhancing.
That said, you know you have to do what pleases you.

Kristy @ Quiet Play said...

I have zero colour theory knowledge pretty much. I just go with what I like. That's probably completely unhelpful but I can tell you that I really like your third option - Daisy and beige and peach!

Iraelia Pernas said...

I love your fabric selections and would go for option 2:flat different layout. I happen to like the soft, quaint look. Eggplant is too striking

Kimberly said...

Nothing wrong with flat in my brain! As Jackie said- no rules ;). I vote peach beige option

Katy McCoy said...

What about adding a deeper moss? I think the egglplant is too jarring for my taste. And I like the comment about staying calm and showing off the quilting.

Donna said...

I agree with others that the eggplant seems too strong. To me, option 4 works best but I would skip the lighter pink solid. Just my two cents. Your quilts are lovely and I know it'll be sweet no matter what you do!

Kelli said...

Zero color theory experience here, too. But I'm sure it will look great, no matter what you end up choosing.. to me, the eggplant looks really dark and draws my eye away from the other fabrics. I don't hate the first flat look. ;) Love the fabric stack! xo

piecemealquilts.com said...

Most important, if YOU like it, it's right. One person's "flat" is another person's "low volume."

That said, value is relative. "Dark" doesn't have to be deep dark, it can just be darker than everything else you're using. Your "mediums" are fairly light, so you have plenty of room to add something a little darker without going to extremes. Maybe a slightly darker reddish color - Kona Sienna, for example, or a darker taupe like Kona Stone or Mushroom. Oops - I think that's aqua - maybe pull something that matches the flowers in your aqua fabric.

Personally, of all the samples you showed I liked the first two best. The eggplant you added takes it from soft and pretty to something different, punchier.

Katherine said...

Oh, such pretty fabrics! I love experimenting with value - it really does change the look. I often look at the colours found within the print fabrics to guide me with value selection. I think you're on the right track to add a darker fabric into the mix, but wondered if instead of eggplant, if you could pull out that dark pink/red colour found in the flowers on the Posy fabric? I'm thinking that is would be in keeping with the soft palette and add just a touch of zip. I like the eggplant but it seems like a big jump and introduces a new, strong, colour (purple) into the harmonious pink/peach/grey mix. Just my two cents worth... I do think you have a pretty combination selected and it will be a lovely quilt!

Hitch & Thread said...

I'd kick the quilt police out of your house and just go with what you love! I adore soft harmonious quilts. If you reaaallllly want to add a dark I'd try for a peach or grey that is slightly darker but not necessarily a solid. That's the voice of no experience speaking :)

Archie the wonder dog said...

I think I prefer the options without the eggplant in them but it's what you like that's important! How about adding a deeper colour (or two or three) that's not necessarily a 'dark' but is darker in value than the fabrics in the first option? A dark peach or rust, perhaps. I think it depends on what you want to achieve with the quilt and which pattern you're using - some look better with fabrics that are mostly/all the same value and others look better with contrast. I like the flat look but quilting could add definition, if you wanted it to. Not sure I've been much help, even though I've been pondering for days, but I'm really looking forward to seeing what you decide!

Gemma@prettybobbins said...

I have no training either but I would look at it like this: you obviously like the print with the flowers so why aren't you bringing in any of the colours in them (blue, yellow, pink)? I spend days coming up with my palettes and I never know if I've got it right until the entire quilt is finished but I do live colour. I like the eggplant you've chosen, but it seems a little lonesome, like it stands out as different to the rest. But for me, most of the time, pulling prints and playing with colour is a learning experience and I enjoy the process :) I look forward to seeing what you decide to go with :)