How do you color plan your rugs? This is a question that I am often asked. I have a couple of guidelines I consider when I start thinking about a new rug. I usually do not plan a landscape too much as it is what I see in nature and I tend to just paint with my wool. Here are my guidelines for other rugs.
Think about the overall mood of your rug. Is it going to be vibrant or subdued?
What value of color do you want for the background? Light, medium or dark. You do not need to think about a specific color just the value. If you consider this first in your rug, you are less likely to hit a road block when hooking and picking colors for your rug.
Now let us talk about COLOR!
The color wheel is a great place to start. If you have a basic understanding of what colors work together you can feel comfortable that you will love your rug when you are done.
There are three “primary” colors: Red, Blue, and Yellow.
Then think about mixing the two colors together to get “secondary” colors. Violet, Green, and Orange.
Then think about mixing those colors together to get “tertiary” colors. Red orange, yellow orange, yellow green, blue green, blue violet, or red violet.
Now with this information we can build our color plan. What colors go together?
Complimentary – Two colors opposite the wheel. Red green, blue violet, yellow orange, etc.
Triad – Three colors that are three spaces apart. Red-yellow-blue, orange-green-violet, etc.
Tetrad – Four colors together. Just keep the distance as a rectangle or square within the circle. Red-violet, orange, yellow-green and blue, for example.
Need more combinations?
Analogous – a series of color along the same side of the wheel. Blue-green, blue, blue-violet, violet or yellow-orange, yellow, yellow-green, green.
Now back to your rug. A couple of other items to consider. A rug should contain the following phrase ‘light, bright, dark, dull”. Make sure you have each of these conditions in the rug. Some teachers will refer to a “poison” in your rug. That is the bright or light in the rug. Another suggestion is to move the colors around the rug. Place the colors in more than one place to let the eye move from place to place.
I hope this alleviates some of your color planning anxiety. This is only the basics and you will develop and grow. This information is only to get you started. You will get more and more comfortable with your decisions and develop your eye for color.