Watercolour studies (3.3)

For this exercise I set up glass objects that I could find in the apartment we were staying in. The Pyrex dish had a beautiful blue hue, whereas the glasses were green and the lamp stem had a hint of a dull pink. I set it up with a white background and sitting on a daylight light box. The lamp was on and had an incandescent globe and a brown shade which no doubt influenced the colours I saw.

The inclusion of the crystal seen above was as a special treat for me, but it was disappointing. The crystal itself was very clear and although it did gather and fracture the light from around it like a prism, it didn’t have the interesting shades of subtle colour in the body of the crystal itself, the way the glass did.

I struggled with this exercise. I could see colours but had more difficulty in mixing them in watercolour. The colour on the palette was difficult to see without constantly testing it on a piece of paper, and then I seemed to run out or overshoot quickly. When I made the lines touch, as asked to do, they rewet the adjacent colour and created a third colour which was not what I was seeing. ( I like that look though).

No matter how gentle I tried to be I also found that the colours came out stronger and less subtle that what I was seeing. This was a valuable learning exercise in creating subtle colour but not my favourite one.

I’ll probably present my samples as squares around the photos of the glass objects, as the layout from which I drew the colours was a square layout.

Translation through yarn (3.2)

This was my first attempt at representing the colour in my Vermeer postcard with thread and yarn. For this attempt I did not blend anything but used what I had with me. At this stage I could not purchase anything but I had planned ahead and brought thread and yarn with me. This is a unsubtle representation of the colour and it was much too messy as I had difficult keeping the thread taut as my card was too soft and caved in.

For my second attempt I took on board the suggestions from the facebook page of double sided tape and stiffer card and used toilet roll inserts to provide a curved surface that was easy to wrap, and then flattened these. Still not sure how I will mount these in a book but I am thinking about sliding a card through the middle and then using slits in my page to secure it from the back. In the top one I have used purchased ribbons and trims that I have tried to match in store now that we were in a city again. And for the bottom one I have used threads that I have blended using a hand spindle. I think the blended threads give quite a goo representation of the colour and more subtle that the ribbons which were all still not quite right. I have not kept strictly to the proportions in the photo but rather given emphasis to the red blue and yellow which seem key to the painting to me.

And finally I just wanted to try a little weaving using a combination of the trims and blended threads. I have organised this from top to bottom trying to keep proportions roughly correct. I think it makes a more interesting colour study to use a range of textures but I would have preferred a cleaner edge like I could achieve with the wraps. Still I spent a lot of time on proportion and examination of the colour in the postcard and the threads and I think I will include it.

I had a lot of fun trying to blend threads to match the colours and I was surprised to find that I could include complementaries as I would in painting to change the overall colour. I had to be careful they were similar in tone but if this was the case then even quite disparate colours would blend to create a new colour.

I can really see how this unit is giving us the groundwork for textile art and a variety of tools to use to create different effects.

Colour matching Gouache studies (3.1) Part Three

The neutral square was probably a bit too even for this exercise, but I did include a couple of washes of different colours to try and add subtle depth and variation. I was pleased that my partner thought I had just painted straight over the fabric square 🙂

Only a small number of testers this time. Really was only shades of one colour used and most of the decision was made on the palette. It was quite difficult to get the subtle colour right but I was happy. This is a piece of raw silk that I had brought with me for dyeing. Who knew it had so much colour in it?

Colour matching Gouache studies (3.1) Part Two

It’s been about two weeks since I’ve had reliable internet as we had the internet out for a week in the outback and now this last week we are travelling home. I’ve been working through the practical work but need to catch up a bit on writing up.

I was pretty please with how this turned out. The biggest challenge and point of difference here was the black. I tried to make black out of colours rather than using the black from the tube and although the colour produced is black, it has quite a different character to the rich black printed on the fabric. This fabric is actually a charity bandana, chosen at the local roadhouse for its graphic blocks of colour. The Liberty fabric would have just been impossible for me to extend.

Once again I’ve just saved all my testers with the right one in there somewhere. If I’d been sensible I would have marked which one I thought was right but now I’ll have to go back and rematch when I’m assembling my book. Sigh.

I found this an enjoyable activity. I noticed that I sometimes had to go back and change my paint after I started to paint on the paper as close proximity to the fabric really highlighted differences that I couldn’t see prior to that. I felt that I could see what colour was needed to correct but I would often then overshoot and go back and forth a few times before I could get it right. This exercise has taught me a lot about mixing colour and the use of complementary to move colours away from just pure vibrant colour, (which I do love), to a range of more subtle colours. I’ve discovered that even colours I would consider bright, are often nonetheless tempered with the complementary.

I’ve been looking a colour a lot and spent a lot of time in the outback analysing the colours of the landscape and the sky, with a view to using that palette in future work.

Farnaz Jahani

The Interrupted Beauties   Viewed 23 November 2017

This visual artist comes from Iran but now lives in the US. She employs surface design in her work and cuts and compresses work to create some degree of ‘accidental aesthetic’. 

The idea is to represent the vagracies of life and its fractured path. 

As I am doing the colour section of this unit I’ll comment on the colour use in the above work. 

The use of a quite bright and pure tone palette of blue, red and green contrasts with the background brown and serves to highlight the broken lines down the work. It results in an imperfect irregular edge not unlike the Ikat weaving in my kimono. 

Colour matching. Gouache studies 3.1 Part One

Started on my colour matching fabric with gouache today. Took me ages to do the first one but it was fun.

Had some ideas about other colour matching that I could do in parallel. I want my book to record the colour palette of the landscape here as well as the other palettes.

Thinking about crocheting or knitting small colour squares out of the silk thread I have been dyeing while I’m here. Then I could place them on a piece of pater and extend the squares around in the same colour gouache paint.  Same with some of my dyed fabric. And finally I could use the landscape palette by directly making chips in the outdoors- green dirt, green leaves and blue sky. I’ve also taken some photos dedicated to the colour and I will take some more. All the fabric I’m dyeing and the yarn and fleece I’m dyeing is in an attempt to capture the local palette and also have the raw material to create an artwork in this central Australian palette. Possibly I will use this to make an “Ebb and Flow” themed quilt for the Tasmania Art Quilt prize next year.
I’d also like to digitally colour match in Adobe draw for my digital sketchbook.

I brought some Liberty fabric with me because I knew there would be no fabric shops to pick up some fabric. I had a great time in Melbourne going to Tessuti fabrics and selecting some patterned fabric.

I chose the far left fabric to do my first colour matching exercise. It was much tougher than I anticipated and I kept seeing extra colours in it.

It took me all these chips to get the correct colours. I haven’t got around to cutting out the correct chips yet but I will post when I have sorted. One thing I discovered in doing this exercise is that all the colours that I thought were bright colours, were nonetheless muted down from pure single colours by the use of some complementary.

And for the neutral fabric I used a piece of vintage silk. There were a range of colours to be seen created by the shiny or flat texture or the raised stitching and shadows.

Lots of swatches here because I struggled to decide what the hint of colour was in the shadows. In the end I decided to add a bit of green, the complementary of the pinky yellow cream of the unshadowed areas. Once again I haven’t yet cut out the correct chips but will include them once I have done that.

Research Point 1: Colour work of Textile artists and Designers

Voyage Decoration


Mary Katrantzou

Wallace Sewell

Viewed 7 Nov 2017

Viewed 7 Nov 2017

Viewed 7 Nov 2017

Harriet Wallace and Emma Sewell create woven scarves and throws. They have many projects illustrated on their web site that show their methods of colour choice. They take inspiration from the distinctive colour choices in the work of other artists as above, as well as directly referencing the environment to facilitate choice of proportion and colour.  These woven textiles are put to functional use which is something I am very much drawn to. Here they are created using artistic design making, as works of art but then sent out into the world to be worn or sat on or to protect book pages, in a way that has a greater impact on the lives of others, compared to a painting in a gallery.

They are not preserved and protected, but instead used and worn out eventually, to make way for new work.

When I get home I’ll try and remember to insert a photo of the bus seats in Hobart. The fabric is particularly disgusting and I’ll see if I can analyse why.

Cole and Sons

Norma Starszakowna

Paul Smith


Ptolemy Mann

Liberty Prints:

Before I came to the outback I looked ahead through the course materials and I saw that I needed to bring some printed fabric to use for colour palettes. While I was in Melbourne I went to a fancy fabric shop called Tessuti fabrics and bought five Liberty Print fabrics. The Liberty company was established by Arthur Liberty in 1875 and was initially a homewares shop dedicated to the popular oriental theme but subsequently branched out to printing the famous liberty prints in England. The prints are an English made product that initially took inspiration from the orient. 

https://www.libertylondon.com/uk/information/the-store/store-heritage.html  Viewed 7 Nov 2017 for some of the information about Liberty.

The fabrics I chose from the Liberty collection to bring with me.