Sunday, 20 November 2011

Responsive Colour Selection

Principles of design practice for stained glass, 2

The graphic form of much stained glass means that the medium is about line and colour. This requires that you think about both your and the viewer's response to the colour combinations. Respond to your instincts. Use you feelings about colour and their relationships. Try different colour ways. Formal training does help, but experience develops your skills. The individuality of the piece depends on the use of your instincts about the colour. There are some checks you can make while selecting colours.

Think of colour and impact. Hot colours tend to have more impact, as they give bright points or areas. Impact can also be created by using non-complementary colours together. If a more subtle impression is desired, use tonal variations without great contrasts.

Vary areas of colour and their proportions. This provides interest to a panel. It avoids a mechanical symmetrical appearance, even if the design is symmetrical

Think about colour balance. Although the colours may vary it is important that the weights of the colours are balanced so that the focus of the panel is not taken to another part because of the imbalance of the colour with the design.

When you are in difficulty selecting or arranging the colour, step back and view from a distance. This is one of several techniques to enable you to get a larger or different view. Others include viewing the design through a mirror, viewing through half closed eyes, look at the design from the other end, and viewing the design from acute angles.

When something feels wrong, trust your intuition and use other colours. Colour theory is just that -theory. It is through using your reactions that the piece becomes individual.

Seek out the nuances of the glass in tones and textures. These alter the perceived colour and weight considerably.

Keep the design lines simple when your emphasis is on colour, light and texture. This allows those qualities to dominate the panel, rather than the lines.

Always make a coloured drawing before choosing the glass as a reference. This is a rendering of your original idea. It provides a reference as you select the colours. It is something that can be altered, of course, but does provide an essential reference point.

Choose glass colours in the kind of light for which the panel is intended. This is essential, as the glass colour is subtly different in daylight, incandescent, and fluorescent lights.


Elements of Design: