Sunday, April 22, 2012

project 3, stage 3, exercise 4

This exercise was about 3-dimensional objects placed on a colored piece of paper. The color of the paper has its influence on the color of the objects and a red object is not the same red everywhere. I used 2 wooden blocks - guess they are children's toys, but I have no idea how they ended up in my studio :-) - on a light blue paper. Painting is not my best skill, but I think I achieved what this exercise was about. The inner part of the blocks has a deeper color than the front. Same goes for the side of the blocks, the color has a different value there. Where the blocks touch the paper, there is a dark line as a shadow and also the blocks reflects a light shadow on the paper. While the corner lines of the blocks are lighter than the other parts. The paper the blocks are on, is not the same color of blue everywhere, there are some shadows caused by the blocks and some lighter areas caused by the natural light. If the sun had been shining while I did this exercise the light blue would have been even lighter. By mixing the acrylic paints I got as close as I could to reach those results. The colors I used were red, my 2 blues and white.

project 3, stage 3, exercise 3

Starting point for this exercise was a detail of a photo of pansies The idea was not to copy this photo, but to mix paint and create the same colors as shown in the photo. This is what I came up with:

I am satisfied with the green and the yellos, but the purple gave me problems. I used acrylic paints for this exercise and I only have one red and two blue. This makes the variety of purple I can create limited. And the result I got is proof that I need another red to achieve this purple.
If for instance you compare the green of this exercise - made with brilliant blue (a light blue) and primary yellow and the much darker green of the previous exercise -  made with aquamarine blue (a medium blue) and primary yellow, you see how much difference a light or a dark color can make.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

project 3, stage 3, exercise 2

Another exercise about using color. Startin point is a colorful piece of fabric. I used a sample of linen which I made during Jane Dunnewold's soy wax class. The colors I used on this piece of fabric I do not own, so using a handmade piece of fabric is not cheating :-). This piece of fabric is glued into my sketchbook and the task is to add colors to the edged, so that you cannot see the difference between the colors of the fabric and the ones of the paper. I used acrylic paints for this in the colors deep red, aquamarine blue, primary yellow, silver and zinc white. As the paint is still wet, I had to take a picture for this blogpost. So there might be a slight color difference because of this, I am not certain.
When I look at the picture I see that the green at the bottom could have been a bit darker and the yellow/orange/brown at the left a bit lighter. This is less visible when I look at the sketchbook. In all I like this kind of exercises.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Project 3, stage 3, recording Color exercise 1

This exercise is about mixing colors and the effect which has adding white or black to the color. I did this exercise with both acrylic paints and with water color paints. The first picture is done with watercolors. I used my waterbrush to apply these colors. This is a brush which  as a compartment for water in the brush. By squeezing the compartment, the water flows into the hairs of the brush. I love this brush as it makes color mixing much easier than with a regular brush. The first section of the colors was done by adding white to the color. The second section has black added to it.

As you compare the water color with the acrylic one you see especially when black is added, that more variations are visible with the water color than with the acrylic paint. The precision of adding black is for me more difficult with acrylic paint.
And I know that if I would do this color with procion dyes, I would get better visible gradation. Adding even a tenth of a gram of black results in a different color.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Project 3, Stage 2 color perception

The first assignment is finished and will go into the mail one of the coming months. Today I started with the second part which is all about color, design, printing and painting. Love those subjects :-).
The first picture shows what I did for exercise 1. I used fabric instead of paper simply because I have much more fabric in whatever color you want than paper. By adding a small square on top of the background although the color of the small square is the same on all of them, it will look a bit different depending on what the background color is. And this is not only with the color, but equally so with the size of the little square. Take for instance the dark blue background compared to the light blue background. The squares are the same, but the one on the dark background looks smaller than the one on the light background. This knowledge is extremely useful to have when you are designing.

My second picture for today, is for exercise two. In this case a small grey square was put on top of different colors of background fabrics. Again although the grey fabric is the same on all backgrounds, they all look a bit different. On for instance the orange one, the grey is much bolder than on the purple one. Just as in exercise one, the size looks different depending on the color of the background. But there is also something more. Depending on the color of the background, it looks like the grey has picked up some of that color. For instance the grey on the light orange shows brighter (more orangy) than the grey on the purple one.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Project 2, Stage 6, creating texture continued, review

Today I spend most of my time working on this embroidery sample. I started out with 2 pieces of handdyed fabric and on those pieces I did my embroidery. With white pearl cotton I made the spider webs and the French knots, with 2 colors of yellow/brownish I made the interlaced running stitch and the roving was held in place with irregular herringbone stitches. Also in between the roving I used these stitched. And finally with the dark green I used the feather stitch. Although it took me many hours I like the result:

On this strip of cardboard you can see the colors I used:
Here is my review for this project:
- Do you feel happy with the work?
Yes, I like the result I got. It is not an exact copy of the picture which inspired me, but that is not necessary.
- Do you prefer working with stitch to drawing? Can you begin to see the relationship between the two?
Yes, I do like it. As a quilter I have been doing this for years but I have to admit that I work mainly with my machines. Especially with thin lines stitching is essential to duplicate these lines. Bigger areas can be done with pieced fabric, but with lines that is practically not possible. I have not much experience with hand stitching/embroidery, but I really see where that can come in useful.
- Having worked through Stage 2, were you then able to choose stiches which expressed the marks and lines of your drawings?
Yes, I was. If I had more experience with hand embroidery I would have been able to use more different stitches, but the ones I knew - or could find - were useable for my marks and lines.
- Do you think your sample works well irrespective of the drawing? Or do you think your sample is just a good interpretation of your drawing and nothing more?
Yes, my sample works well. It is not an exact copy of the texture in my picture, but the effect of the different textures shows in the sample.
- Which of the activities did you prefer - working with stitch to create textures or working with yarns to make textures? Which worked best for you and why?
For this question I have 2 answers. If I work with my machine I prefer working with stitch. Machine embroidery is limited to certain thinner threads as my machine does not like bobbin work. If I want to create really thick texture I would have to do this by hand.
- Make some comments on individual techniques and sample pieces. Did you experiment enough? Did you feel inhibited in any way?
As I mentioned earlier on, my experience with handstitching is limited. No doubt that there are many more stitching which I simply do not know now. This is the reason that I signed up for an online embroidery class which starts coming month. With this class my experimentation will continue. And so will my collection of different types of yarn/thread :-).
- How do you prefer to work? From drawing or by playing with materials and yarns to create effects? Which method produced the most interesting work?
I love to play and experiment and see where this leads to. Okay, sometimes the result is not great, but very often I find very intesting combinations.
- Are there other techniques you would like to try? Are there any samples you would like to do in a different way?
I would like to play more with texture and also use different materials with that. I am thinking along the line of strips of fabric instead of yarn and adding gesso and paint to make it much more dimensional.
- Is there anything you would like to change in your work? If so, try to think out why and make notes for future reference.
I want to have a bigger stash of different types of yarn/thread. This is something I am working on as it takes time to find the stuff I want. With the samples - especially the ones in the beginning - I was really held back because of the limited material I had here. Now some of the threads I have ordered have arrived.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Project 2, Stage 6, creating texture

For this sample I had to look for a picture with an interesting texture in my sketchbooks. Well for me, this means go through the pictures I have on my computer. For years I have been taking pictures of textures and other odd things. There were a couple of interesting ones, but for the moment I decided to work with this picture of a creek in Yellowstone park.

And more specifically this area of the picture:

I love the difference between the flowing weeds and the white lichen(?) at the left. My plan for this weekend is to work on this sample. Stay tuned :-)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Project 2, Stage 5 embroidery

This is a continuation of yesterday's post, only this time the samples are done with machine embroidery. I experimented with different designs - and not surprisingly they gave different results.
Starting with the top row from left to right. The zigzaglines were done with white (rayon?) thread. The thread does not have a brand name, so this is a guess. I like the way the lines cross. Difficult to see on the scan, but the color changes a bit where they cross as the density is higher there. Next sample is not a succes. I tried one of the fancy stitches on my machine but I am not impressed with this one. But the triangles gave me some further ideas. The wavy lines were done with yellow Madeira, again a rayon thread. I like the way the color shows more dominance where the lines are close together (the left side). Next one - the one most to the right - is one of my favorite designs. A great filler. I used 2 yellows on it, but that does not show very well. The color on the cones were orangy yellow and lemon yellow, but in this sample they look a lot alike. By playing with the length of the zigzag and the length of the connecting lines this design can be made more - or less - compact.
Bottom row at the left is one of the triangles I played with. I used a yellow and a blue rayon thread and were they overlap you can see a bit of greenish. The same triangles in white are next to it. Here again, the density influences the strength of the color. I really like this effect and of all the samples I did the last couple of days, this one is my favorite. Next to that is a combination of dark blue metallic thread and a lighter rayon. It does not show very well on this scan, but it is a nice one. Nothing special, just nice. And the last sample for today is a two colored yellow one. I did this one with straight lines to compare it with the way lines in the top row. Same with this sample the difference in yellow does not show much and I have to say I like the wavy lines more than the straight ones. They give more dynamic to the design.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Project 2, Stage 5 embroidery

Missing in action? Well not really. I have been revamping my website - not yet published - and working on some quilts, but today I started working on embroidery samples. Both samples were done on snowdyed fabric. For the first leave I used a combination of threads: pearl cotton 8, handdyed embroidery floss, metallic Sulky thread, embroidery linen and  jewel effect from DMC, a polyester thread. Yes, some of the supplies I had ordered, had arrived.

The shiny effect of some of the threads got lost a bit with the scan. I used a combination of outline stitch and random herringbone stitches or cross stitches.
For my other sample I used a double running stitch and filled the leaves with satin stich. For this sample I used pearl thread 8 in various green/yellow colors.
Of these two samples I like the overall effect of the second one best. The color coördination is better with this one too. What I do like of the first sample is the shiny effect of the jewel effect DMC.