This exercise only gave me the choice of picking two primary colours, so I decided to go with blue and yellow. My instinct was to choose red and yellow but I persuaded myself to go with blue which I’m not so comfortable with.
I have used three different blues: a cyan felt with cyan stranded cotton, mid blue ruched viscose tubular ribbon & Perle 5 and a dark blue stranded cotton. There are also three yellows: an egg yolk yellow Perle 5, a mid range cool yellow stranded cotton and bright lemon yellow pipe cleaners.
Firstly let me say that I find the whole sample jarring. There is no subtlety in this colour scheme, very 1980’s sea and sand. I have visited many a bathroom with blue, yellow and white colouring, seashells in glass bowls, cross-stitched sea horses on the wall and with other nautical items in evidence.
Anyway, back to the sample. The deeper yellow holds its strength well when stitched densely amid the cyan felt but turns more orange when the density is reduced or with the black showing through. It also seems slightly more orange when it is placed with the mid to dark blue I’ve used.
The mid blue and mid yellow placed together in the central ruched cord seem very evenly matched – pretty boring, certainly not candy for my eyes. Neither seems to have a dramatic effect on the other.
The lemon yellow pipe cleaners, which look fresh and brilliant in colour when held in my hand, look awful. Unstitched and just laid on the black background they retain most of their actual colour but put with the very dark blue they appear slightly dirty looking and the colour has definitely deadened. Mixed with the cyan stranded cotton they have an overwhelming sick green tinge.
Surprisingly, despite yellow being the most vibrant colour, I find it has little effect on the blues. The deeper golden-yellow (egg yolk is a good description) seems to reduce the dominance of the cyan and it sits well with the deep blue, but the lighter and lemon yellows – I feel – are completely ineffective against the blues. The yellows are the ones significantly affected.