More about colour, especially chromatic greys

In my post earlier this week I was talking about greyscales in the context of learning more about colour. For some time now I’ve been very taken with the chromatic grey range of colours. One of my first Pinterest boards was on the theme of chromatic grey, and I’ve really loved looking for examples of it. ‘Chroma’ means colour or hue, and I’ve come to realise that greys are very rarely neutral. They usually contain colour in greater or lesser saturation, and sometimes their true nature doesn’t emerge until you put them with other greys. The nature of chromatic greys was brought home to me by my experience of doing a sample based on the work of Chuck Close, the American artist. I picked most of the greys out of my stranded cotton selection, with a view to producing a very understated and subtle combination of colours. But as shown in the photo of the finished sample below, it actually turned out to be a riot of colour, relatively speaking: Cross Stitch sample inspired by Chuck Close Below is a close up of the sample showing the (small) size of the stitching:Cross stitch sample - close up One of the things that struck me forcibly when I was working this sample was just how much your eyesight gets compromised once you get to a certain age. I enjoyed this piece very much and I like the effect, but it was tough going. Following this experience I gave in to advancing years and bought a magnifying light. This is quite a costly option (although a good deal cheaper than getting new glasses) but it’s proven to be worth every penny. Anyway, getting back to the issue of chromatic greys… most of the several colours I used in this sample looked grey when seen in isolation. It’s when you put them together that their colour character really starts to emerge. It’s such an interesting process….. and I’m hoping that working on the Hornung book (see the post earlier this week) will help me to understand these colour relationships a little better.