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Sequence Of Harmonies


As these twenty-one sections are arranged, one has the layout for a suite of seven rooms; following the top line across in a light scale, the harmony is complete; following the center line across in a normal, the harmony is complete; so also with the bottom line in a lower scale. Follow the colors diagonally and you find they are repeats, or very close to repeats—red, russet, red, for instance; violet, violet, violet; blue, slate, blue; green, green, green; yellow, citrine, yellow; orange, orange, orange. To the colorist the combinations here suggested are full of inspiration.


34. The harmony of analogy is a subject that is little understood. It may be color sequence, progression, development or succession.

Thus we may combine red, green and blue by starting with crimson and maintaining the following sequence: Crimson, red, scarlet, orange, yellow, greenish yellow, green, bluish green, blue, violet, and with added red get back to crimson.

A room or a series of rooms may run to all colors and be still a harmony of analogy if the sequence or succession is gradual.

35. No more delightful harmonies can be imagined than those provided by nature. One may start with the brown of the earth and run into several shades of green, and from that touch upon yellow, and from yellow to orange, and from orange to red, and red to violet, and violet to the blue of the sky. Or one may follow the colorings and the proportion of colorings in flora and never go astray.

36. In the application of color to the home nothing is more pleasing than the harmony of sequence; the coloring of all rooms must be in sympathy with contiguous rooms.

37. All rooms are subject to the influence of a north or a south light, or much or little light, and the colorings must be considered accordingly. The ceiling and the upper parts of a wall require more pale colors where more light is needed. On the floor, however, where the greatest light falls, a little black may be added to soften the tone.

38. Red and green are sharply contrasting colors; violet and yellow and blue and orange sharply contrast, and while their combinations may be used in adjoining rooms, it will be seen that in Diagram IV these contrasting tones are not in contact, but by their arrangement form analogies of contrast combinations.

39. Yellow, orange, red, violet, blue and green are related; orange, russet, violet, slate, green and citrine are related; red, violet, blue, green, yellow and orange are related. Viewing the ceilings, the side-walls or the floor, there is the harmony of progression that we observe in the tinting of a flower. Viewed collectively the harmony is the same.

40. To illustrate further our point we would take the ceiling line. We start with yellow, a primary color; orange possesses yellow; orange likewise possesses red, the adjoining color; violet possesses red, and it likewise possesses blue. On the side-wall, russet possesses orange, and it also possesses violet; it is the tertiary color made of these two secondaries. Slate is made of green and violet, and is thus also related to citrine.

We do not wish it understood that these colors are to be applied flat, but simply in the predominating expression.

41. The value of the diagram is obvious when one considers that in no particular is there a break in the sequence; but if we wish a harmony of analogy in a room, or a harmony of related parts, and wish the adjoining room to be in absolute contrast, we simply adopt the red, violet and blue for one room, and the green, citrine and orange for another; or the orange, russet and violet for one room, and the blue, green and yellow for the other. If, however, the sequence of color is desirable where we move from one apartment to another, and the eye is pleased by a gradual changing color, we can adopt any of these combinations in the order as presented.

42. A vital point in the use of color, regarded usually with indifference or totally misunderstood, is the Unity of Composition to be preserved in the treatment of a series of floors in a house; for on each floor of a house the conditions of light vary. As we ascend the stairs we find each floor requires an altered treatment, because of the added light given from the skylight. Moreover, in the arrangement of a floor the relation of one room to another is frequently so influential that no one room should be treated without due consideration to the adjacent apartment.

Too frequently the whole question of color is dismissed when the matter of north or south exposure is discovered, but the north room on the lower floor of a house is by no means so well lighted as the north room of the fourth or fifth floor, and the scale of color which would lend warmth to such a room would be weak in a more exposed apartment.

43. Where the artist has but one room to consider there is little scope for his application of color knowledge. He must frequently compromise to meet the conditions. But presuming that he must treat a floor through, he should adopt a Unity which will apply harmoniously to all the rooms and hallways.





For Key to Numbers see Diagram VII.


Next: Contiguous Harmonies

Previous: Room Combinations

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