Form and Color
The decorator, however large may be his resources, however wide his experiences, has really only two factors to deal with — form and colour, and it is particularly with reference to the latter that a few remarks might be added to this volume; and at the same time, texture must not be forgotten.
Importance of Texture
As texture has an importance which follows closely on the heels of colour, to which indeed it is allied. In this age of mistaken fondness for smooth and polished surfaces, not half enough is made of texture.
Subtle Glints of Light
It is texture that catches the subtle glints of light and reveals unsuspected effects of warmth and beauty and gives an almost unconscious individuality to a rough old beam of oak or even an old brick wall.
Still, form and colour are the leading factors at the decorator’s command. It is with these chiefly that he must produce his effects, create his illusions, give apparent height to low walls.
Turn Bareness into Comfort
Turn bareness into comfort and make the habitation habitable in the artistic sense, but for the accomplishment of satisfactory results every detail of form and colour must be carefully studied.
Scheme of Colour
A scheme of colour, however simple, demands much thought and a definite plan of campaign, as the ensemble is everything, and form and colour are just instruments after all in producing a final result.
Sunshine of Art
Color has been called the Sunshine of Art for to every passion and affection of the mind it lends aid and influence.
Evidence of the Eye
Yet considering that the evidence of the eye is superior to that of the ear, and that the science and art of colors should be easier than that of sounds.
Music vs. Color
It is remarkable that music should have made so much more advance while color is yet very imperfectly understood.
How early and to what extent coloring may have attained the rank of a science is a question not easily answered.
But there are wonderful proofs of the great development in this direction which the early Egyptians attained; one of the most notable being the marvelously fresh and perfect paintings.
Red, blue and yellow is disagreeable and gaudy, but the writer avers that bright colours are not necessarily gaudy. It is when bright colours are combined without due regard to their relative quantities or the arrangement they require that they appear gaudy and glaring.
Take, for instance, the multiplicity of colours one finds in the beautiful old needlework of the 16th, 17th and early 18th centuries which, in most instances, are bright but nevertheless give a peculiarly pleasing and gratifying effect to the ensemble.
Early Italian Masters
In the pictures of the early Italian masters, for example, the same dominant use of the primary colours may be remarked.
Green is a colour which today is much in favour with many decorators, but it must here be remarked that the practice of introducing great quantities of green in a scheme of decoration is an error and to be avoided.
Ground for Other Colours
Although it may sometimes be allowable in a large mass, as for instance in a carpet, it must not dominate but may only be used as a ground for other colours.
Green only abounds in a scheme of decoration when people have become artificial, and there is abundance of proof to show that in those bygone periods when taste in colour was pure.
The three primaries were always preferred; one of the best examples of this may be seen in all early heraldry, which is entirely carried out in red, yellow and blue with the addition, of course, of gold and silver.
Beauty of Colors Individually
With regard to the beauty of colors individually, the colors which tend towards light have their greatest beauty in their brighter tints.
Tend Towards Shade
And those which tend towards shade are most beautiful in their greater depth of fullness; thus, red is at its greatest beauty when of intermediate depth or somewhat inclined to light.