balance and colour are fundamental to the success of a kite design. A useful
starting point to creating a harmonious scheme is the twelve part colour circle,
opposite. It establishes the development of colours from the primaries - red,
yellow, blue; and the secondary colours - violet, green, orange.
In the example below colour harmony has been achieved by using analogous
colours - those which lie next to each other on the colour circle.
introducing a strongly contrasting colour from the opposite side of
the colour circle, such as blue, the overall effect becomes far more lively.
Complementary colours exert the greatest changes in appearance and intensity
on each other.
The proportional use of colour, that is the amount of any single colour included
within a scheme in comparison to other colours, plays a large part in determining
the final appearance.
achromatic colour scheme, one consisting only of black and white, can have
particularly striking qualities. Either by using negative and positive shapes
or by creating visual rhythms and graphic illusion.
hues can be used side by side to create depth. In much
the same way as looking at a distant landscape reveals paler hues in contrast
to more strongly defined areas nearby. For the kite maker layers of ripstop
nylon can be overlapped to create subtle changes. Layering can also
result in colours with greater saturation and opacity.
real significance is the
effect of colour interaction. This is the way in which a hue will appear to
change when surrounded by different coloured backgrounds. To understand this
place a small area of red on a green background, then observe
the same red
on a white. You
will notice that the red appears to have been modified. This effect is known
as simultaneous contrast - the increase or decrease in intensity and hue of
colours when they are perceived in adjacent positions.
with colour schemes is very subjective and ultimately taste is a matter of
personal preference. When designing kites I have drawn
inspiration for colour from the work of many artists including Josef Albers,
Victor Vasarely, Patrick Heron and Bridget Riley.
colours can create a greater sense of space and depth. For example the changing
colours of mountains as they merge into the sky demonstrates the distancing
effects of blue, grey and violet. By contrast colours such as red, orange and
yellow can appear to advance towards the eye. Generally bright colours foreshorten
whilst pale colours give depth.
combinations which include black and/or white achieve dramatic graphic impact.
Black can give a kite a strong visual presence in the sky.