SAQA Seminar 2021 - Unit 3

Working with Color

Once you understand color theory, it is time to look at how to use that knowledge in creating art.  Choosing colors becomes the hardest task for some textile artists. There is so much choice in fabric, your stash may contain fabrics that you love, but in colors you don’t feel comfortable using. The question is: Why?

Check out all the materials below which include a video, an article, and an exercise. Plus, explore our Unit 3 gallery for some colorful work from our online collection that features the color Yellow. Don't forget to scroll down and click through some of the helpful links and resources.

View Unit 3 Gallery

Join us at the end of the week for a live video conversation (scroll down for connection details) about what you have discovered about color theory.

Please share your comments with the rest of us on the SAQA Facebook Group or via our SAQA Seminar submission form.


SAQA Seminar (Exercise)
Try out this exercise from Katie Pasquini Masopust. She takes us through making a fabric color wheel and some exercises using different color schemes.
SAQA Seminar (Video Conversation)
Katie Pasquini Masopust explains how to use color to get a finished composition that has depth and illumination. Choosing a compositional layout and colors from a color wheel is a great way to start a new piece with the hard decisions already made!
SAQA Seminar (Article)
In this article, artist and author James Gurney talks about limiting your palette within a piece and provides several strategies for doing just that.


Margaret Abramshe made this video on the basics of Color Theory concepts.

Stephen Quiller created his own “color wheel” based on the “best optical color balance.” It is an approach to color selection in his medium of watercolor. Read about it in his book: Color Choices. He also sells his own color wheel.

Intuitive Color & Design by Jean Wells explores the role of color as one of the design elements. One take-away from a lecture: select colors in proportion to their distribution in your inspiration (photo, painting, etc).

Josef Albers is best known for a series of paintings Homage to the Square, in which he explores color relationships in images of nested squares. Albers is most influential for his work in color theory. Among his important points, that color is relative and changes in relationship to colors around it. Two of his book are: Squares and Other Shapes and Interaction of Color.

Andrew Price's Understanding Color video uses examples from art and illustration in talking about use of color.

Katie Pasquini Masopust's book Color and Composition in Art Quilts discusses using color in art quilts.

Steph Skardal is a software engineer as well as an amazing modern quilter who won the 2018 QuiltCon Best in Show. Her blog has multiple posts about color, color theory, and other related topics. Here's one to check out. Her blog also has some great color tools like the Color Palette Tool, the Color Wheel Harmony Tool, and the Digital Swatch Tool.

Color Tools for Artists:

Color wheels - they come in various sizes with up to 24 colors. You can search the web and art supply stores to find one that suits your needs or even make your own. Here are just a few examples:

Purchase David M. Kessler's color wheel
** Special discount for SAQA Seminar participants

Ultimate 3-1n-2 Color Tool: Joen Wolfrom is a color tool that has lots of information, you may like that aspect or prefer something simpler. 

Gail Callahan's Color Grid is a tool helps find colors that work together well.

Gray-scale paint samples from your local DIY store can help you see and compare values.

Lea McComas' Value Finding Tool can help you select values of fabrics and threads.

This Value Matching Tool by Grace Errea helps identify the value within specific color families.

Jane Dunnewold's Color Constant Cards have the actual colors (hue) for each family on the color wheel. 

Live Chat & Zoom Connection Details

Join members of the Education Committee and talk about color theory and how it might be of use in your art. Note that Live Chats will not be recorded as they are just casual conversations and sharing among participants in smaller breakout rooms.

You will need to register separately for the webinar below. Once you register, you will receive a separate email confirmation that includes connection information for the webinar. The webinar will be recorded.

Webinar with Lori Weitzner: Thursday, March 4: 4pm – 5pm EST (GMT -5). Register for webinar now



Friday, January 29: 4pm – 5pm EST (GMT -5)
Friday, February 5: 4pm – 5pm EST (GMT -5)
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Friday, February 19: 12pm – 1pm EST (GMT -5)
Friday, February 26: 4pm – 5pm EST (GMT -5)
Friday, March 5: 4pm – 5pm EST (GMT -5)
Tuesday, March 9: 4pm – 5pm EST (GMT -5)
Thursday, March 11: 1pm – 2pm EST (GMT -5)



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