You won’t learn color theory in a more beautiful way than this!

Did you know that, in Japan, quilters and other artists study under a single master, spending years progressing from simple techniques to the extremely difficult? Yoko Saito is one of those masters, and she currently mentors more than 400 students!

Salt color collectionOne of the most important lessons Ms. Saito teaches her students is about working with color. And if you’ve seen her designs, you know that she’s created a whole world of color that defines her signature look. She calls her color style “taupe color.” The palette plays with a range of neutrals, from whites, beiges, and tans to browns, grays, and blacks, and everything in between—and there’s a LOT of in between for playing!

Ms. Saito has shared her approach to taupe color with her students for many years; but in her book Yoko Saito’s Japanese Taupe Color Theory, she shares her approach with you. If you love Ms. Satio’s work, you’ll be enchanted by this in-depth guide to her methods for choosing colors across a taupe palette.

Yoko Saito's Japanese Taupe Color Theory

In this 146-page, photo-packed volume, Ms. Saito created 20 taupe-color collections to study. Each collection—with intriguing names such as “Café au Lait,” “Bitter Chocolate,” and “Herb Garden”—contains swatches, a color wheel, and detailed tips for creating a similar color collection.

Spicy Salt color collection
Spicy Salt color collection

Her reflections on combining color, hue, pattern, and texture for each color story are enlightening—they’ll really get you thinking about how different fabrics play together. One of many revealing passages in the book is when Ms. Saito shares how she starts a new color collection: by choosing a descriptive phrase (such as “sweet and sour”), and then pulling fabrics that remind her of that phrase. She encourages you to do the same.

In addition to the 20 color collections, Ms. Saito breaks down 14 of her finished projects and reveals how and why she chose fabric for each project. It’s a fascinating peek inside the mind of a master.

Finally, Ms. Saito concludes the book with 18 step-by-step projects to make using the taupe-color theory you’ve learned, including:

Cafe au Lait Handbag and Pouch
Café au Lait handbag and pouch

Cocoa Cookie Handbag
Cocoa Cookie handbag

Marshmallow Handbag
Marshmallow handbag

Orange handbag
Orange handbag (yes—she uses splashes of color from the traditional color wheel too!)

And did we mention that the book is GORGEOUS, just like Ms. Saito’s other books? It IS.

From Yoko Saito's Japanese Taupe Color Theory

Yoko SaitoIn her introduction, Ms. Saito says, “Taupe is not just gray, or ‘tea colored.’ The world of taupe that I created encompasses not only a variety of colors, but the subtle manipulation of them. Take a hue and add a tint or shade in small degrees from light to dark. Or imagine steeping tea and watching the color becoming deeper and deeper until the flavor is robust. This is the simplicity and complexity of taupe colors . . . this is how my taupe world was born.”

To order your copy of Yoko Saito’s Japanese Taupe Color Theory, visit our website, ShopMartingale. The book also makes a great Christmas gift for other creative people in your life and for Yoko Saito fans!

When it comes to color theory, are you:

  • Comfortable with choosing colors, values, hues, and prints
  • Keen on learning more about how colors work together
  • Kinda clueless!

Tell us in the comments!

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