Project 3 Colour: Stage 6 Combining textures and colour effects

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Machine Embroidery.

For this exercise I managed to find two types of water-soluble fabric to try, one was a clear plastic film, and the other was opaque and felt more like paper. To start off with I tried out the plastic film with dark colours – I first stitched a grid on to the film with black thread using a straight stitch, then I went back over it using a zig-zag stitch in lots of different shades of blue and green trying to create a progression from to the other like you would find on the colour wheel. I spent a lot of time working on this piece as I thought it would require a lot of stitches to hold the new lacy fabric together, but when I dissolved the film I found my stitches had formed quite a hard and dense mat, so I decided with my next piece to try a few less layers of stitches.

As suggested in the exercise I then switched to using pastel colours, again I started off by making a small straight stitch grid – with white thread this time. I then stitched over the grid with lines of zig-zag stitch starting with the white, then moving through cream, various pinks, a golden yellow to a peachy orange, overlapping each a little to try and create a gentle ombre-like effect of it gradually darkening from the white to the orange. I still stitched this one fairly densely so I deicded to try again on the film using even less stitches.

For this third piece I again used the plastic film. but instead of making a grid I just stitched randomly around with a straight stitch, then switched to zig-zags of various sizes. I also included some small pieces of gold organza in this piece and I love the effect it produces. This one is much lighter and more lacy, I could imagine it being used in a fascinator or headpiece for a wedding outfit.

For my final piece I looked through my sketchbook for a drawing to work from, but couldn’t find any that really inspired me so I quickly sketched out a few ideas using coloured pencils. In the ended I decided to try and create some angel wings, but I obviously should’ve chosen different colours as the finished piece looks like a butterfly to me!

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!