Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Black RULES!

The flimsy isn't quite finished, but it's getting close. The word OBEY is too tall, and needs to be trimmed. I haven't sewn the last hidden fun to the IF YOU panel yet, and I need to add a bit of black at the bottom, and square up the sides. This is shaping up to be a favorite.
So why do these letters POP so much? A couple of reasons...

First, visually, light areas always pop forward, and big dark areas recede. You can't get darker than black, so the most intense light/dark contrast will always be black and white, but lighter colors against black will really attract your attention.

Secondly, we see color when light hits an object and reflects back at us. Different colors absorb different amounts of light. White reflects all light back at us, black absorbs all of it. So bright colors next to black appear to really jump out at you.

A more intense color will jump out at you more than a less vibrant one. Think of an orange (a real orange you can eat). You can't get a BRIGHTER orange than an orange. If you make it lighter, it loses some intensity, it gets a bit duller. It's the same thing if you make it darker, you lose the intensity, the brightness. (I swiped this picture from earthinpictures.com)

I used a lot of bright colors and bright fabrics in this quilt, so they really jump out. In the White Rules,the brightest color is probably the big pink F, but that doesn't have as much light/dark contrast as the U next to it. These colors are much more subdued than the colors in the black quilt.

The letters "YOU OBEY ALL THE RULES" are exactly the same in both quilts. I used the same fabrics. Actually, the reason I made TWO quilts was to show how differently the same colors look when using a white, then a black background.

Amazing, isn't it?

6 comments:

upstateLisa said...

that's a lot of sewing to show the contrast! But there is nothing like a black background to make it pop!

Lynne (Lily's Quilts) said...

Thank you for sending me over to this - I love the contrast between the two quilts and it's great for me too to read why the letters pop more form the black and why some colours pop more than others and that they pop more or less depending on what they;re sitting on - all these little bits of information are being stored up in my head and may one day merge into me actually being able to use the information to my advantage!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Love how the hidden FUNS show up in the BOB quilt ... great explanation, too!

Exuberant Color said...

I thought the word 'obey' was that size for emphasis on it as you are reading it. Anyway it is wonderful!!

The Selvage Fairy said...

I wish I'd had an art teacher like you when I was in school!

LizA. said...

Wow! What a great visual. It's amazing How much more intense the black rules appears to be. Thanks for the lesson and for taking the time to share with us.