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dawn by the lake

V-P1-3 / Pantone 270c / C=30 M=27 Y=0 K=0 / R=176 G=177 B=217 / HEX= #B0B1D9

Violet is sometimes not just a color we see with our eyes. It implies something beyond it such as a mood, smell, feelings given by surroundings. For instance, if I smell lavenders, it would remind me of warm, bright violet. It is not because the color of lavender flowers is violet, but because its sweet, calming scent is automatically connected with the impression that I get from violet. The sky when the sun is about to rise from the horizon, the scent of lavenders, a face reflecting moonlight, blurred photographs taken in the evening, the ice-cold air in a winter morning, my grandfathers pale hands when he was suffering in the hospital. All these experiences could be matched with violet. As I could relate personal experiences with violet, it is known to be a spiritual color, which we can relate to our memory, imagination, and fantasy. It can be as warm as a cashmere scarf you’ve got from your mother for a Christmas gift, while it can also be as dark as a winter night with howling wind outside

Here is my little experience associated with violet. Almost 10 year ago, my band and I went on a short trip to a small cottage by the lake. Every one of us had a plan to leave the town for years. We had no idea if we would be ever able to perform together again, or what would happen next in our lives. Our conversation went on all night till the dawn came. To get some fresh air, I stood up from the chair, went outside to the lake by myself. And a magic was happening right there. The lake fully covered with Violet Mist captured my eyes at once. I could not move at all. A few minutes later, the sun rose, and this unbelievable scene disappeared like a real magic. What a beautiful but fragile moment it was. This book is inspired by this experience. It is mostly focused on violet and its color schemes shown through the light or transparent materials, so that we could fully appreciate various aspects of violet and its magical blender; light.

violet in nature

Violet is commonly found in nature; flowers, oceans, fruit, and the sky. Violet flowers tend to pop out because they are usually surrounded by the complementary color, yellow green. Even through the foggy air, as shown on the right, violet flowers are easily found, making plants around them look much greener and more vibrant.

violet + yellow green

Yellow green warm(YGw) is the complementary color of violet. This color scheme conveys the strongest contrast among other complementary color combinations like red & green, blue & orange. As mentioned in ‘violet in nature’, this scheme is commonly seen in nature; therefore, we are inherently familiar with it. By mixing pigments of these two colors, neutral grey can be made. It is not exactly the greys made of black and white, however, for the purpose of giving shade to the pure hue, they can be mixed together instead of adding black. What I got here by mixing violet and YGw looks like dark olive green. Its value is as same as grey 4.5.

violet in urban spaces

The picture on the top of this page was taken in Frankfurt airport. This special lighting was installed along the endlessly long moving walk. The color of light kept changing and when it turned into violet, I felt like I was in a SF film. Violet light is usually applied to urban spaces to convey a dreamy, mysterious, atmosphere. It is like a tool to create a fantasy in our real world.




As shown in ‘violet in urban spaces’, there’s a wide range of violet hues which can be used for different purposes. Pure hues with higher chroma are often chosen for special occasions like lights outside of high buildings, stages and clubs. Hues with tones or shades have more calming and sophisticated feelings in them. They are usually used in daily environments like interior design for home, restaurants and cafes.

violet in the sky

This is the color scheme which we can see in any cloudy morning. Just before the sunrise, red orange sunshine breaks through the dark blue sky. During that short moment, various tints and shades of violet show up. Light violet takes the largest space, and three other shades of violet and red violet are scattered partially. Dark violet rocks placed in the middle create a balance by reducing brightness of too many tinted colors. They all are in analogous relationship with violet. Also they all the dim sunlight and foggy air, which help these colors be mixed in together harmoniously and convey a warm feeling.

violet in a forest

“This is a story about a woman, who was lost in an unknown forest, and became the queen of birds. No one, even herself, knows where she came from, or how she became able to fly. Every morning, she flies up to the highest tree, and prays to the setting stars to show her the way home. Although she knows how to fly, there is no place for her to fly back to.”

This is quite an unusual combination of colors: violets with vivid red and green. Here, violet is not directly shown. It is cast by the light. Surrounded by it, red and green also look cooler, which makes them harmonious with her pale and cool face. Also as split complementary colors with violet, they enhance each other’s quality.

violet in a forest

“mystique forest”

The graphic film on the right page was inspired by the color palette and atmosphere of ‘Violet in a forest’. As well, the shapes and composition derived from one of Rex Ray’s collage artworks shown below. The wavy and organic figures stand for creatures in the forest. It can be taken off from the page to observe light going through the film and colored shadow.

violet + cool neighbors

When violet is used with its “cool” neighbor colors, such as blue and cyan, it suddenly reveals its extremely modern and fierce attitude, which is not often seen in warm colors. With pure blue and blue violet lighting as well as the model’s blue jean outfit, this image is screaming out its young and cool attitude.

violet + warm neighbors

One of the features that people often mention about violet is that it is the color between cool and warm. The impression that violet gives completely changes according to what other colors are combined with it. Here is the image taken when the sun is setting by the ocean. The sky shows smooth transition from orange to light violet. These softly tinted violet, magenta, red, and red orange create warm and pleasant atmosphere. Like the woman in the image, it simply leads us to feel comfortable and happy.

violet + warm neighbors

“sweet illusion”

The graphic window on the right page was inspired by the color palette and atmosphere of ‘violet+warm neighbors’. The contour of glass bottles was the motive of this graphic, which is shown in the picture below. Their smooth vertical flow and transparency are good to “contain” the warm and sweet neighbors of violet. it can be also taken off from the page.

“a spring blast!�

Slightly toned violet makes a good combination with spring colors, which are blue green and yellow orange as shown in this image. While light violet is the color for dreamers, blue green is for a paradise, and yellow orange is for pure pop. All these happy colors could offer a piece of escape wherever you are. Yellow orange and sweet violet are almost equally used whereas blue green is used in a smaller portion. It gives a good amount of refreshment, not ruining the overall warm feeling.

“dancing sunshine”

It is inspired by the color palette “spring blast!”;soft colors with soft shapes. The waves and vertical straight line are regularly placed, but when these three colors are applied, figure and ground suddenly becomes ambiguous, which makes this pattern more playful and vibrant.

“summer night gold�

In this silk scarf, the pure hues of yellow and violet against shaded blue creates high contrast, but proportionally very wellbalanced. The night sky blue is sitting behind the whole scene and painted touch of pure yellow strongly pops out. Red violet stands out for the second, adding passionate feelings overall, while the other colors are rather cool & calm or extremely crisp.

“let me fly”

This is one of Peggy Braun’s arts, “Woman falling.” Having a toned-down green as a background, deep violet is revealing the falling woman’s silhouette. It conveys the woman’s downward movement by deep violet’s pulling back effect as well as her depressed state of mind. However, the light touch of popping red is giving some liveliness and fun to it. Especially combined with the air-brushed texture, it might imply this scene is happening in her dream.

Lavender violet surrounded by green and yellow is one of the most pleasing color combinations in nature. It could be a “visual getaway” for the people in the city, therefore it is often applied to fashion. By paired with green and yellow, violet becomes a more active color rather than a calming one as its typical impression by itself. Even though this scheme has such a high contrast, the sheer fabric makes it visually easier and lighter, which allows people to see it not intimidating but wearable.

violet + texture

The violet, Dawn by the lake, is such a delicate color. It feels soft, transparent, flowy, light and warm & cool at the same time. It seems that it is going to disappear in any moment. This physical and emotional quality of Dawn by the lake can be much more enhanced through the right texture. Here are nine different textures, which could more effectively carry Dawn by the lake. The first category is transparent material. Clear fluid, glass windows are good medium to show colors and light mixed together. The second category is fabric. Its softness and color not just on the surface but absorbed deeply inside of it express a more rich and emotional quality, which Dawn by the lake could use. Lastly, the painting materials. Captured moments of those materials deliver the feelings of ease and freedom.

The combination of violet, green and yellow can appear not only vibrant ,as split complementary colors, but also soft when given through feathery textures. All these textures have their own kinds of warmth in them. It makes the colors and this color scheme more approachable and friendly.

Transparency and fluidity is great tools to blend strong colors. Deep purple, toned-down green and tinted red are not commonly used together in our daily life because of their high density. However, by reducing visual weight and hardness through transparent and flexible materials, the three strong colors can get along with each other smoothly.


Student work, Hinebrook