Project 3 Colour: Stage 5 Coloured Stitches

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For this exercise I had to use a black background and two primary colours – I picked red and blue to work with. I tried mixing the colours together in two different ways, using small crosses and french knots. The crosses blend together when viewed from a distance, whereas the french knots are still very separate looking. I think the amount of background fabric showing through has a big effect here, with the french knots not much of the fabric is visible so theres a clear contrast between colours, but with the crosses a lot of black can be seen, which I think dulls the effects of the colours on each other. Also, the crosses don’t directly touch, just sit near each other, whereas the knots are pressed up against each other.

Using circles of fabric I isolated one bigger area of colour against a smaller strip of satin stitch around its edge, this gave a very striking effect, making both colours seem to pop out, I’d like to try this again with more neutral colours – it makes me think of pebbles.

I found when working that the reds I used seemed very vibrant, whilst the blues had a tendency so fade into the background, so I ended up switching to lighter shades of blue to create more contrast – all the different shades of blue mixed together create a really pretty effect too .

I also found longer, and bigger stitches showed up better than smaller ones, but are more easily caught and damaged if the piece is not handled carefully. Smaller stitches blend more easily into the background.

I feel this exercise also goes a long way to completing stage 6: exercise 1, but it was so time consuming to make that I abandoned adding more to it if favor of moving onto machine embroidery.

Project 3 Colour : Stage 3 More recording colours accurately…

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I’d been finding the subject of colour matching, and which colours play nicely together very confusing so I attended a workshop run by a local artist called Vicki Norman. One of the first things we looked at was how to accuratly match a colour.

Order of matching when colour mixing.

  1. Hue – colour eg. red, blue etc
  2. Value – light or darkness
  3. Saturation – bright vibrant colour through to grey de-saturated ones.

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Project 3 Colour: Stage 4 Colour moods and themes

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Exercise 1.

For this exercise I had to express pairs of words using colours and marks. I chose the words happy/sad, bright/dull, active/passive. I worked in acrylic paints, and I’m most happy with how sad, and dull turned out, they feel to me like they contain a lot of texture, and I like the muted colours.

I then chose the evocative words envy and anger to try out colour associations on a larger scale! Read the rest of this entry

Project 3 Colour : Stage 3 Recording colours accurately

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Exercise 1.

This exercise was all about mixing different colours and trying them out to see the results. I spent a lot of time playing around with colours (especially grey) whilst working through the book Colour: A workshop for artists and designers by David Hornung, as detailed in this post. That work was mostly done in gouache, but I also spent sometime experimenting with didffernt mediuims eg. oils, watercolours and acrylics as shown here.

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Project 3 Colour – value perception

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This week the art class I attend was all about value perception. The theory is is that it doesn’t matter what hue (colour) you use to draw something, as long as all the values, ie. light / dark / medium, are correct then your brain will still be able to understand the picture. Read the rest of this entry

Research: Gustav Klimt – pattern focus

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Klimt is one of my favorite artists so I’ve been taking this opportunity to study his work further. This time I took some of the patterns and paintings I’d identified previously (here), and tried working up something similar myself. I noticed that Klimt’s patterns feel some how organic, they resemble fish scales, eyes and wildly growing plants. Personally I think the second one – semi circles on a cream background – looks especially effective and striking, even more so in real life. I also found that I managed to make all of these studies using only a small range of acrylic paints. These were White, Black, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Crimson, Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber – I later also added in some Gold as Klimt is well known for his ‘Golden Phase’, although I believe he actually used Gold Leaf, whereas I only had paint!
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Sketchbook – Project Green 3: Pleated skirt

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With my quest to embrace all things green in full swing, I spotted this pale green outfit for 50p when I was out with the kids the other day. Now the outfit was totally not my style but I thought it had excellent potential! I started off by trimming quite a few inches out from the waist down to the hem of the skirt, then I stitched it back up careful to keep my seam hidden in the pleats, and overlocked it to neaten everything up. My skirt fit round the waist then but was far too long for my liking so I cut it in half , hemming the top half to make a lovely little summer skirt, and keeping the rest to try and make in to a dress – using the jacket in some way to make a bodice! I really love my new skirt, and I think the colour green is finally starting to grow on me! It turns out there are many shades of green that I do like, they just happen to be muted rather than vibrant.

Linking up with Finish it up Friday!

Sketchbook – All the single ladies…

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My OCA textiles course claims that drawing ability doesn’t matter, as anybody / everybody can do simple mark making – even my two year old little boy! Somehow that doesn’t stop me from feeling that some of the work I produce is just plain rubbish. So instead of it getting me down, and just throwing away half the stuff I start in disgust (bad work makes me angry!!!), I thought I’d just try and improve my drawing skills. After doing some research on the internet I came across a book called ‘New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain’ by Betty Edwards. I’ll be doing a full review on the book when I’ve finished it, but for now I thought I’d share some of the work I’ve been doing to practice ‘sighting’.

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Book Review: Expressive Drawing by Steven Aimone – Automatic Drawing

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I recently acquired the book Expressive Drawing by Steven Aimone, I hate to say it but I was totally drawn in by the picture on front cover. Naughty naughty! There’s something about abstract art work that attracts me, I feel I’d love to make paintings like that but when I try they just look like childish scribbles to me!

After my first Assignment for my current OCA course my tutor encouraged me to work bigger. Now I already work on A3 paper a lot of the time so I wondered how on earth I was going to get bigger than that. I tried working on sheets of newspaper, or taping and gluing smaller sheets together, but its so time consuming and really gets in the way of just getting on and working. Eventually I came across this fantastic roll of paper made by a company called Fabriano that’s 1.5m wide by 10m long – fantastic! I just knew it would be perfect for use with this book. The first exercise is called Automatic Drawing and is all about embracing the pleasure of simply making marks on paper. You make a few marks on the paper then stand back and see where you feel like making a few more, then repeat until you feel satisfied with your picture, and boy is this satisfying!

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Book Review: Colour: A Workshop for Artists and Designers – Part 1

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Colour: A workshop for artists and designers by David Hornung.

This book is one of the set texts for my current OCA course so I decided to work my way through it to try and gain as much knowledge as I could from it. In places it overlaps with some of my set work, so I’ve followed my course text instead of the book, but these areas are very similar so I’ll include them anyway. Read the rest of this entry