Loopgram: Dimensions of Color

I thought it would be fun to post here one of the lessons that is part of our Palette dyeing rug camp on Rug Hooking Daily.

There are three dimensions to color that we need to understand as rug hookers and dyers, especially if we are creating our own color palettes.

1. HUE = the color itself (red, yellow, blue, and everything in between them); 3 primary colors from which are mixed the 9 colors in between them
2. VALUE = the gradation of color (darkness or lightness of the hue)
3. INTENSITY = the purity or saturation of the color (dullness or brightness of the hue); different intensities are created by adding white, black, and/or gray the color
More about INTENSITY. There are three main ways to change the purity of a color, to make it less intense:
1. Tint: the color plus white; the white will dilute the color and lower the intensity while lightening the value.
2. Tone: the color plus gray or the complementary color; this will neutralize the color, graying it.
3. Shade: the color plus black; darkens the color, lessening the intensity while darkening the value.

This is a tint diagram which adds gray to the color:

For a rug's color to work, we need to be aware of more than HUE. We need to be aware of the VALUES and INTENSITIES of our HUES. Most rugs that we hook are hooked in medium values. Rug hookers are generally afraid to hook with light values, and use dark values too sparingly. This means that the rugs we are hooking end up looking flat. What pops rugs is contrast of value. And this is most easily achieved by using light and dark values along with the medium. The lower the intensity of the color (more muted), the more the color will recede in the rug, giving a sense of distance. So differing intensities of color will help to achieve contrast too.

To achieve the most successful color in rugs, it is wise to include different values and intensities. I try to remember to include in my rugs dark and light values, along with dull and bright intensities. This is the DAL DAB rule. In every rug, it is important to hook dark and light, dull and bright.