I must have learnt something about colour theory in my first year of university, but haven't retained the knowledge. So when a friend suggested she'd like to learn some colour theory, we began attending special private colour theory classes taught by my mum at the dining table in my parents' back room. In actual fact, I've only managed to make it to two classes so far, but in the second class we made this colour wheel:
I particularly like how you can turn the arrow around to show opposites and triads.
With my colour wheel on my desk before me, it was time to put the theory of colour opposites into practice with a book called Go To Sleep, Jessie written by Libby Gleeson.
Baby Jessie has moved into Jo's bedroom, but she won't go to sleep. She just screams and screams, and keeps Jo awake. Nothing either parent does seems to work. But eventually, of course, Jo knows just the thing that will settle Jessie.
In my illustrations I tried to create two distinct worlds; that of 'upstairs' where the two children are supposed to sleep and 'downstairs' where the parents read the newspaper, watch television and eat chocolates. It provided the perfect opportunity to test out colour opposites.
So, upstairs in the bedroom it is predominantly blue. While downstairs, where the lights are on and parents are still up doing things, it is orange, the opposite colour to blue on the colour wheel.
Here's the colour test I did...
...a finished upstairs scene...
...and a finished page showing both upstairs and downstairs.
The aim was simply to create contrast between the two opposite environments: upstairs, downstairs; dark, light; quiet, noise; asleep, awake. Regardless of whether it worked, the exercise showed me how I can create a really strong colour scheme for a book.