ATV - Ex 3.4 - Collage Studies · ATV - Part 3 - Colour Studies · ATV - Pt3 - Pj2 - Materials & Composition · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV – Colour Studies – Collage Studies – part 1

Collage, lovely lovely collage, brain mashing, fiddly, frustrating, faffy collage. Just look at my poor glued up fingers! That’s a dog hair by the way!!

Trying to make some order out of my messy, chaotic corner photograph hasn’t been easy and as you’ll notice later I’ve made a conscious effort to ignore scale, that’s one of the great things about collage; you can play with scale to your hearts content.

I started off with a very simple collage used a restricted palette of colours, dictated by the number of colours in a small pack of card that I had.

I had a play with some magazine pages, but I really wasn’t so sure about this, it was messy and I was aiming to create calm and order out of the chaos not make it worse.

Then decided I liked the layout of the simple collage best so did another one with patterned paper.

I felt quite comfortable with this, sort of, they still are not speaking to me and I think they are a bit dull but I decided to continue with the original concept and layout and experimented with the first collage in my display sketchbook.

Firstly replicating the original collage on a painted background. Keeping it simple but adding a few bits of colour to create a little bit of drama and interest.

Then, adding decoupage paper to a photocopy to create a complex colour collage based on the simple one.

Then I used paint to create another collage with an unusual colour palette.

Finally I used some of the key shapes and made a more abstract piece and couldn’t resist a bit of doddling.

ATV - Ex 3.4 - Collage Studies · ATV - Pt3 - Pj2 - Materials & Composition · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV – Colour Studies – Collage Studies – part 1

Colour studies – humph! I love colour, in fact I’d go so far as to say I bloody love colour, I surround myself with it and usually get frustrated when I have to restrict it. But these exercises have driven me bananas; I think it’s the need to be neat and the need to be specific. I so often work with coloured fabrics and coloured paint that I have a huge collection, I rarely need to mix anything, I just need to match it.

Doing these studies has meant I have had to really look closely as colours, not just give then a cursory glance. I have mixed paint before to identify colours in photographs but I just saw that as a means to an end. I never thought of the action of creating a palette of colours.

I’ve used themes to develop a series of work but never looked to a specific colour palette as a connecting factor before. I’ve never had to gauge the amount of colour in a subject before either and this has been frustrating because I don’t really have anyway to check that I am right; no flicking to the back for answers!

It’s been brain boggling but I’m getting there! I’m not sure I’ll ever get my workroom tidy again after all the paint splashing and snipping and glueing but hey hoo!

Mess! This leads me on to my next mini crisis, the mess was useful when I had to photograph a chaotic corner for the collage exercises but now it’s driving me crazy and to make matters worse I’m having to revisit that messy corner day after day as I do the collages.

It’s torture! I so want to tidy up but, do I really need to? Making collages is messy, it’s better off left as it for now, well, until, of course I see that bloody photograph again – grrhh!!

ATV - Ex 3.3 - Watercolour Studies · ATV - Part 3 - Colour Studies · ATV - Pt3 - Pj2 - Materials & Composition · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV – Colour Studies – Watercolour Studies

Once I had had a play with the photographs of the vessels I moved the glasses around and added a vase until I got an arrangement that I liked.


There was a good mixture of colours, shapes and overlaps. The blue comes through the crystal glass catching the different shapes in the glass. The green is just visable through the orangey brown jar. There is a small reflection from the window in the jar and this light ensures a good range of tone.


I started off by splashing some watercolour paints in stripes in my working sketchbook. I prefered the more defined shapes and whilst the very wet strip was pretty it didn’t make me think of the still life arrangement.


I played for a little while; testing what it would look like if I left a white strip between the stripes and then just for the hell of it I used up the left over paint and practised my stripe painting skills.


In the display sketchbook I made the painted stripes more defined. I painted one of the whole composition and then 3 that are of the Middle, Left and Right of the gathering of vessels.

This colours make me very happy, I love the earthy colours and the way they make me feel warm. I could work with these colours every day for years and years.


ATV - Choices & Planning · ATV - Ex 3.3 - Watercolour Studies · ATV - Part 3 - Colour Studies · ATV - Pt3 - Pj2 - Materials & Composition · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV – Colour Studies – Watercolour Studies

This task has been quite a bit of fun; this next part started with choosing 4 to 6 glass vessels and placing them into a nice still life.

I set up a ‘table’ using a box of pebbles, a white box lid, a big sheet of paper and a light box. It was a beautiful, rare sunny morning so the light was just right. Once the arrangement was ‘just right’ then I would need to paint the colours in watercolour paints.

Although I enjoy using paint and the task didn’t ask for the vessels to be painted; only the colours, I didn’t feel confident to go straight into the painting. Instead I decided to have a play with some photographs and my iPhone apps.


I just played with the colours, brightening them up and strengthening the lines and depth of the colour. I love the way the light box light makes the glasses look like they are floating in the air.


This image has the colours inverted, one day I really must find out what that means. This version lookes more like a batik. I love the palette of bright sunny blues, purples and orangey yellows.


I used the Fragment app to create a digitally made stripe pattern of the colours in the composition, there is still so much detail. Colour just loves to be as complicated as possible.


I then added a small crystal glass and a pair of clear safety glasses and took a close up photograph. This gives the composition more compartments and lines.


Then finally I used the Brushstroke app to electronically paint the composition. I love the stripes, the colours and the way the crystal glass looks like stained glass windows in a church. Gorgeous.



ATV - Ex 3.2 - Translation Through Yarn · ATV - Pt3 - Pj1 - Colour Palettes & Proportion · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV – Colour Studies – Translation through Yarn

The gouache studies are now finished and I’ve done 3 more yarn wraps to record the colours of the old master. These I have put into the display sketchbook.

I’m not sure that this is the best way to display them, I would have loved to have them as little loose, tactile packages of texture and colour but it just proved too difficult to attach the yarns to the little pieces of card so they could be handled so they will stay where they are but, now highlighted with yellow.


The colours are wonderful and I have purposely made them slightly brighter than the original photograph which is slightly hazy because of the paper it was printed on.

The mixtures of colour: the palettes are very pleasing to me and I would enjoy working with the selections on an abstract embroidery.

In places I have overlaid the yarns and used hanks of messed up threads in blocks to represent the areas where light and shadow interfers with the eye as it tries to make sense of the colour; attempting to pinpoint a match or a name for the colour.

This has been a tricky task, especially since I didn’t have access to a better quality picture of an old master that I liked. It’s not something I would have done if I hadn’t been doing this course but it is something that I will do again.


ATV - Ex 3.1 - Gouache Studies · ATV - Pt3 - Pj1 - Colour Palettes & Proportion · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV – Colour Studies – Gouache Studies – Part 2

It’s been a busy old couple of days in my workroom. I’m determined to make full use of my time to get these exercises and assignment 3 finished.

When faced with extending a pre-printed textile I went into a small panic. I love to doodle and I love to draw motifs, but to draw something specific, to literally copy something is not my forte.

My first choice for a patterned fabric is an old favourite; a print of a batik, quite organic and with few hard edges.

I used a white gouache (dejeco) pen to draw/extend the motifs and then painted on an overwash of watered down gouache paint, adding layers and areas of interest. Once the base was dry I drew in the flowers with an opaque white pen. I used 4 before I got the result that I wanted. The orange and yellow centres are a mix of acrylic ink and gouache.


There was a break between me taking the first photograph and the second ones in the collage of the final piece whilst I sourced new white paint pens. UniPOCSA is still the best! And during this time I found myself procrastinating and feeling a little blocked; daunted by the thought of extending the pattern.

To combat this I decided to have a play time, to do something without any boundaries or constraints and without the added complication of colour. I found a grid of photographs in an old Selvedge magazine, stuck them, almost randomly into my sketchbook and just drew between them.


So fully limbered up I was able to finish the patterned textile and move onto the neutral piece.

I started this piece very like the other, I drew out the extended shapes with the djeco white gouache marker and then, once dry I put on an over wash of gouache paint, with a little gold and some flow enhancer added. Again I let that dry and then using a stiff stencil brush I dabbed on more paint to replicate the velvet. I used a flat headed brush to add more detail and some folds.

It proved very difficult to photograph this page, the colour just washed out. In reality it is brown but the photographs made it a very pale grey and the extended area looked vastly different to the actual piece of fabric. The 2 photographs above have been tweeked using my iphone to get a closer representation of the real thing.



ATV - Ex 3.2 - Translation Through Yarn · ATV - Part 3 - Colour Studies · ATV - Pt3 - Pj1 - Colour Palettes & Proportion · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV – Colour Studies – Translation through Yarn

Once I get into my workroom and start on these exercises I really enjoy them, the process of focusing on the detail and the colours in the textile piece, or as in the case of the lastest exercise the painting, it is very relaxing. It is theraputic, time slows down and your brain switches off.

This is exactly what Danny Gregory says will happen in his book Art Before Breakfast. ┬áDanny tells us that ‘Art will make us saner and happier’ and I have to agree with him. Sometimes in the moment, when you’re trying to get it just right it can be frustrating but as you sink into what you are doing you can find peace and satisfaction.

It hasn’t always been easy to be peaceful when identifying and then making specific colours; I really thought this was just me until I started to read Josef Albers Interaction of Color. Right there in his introduction, almost one of the first thing he states is ‘in order to use color effectively it is necessary to recognize that color deceives continually’.

Albers believes that our ‘seeing’ of colour is always effected by any number of factors, including: lighting, juxtaposition, culture etc. He states that ‘When seeing, we almost never see a single color unconnected and unrelated to other colors, we see what is happening between the colors. Colors present themselves in continuous flux, constantly related to changing neighbours and changing conditions’.

I found this was particularly relevant when working at selecting the yarns and quantities of yarn to represent the colours in the Leonardo Di Vinci’s Painting, sometimes, when the light was right or a thread was thin and singular it matched a colour in the painting but when it was denser of placed on a different surface it changed.

Luckily because of Albers advice I didn’t get too caught up with trying to get my selections perfect, I worked at selecting yarns that gave the right ‘feel’, the right impression of the painting.

I selected, laid out, and then wrapped the yarns in an order that encouraged the viewer’s preception and imagination to see the colours as a match to the painting. By doing this I have sought to ‘write’ the colours as words not letters, because as Alber’s writes ‘… in reading we do not read letters but words, words as a whole, as a “word picture”.


The task wasn’t made any easier by my choice of a painting with so much colour. I never go easy on myself! Whilst looking through a selection of paintings by Old Masters I found myself drawn to pictures with more modern colours but when I found myself studying the picture in more detail I was still struck by how different the old colours were.


I’ve really not been looking forward to this exercise but in the end have found it very interesting. It would be nice to progress these selections/yarns into abstract snap shot stitched pieces, little inchies of colours, colours with a meaning and a reference point. This anchoring of an idea; of a design source is something that I have been seeking for a while. Maybe now I am starting to get somewhere.

This blog is dedicated to my wonderful husband who very generously bought me a beautiful rose gold MacBook for Christmas for me to use in my studies and to write these blogs on. All of his support and encouragement is greatly appreciated. I love you Harry_uk.

ATV - Ex 3.1 - Gouache Studies · ATV - Part 3 - Colour Studies · ATV - Pt3 - Pj1 - Colour Palettes & Proportion · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV – Colour Studies – Gouache Studies – Part 1

I’m still here plodding away at these colour studies in gouache. I’ve taken far too long over these exercises and they are starting to wear thin on my interest scale. To the point that I hit my own personal procrastination high point yesterday and made a quilt.

I Bought the stuff and pretty much finished it in the afternoon and evening. This for me is extreme focused procrastination, I’m shattered today because I worked so hard, don’t get me wrong the quilt is nice, it’s a present for a friend but it’s just not yarn wrapping.

There in lies another issue for me: yarn wrapping? why? I’m finding myself being very reluctant to ‘waste’ my precious threads by wrapping them around pieces of card. I’m going to have to get over that so I can get onto the more interesting exercise: watercolour next – yummy!

Okay, so here’s where I’m at now:

Looking at the neutrals, this was quite therapeutic and tricky, it wasn’t easy to find the slight differences that make up a seemingly solid piece of fabric.

This is the grey pieced that I had hand dyed a good while ago, I decided to include the colours created by the shadows as well.


Much to my younger son’s horror my iPhone is chocked full of apps, I’m an app hoarder, there I admit it (are there any support groups for this I wonder) and one of my favs hidden away in one of multiple ‘photography’ folders is one called Colour viewfinder. It’s a little whizz, you open the app, hover your phone over the subject and it identifies the colours and amounts. Fab, I could have saved all this faffing about with water and messy paint and just done it all electronically, but hey where would the fun and learning experience have been in that!

This is the grey fabric as ‘read’ by colour viewfinder

Doesn’t look much for the grey but here’s one for one of the colour samples. I’ve got a feeling it can tell you all the official colour names too.

My next neutral choice was a glossy piece of silky, taffeta stuff which I layered to make it more dense, I was interested in looking further at including colours that weren’t actually part of the fabric, In this case it was the paper as seen through the thready parts of the fabric.


In the display sketchook book I drew a few mark recording drawings to use up the left over paint. I love the way my new MacBook makes these little ’tile’ inserts when I select more than one photo.

For the last piece I had a play with some creamy white, ivory maybe? devoure. It’s very pale and it was quite difficult to match. I did fall in love with these pale milky colours. They took me back to the linen smocks and garments from the textile archive.

Leading on from exploring adding/identifying the colours not actually part of the fabric I tested the devoure with 3 different backgrounds in my display sketchbook.

I’m really not feeling to love for what I’ve produced so far but I’m going to battle on with the leg work and worry about the beauty of the final resource book once I get to the end.