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Somber and Serious

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

I discussed colors with my students this week. One of them had a project where she had to paint a somber, serious, heavy landscape and she asked how to choose colors for that.

She is a student who is always happy, dancing and laughing all the time and she said that she never feels sad so she is having a hard time choosing colors for the project.

This was a great exercise. So I made a pot of tea and we sat around the table and spoke.

I asked what colors come to mind when I tell them to think of winter. They said black, grey, white, some said dark brown and dark green and dark blue. Those were most of the colors they mentioned. I asked if there were flowers in winter and trees and they said yes. So what about the colors of the flowers then? Pale pink, purples and plums.

Is there any sunlight in winter? some said yes, others said it depends on where you live. So I said that even there, the sunlight has some colors. So I got pale yellow and pale orange out of them.

We went to the winter fabric box and took some colors out of there.

different shades of grey colored fabric pieces
Shades of grey

grey and tan colored fabric pieces
greys and tans

winter colored fabric pieces
winter colored fabric pieces

blue grey and tan fabric colored pieces
blue grey and tans

black and grey colored fabric pieces
blacks and greys

lilac floral and grey fabric pieces
lilac floral and greys

purple fabric pieces and a spool of purple fabric thread

We found a varied selection of winter colors, they all had a flat overtone except for the purples. I told them to choose a selection of colors that made them think of "serious and dark" but not black.

These were the colors they chose and I created a wave landscape piece from them.

They each chose a selection of colors for their own patchwork piece, and we will see what they create next week.

The student who had to paint decided to choose browns, greys, olive greens and a bit of purple for her somber landscape. She will bring it to class next week to show us what she created.

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