Colour Theory Tested

I’ve been keen to produce some designs while experimenting with colour theory.

Pear Drops and Toffee Apples are both designs where I chose analogous colours, i.e hues adjacent to each other on the colour wheel, red and pink for Toffee Apples and green and blue for Pear Drops. As I like simple flat designs, I outlined some of the shapes in black to act as a fence to contain the colours from spreading. You will see where I haven’t done this, the green and blue on the pears blend together and reinforce their similar hue parentage.

Having been blown over by the movement that Sol Le Witt created in his Wall Drawing 1136 I was determined to design something where some physical energy might appear. So for Funky Apple, I butted up complimentary colours i.e opposites on the colour wheel because these are groups of colours that spar beside each other and reinforce their differences causing a perceived vibration which in turn can give a design some energy and movement. As the colour bands are almost circular, I hope your eye will be taken on a journey around the apple.

Before I get too theoretical, there is always a danger in applying theory directly into designs, and almost always a bad idea getting too theoretical when selecting interior paint colours as there are far too many other factors to consider in a space, my final design is simply because I like vegetation and I was keen to see it on a natural linen back ground.

The cushions are all 40 cm square and printed with pigment inks onto a linen cotton blend and will be appearing in my etsy shop soon.

It’s a fabulous sunny bank holiday weekend here in Edinburgh so I’m off to prepare a picnic, with plenty cushions to sit on…

14 thoughts on “Colour Theory Tested

  1. Super designs Niki, I like the red apple with the pink which is interesting as I normally gravitate towards blues and greens. Have you seen the paintings of Jessica Cooper, I think her paintings and your designs would compliment each other beautifully.


    • Thank you Sandra! Well that’s very interesting indeed because I too very much gravitate to blues and greens and in fact this is the very first time I have ever used red in a design! I think the natural linen colour dampens down the brutality of the red which changes its character a bit and allows us ‘cool’ colour types to accept it.
      Now, Sandra, I haven’t seen Jessica Coopers work…until now….and I ABSOLUTELY adore it. It instantly attracts me (deeply) and I am so grateful that you drew my attention to her work. In fact, I read all about her and was interested to see she is a fan of William Scott (I have a William Scott poster staring at me right in front of my computer, I love him too). That led me to read more about Scott and I discovered he set up an art school in Brittany, my very favourite place in the world. You did however set me off on a Sunday night mid life crisis though! I have so many ideas in my head but as I am untrained I don’t know how to execute the images I have in my head and I really, really want to go to art school to learn some techniques…
      Thank you Sandra, you are such an inspiration and I always love the work you introduce me too.


  2. We here at casa food to glow LOVE the pillows! We love the bold simplicity of the design, and the colours. It is interesting to see that you use not opposites on the colour wheel, but next-to’s (or, as you saw, analogous), which is very unusual. I will be ordering some for my conservatory 😀


  3. very nice work niki, if they are not already there your products should be seen in illums
    bolighaus in copenhagen, famous and exemplary design store.


    • Wow, thank you so much Alasdair, what a great comment to open up on Monday morning. I’ve just looked at illums Bolihaus, what a beautiful store indeed, gosh I can only dream of being stocked in a shop like that.
      I haven’t contacted many stockists yet as I’m not sure where/who to start with – I am terrible for enjoying the designing part and loosing interest in the business part! Oddly enough though a lovely looking design store in Honk Kong (Comein) have asked to stock my work so my task this week involves looking into export costs etc, yikes!
      Thanks again Alasdair, you’ve boosted my confidence so I am raring to go and contact stockist now 🙂
      Hope the house building is going to plan?


  4. …and of course niki the other place in denmark that would be a must for your work is Louisiana Museum Of Art ( just north of copenhagen. have you been? i was there three weeks ago and it is utterly fantastic. i have some very good contacts in copenhagen that i could pass on to you as possible sources to sell your work.


    • oh gosh, I’m in design heaven…I just clicked your link and I see the Louisiana Museum of Art looks absolutely fantastic. Love everything about it (nice cafe too and love the idea of ‘Friday Lounge’).The building looks stunning as do the views from the huge big windows, wow. My heart skipped a beat when I saw an image of the shop interior – all fab looking fresh products in mouth watering colours. I MUST visit, thank you so much for alerting me to it.
      I would love to pick your brains for Danish contacts! I want to drop into Timberyard for coffee with Lisa soon so I will drop you a line and see if you are about too.
      Thanks Alasdair!


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