Celtic Design
  The Companion volume to Celtic Embroidery, Celtic Design explores color theory with text and full-color plates, as well as explaining how to create and adapt patterns--and presents more than a hundred additional patterns. Birds, borders, beasts and bugs are included in the new patterns as well as spirals and stars. There are patterns for all levels of time commitments, from afternoon projects on up. Robert Kalthoff/Robert of Coldcastle leads the conversation, and Gerry Hubbell/Gerald of Ipsley adds documentation comments. Although intended for embroiderers, the patterns are equally usable for calligraphy and illumination, woodcarving, leatherwork, tattoos, or any art that uses line to surround fields of color. Written by and for Living History re-creators, this is a how-to book that show you how to use your history.

Here's an excerpt from the color theory discussion:

Colors are warm and cool. A color cannot be properly defined as warm or cool except in its relationship with other colors.

There are the basic raw colors, or primary colors: red, blue and yellow. Note that this is pigment--the colors of light are what you see in the rainbow, or red, yellow, and green--the blue disappearing in the sky. Mixing the raw colors will give you the secondaries, green, orange and purple. The raw colors are the foundation for the definition of everything we see.

Back to the black and white thing for a moment. Let us assume that black is the absence of light and the most intense natural form of illumination we have on this planet is a mediocre yellow sun. where direct sunlight does not hit, the illumination is the backlight of a blue sky.

Colors are not made darker by the addition of black, nor are they made lighter by the addition of white, but by temperature. They are warm or cool. Please refer to plate I.

When raw color is revealed by light, it loses some of its true identity and is conditioned by the intensity and the temperature of the light source. If there was no light, we would see only black.

Observe a sunset closely sometime. The light source is the big divide. The blazing golden sun sinking down into the dust turns into orange-red-crimson, and the overhead sky is getting darker and more blue, revealing the crimsons as purple. Near the horizon, the sun has turned these blues into teal and turquoise. As the sun goes, we deal with colors turning into eights and nines. Black soon follows.

Celtic embroidery does not participate in those subtle shadings. There is very little blending or shading--basically, it's flat colors laid into a pattern to create a whole.

Choosing color is rather like the process of illumination.

First we must choose the fabric on which we will work the embroidery. This fabric will be the canvas upon which all your colors will be created. You need to select on the basis of the color of the fabric, the intensity, and the temperature of the color.

Refer to plate X, a piece being worked by Gerald. He chose a rose/scarlet, generally a cool red (Gerald speaking. I chose a red that could have been generated by madder, however, it's a bluish red--that is, if a truly red object was lit by the sun, the parts in shadow would be lit by the sky. The hot reds would be yellowish, and the cool reds, or shadows, would be bluish.)…
  Celtic Design Book    
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