patterns in color

First attempt, Signature color + White.

when I used these two color as they are, there was to much contrast, in terms of value difference, so to create a softer, more subtle feeling, I applied transparency.

Second, complementary colors = Violet + Yellow Green

Obviously, it shows strong contrast. But as I applied only these 2 colors to the pattern, it seemed to be too heavy, even dull. So the pattern lost its dynamic feeling which showed in the black and white version.

To lighten up this pattern, I added white as the third color. And here’s what I got from this experiment.

Third, Triad = Violet + Yellow Orange + Blue Green

Since yellow orange has the highest value, it seemed to make the horizontal arrangement of the curvy motives pop out more. Here are two versions of patterns in the triad color scheme.


pattern studies

Initial scribbles/doodles that I did before I actually got into making patterns.

Since my signature color is soft violet, which is also strongly related to light, I kept looking at curvy lines and shapes to come up with my patterns. But loose curves seemed to be  to be less fun to me. As well, when they were combined and made up a pattern, they looked more like free drawings, not patterns. So, I chose more geometric(?) shape, a perfect circle for one pattern study, and more obvious, stronger curves for the other pattern study.

Since a circle is a primary geometric shape, I tried to make a free-form pattern with circles not to make it look too organized, which would go against my theme color. I tried to convey dynamics and feeling of change here.

Second, I’ve come to create a somewhat geometric pattern by using curvy lines. when it was only lines, it looks less rigid, more free. But when I filled in the round parts with black, the overall look changed a lot. Hard edges of each shape stand out very strongly. I might need to come up with other motives to fill in not to avoid this kind of effect.


Pantone lecture

The biggest impression I got from Giovanni’s lecture, especially comparing with the one from Adler design, was that Pantone really tries to collect some sort of “objective” data which would lead them to a very scientifically and logically convincing color choices. It sounded quite different from the viewpoint of Adler design in terms of the resources they get inspiration or ideas from. The most memorable comment Ben made in Adler design was that they “inherently” know what will be the color for next season just by being engaged to that field for a long time and keep looking closely¬† at anything that interests them. I also got some idea of how I could give/reflect my own personality to a certain color, and apply it differently, i mean in my own way. But it didn’t seem to be quite easy to get a sense of that inherent understanding. However, coming back to Pantone’s way of color choice, it immediately made sense. They talk to people in every creative industry, and make their decision according to thing they get from the conversation.

Another point I got from the lecture was that color trend may not be something we actually “forecast” any more. As Giovanni mentioned in his lecture, if some of the leaders in color-related industry like Pantone decides to sell more Turquoise this year, many other product makers would follow the same direction to make well-fitting products with other products or environments. This was exactly the point where I thought working for Pantone might be one of the coolest jobs in the world. However, at the same time, I still want to see more color trends which are free from this kind of industrial controls.


tints, tones and shades

Out of all the paintings I did for my violet book, I think this one turned out to be the best. So, I am posting this first, even ahead of my first layout idea pages I came up with 2 weeks ago. I think I am getting more used to mixing pigments. It actually takes less time to make almost exact colors I want. Oh, and less medium. When I first painted for this class, pigments seemed to dry out too fast, so I kept dropping another drop of retarder over and over. But now, I feel like I am having fairly enough time to mix and apply them to the paper. Awesome achievement!

some progress shots.

1) color aid

2) painting

3) pallette


pattern research

Right after the last color class, I went to paper presentation to find a right kind of printing paper for my color book. And there, I came across with tons of gift-wrapping papers! There were all kinds of patterns, textures, etc. it was such a shame that I didn’t bring my camera that day. So, I had to go for my last choice; the cellphone camera.

First, I haven’t really noticed before that there were that many patterns directly come from forms in nature like tree branches, leaves. Among the wrapping papers, floral patterns were the most common, things in trees the second, and also animal patterns. Colors used in those natural pattern usually went along with colors in nature.

Geometrical patterns, personally my least favorite, were relatively rare for wrapping papers. So I went searching online, and they seemed to be more commonly used in window frames, architectural decoration, or wallpapers. Also, I could come across many traditional patterns in Asia which have geometric features. I didn’t find any typical way of matching certain colors with the pattern, but one obvious rule I could find was that not so many colors are used in one pattern; actually it was mostly limited in one dominant color that makes the pattern and one background color. very clean/simple.

Lastly, freeform patterns. In addition to natural patterns, they were also common in wrapping papers. Typography, irregular arrangement of geometric shapes, abstract paintings, photographs, mixture of all these things. Anything was possible to make patterns and they tended to have very complicated look. Use of color also seemed to be the most complicated among others.


color proportions stripe study

The original image is taken by the sea at dawn. Violet and light violet are dominant, and 2 other red shades/pastels and dark violet is scattered partially.

And then, color analysis + the abstract representation in stripes.