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.  Danny 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.


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

This is just a quick update before the craziness that is Christmas properly descends!

In some quiet moments I’ve been beavering away at my colour studies. I did quite a bit of planning before starting and decided to work into a sketchbook and the ‘beautifully crafted’ colour resource book which is assignment 3 at the same time.

I’ve been finding making a ‘beautifully crafted’ book that it also practical and technical quite a conundrum. I have a scary feeling that I might yet craft another book at the end of all the exercises.

Another complication I have found particularly difficult to overcome with this part of ATV has been keeping to the brief; colour is such a fasinating subject that it’s easy to while away valuable ‘doing’ hours reading about lapis lazuli and mixing paint pigments.

Then of course there is the issue of finding 3 fabrics that have 4/6 colours . I have lots with 1 or 2 and lots with lots!! Also, looking for something that isn’t 100% patchwork fabric was tricky, especially since I didn’t want to buy any more fabric. I have enough …. or do I?!!

So in the end I selected my three fabrics and dip dyed a khandi paper sketchbook for the assignment submission.

I then cut out some squares, stuck them in my working sketchbook and got to work mixing the colours.

I took notes as I went and once the colour was right I painted a rectangular label.

Once the label was dry it made it easy for me to display in the assignment sketchbook.

The pages in the book are quite large so I have added some extras; colour facts, different combinations etc.

Now this is where I have the issue with ‘beautifully crafted’. My book is colourful, interesting but still very college sketchbook, in my mind I have a vision of one of those perfectly laid out shiny coffee table books. Umm, needs some more thinking I think.

I’m still continuing with my 2 book approach, it’s nice to have a scribble and a best work book for the exercises as they can be quite messy. Here are the other pages.

That’s me now finished for Christmas, have a wonderful one everybody and here’s to a productive New Year.