Working with watercolour paints and using the same mixing theory that I have used with gouache paints I have started to work towards mixing the colours that I can see in the first glass arrangement.
The first arrangement of glass items had a mix of green and blue glass jars, two with smooth surfaces and two with faceted surfaces. I laid out my arrangement in different rooms in my home as the light is different in each of them and I have chosen to use my kitchen which has lots of light. I have placed the glass items on white paper with a white paper background, and white paper on the left hand side which just shields the arrangement from kitchen items on the work surfaces.
Arrangements 1 and 2 were completed on the same day which has resulted in similar results, the weather outside was overcast and I have used the same glass items for both arrangements.
Arrangement 3 was painted on a very sunny day and I wore a bright pink t-shirt which was reflected in the glass along with the bright light which reflected off the surrounding kitchen surfaces. This time I have replaced one of the jam jars with a drinks glass which has a direct effect on the colours on the painted stripe.
Arrangement 4 was painted on a bright but not so sunny day and I have used different glass items which have a blue hue. I find it fascinating that my clothes again had a direct influence on the colours in my painted stripe along with the other items in the room.
I found this exercise interesting and enjoyable although I am not sure why we have to do so many of them! They are quite time consuming and initially I struggled to know where to start and how translate the colours in the glass to the paper. However once I made a start I felt better about my stripe designs.
Adobe Color CC (Adobe Kuler) – I have found this programme easy to use and you can download your own photos or artwork to create colour palettes. I have downloaded a version to my tablet which I have found useful.
Mudcube Colour Sphere – this is a much more sophisticated tool, quite complicated and a bit out of my comfort zone. You can make colour palettes and find the Hex numbers of those colours. I have not heard of hex numbers but I understand that they are a 6 digit code that can be interpreted by computer systems to produce a specific colour.
Color Halipixel – This program uses a different method of selecting colours, you scroll around the screen until you find the colour you want, click and it will be saved and you can continue selecting colours. I don’t think this works with my tablet or phone as it is Apple based. Quite a clever design and easy to use.
Color Hunter – This is a free programme which allows you to create colour palettes from uploaded photographs and images. You can search by hex codes, image URLs and tags and lists favourite colour palettes.
CoIRD – A free programme that enables you to create colour palettes from photographs which are available for everyone to see and use. I don’t want to sign up to another application so I will keep this in mind for the future.
I have discovered that there are lots of apps that you can use to experiment with colour palettes, creating pattern and using special effects to alter your image and I have experimented with them for future use. I have used ones that are compatible with my tablet and are easy to use as I don’t need anything too complicated or sophisticated at this stage! There are also some drawing apps that I have identified for future use.
Adobe Capture – An application that is compatible with my tablet where you can download photographs and images and create patterns, shapes and identify colours.
befunky – A free app for phones and tablets, you can download your own photographs or images and use editing tools, effects and frames. There are lots different processes to modify your image and they can be saved to your own gallery or other social media.
For this exercise we were asked to select a good quality image or postcard of and Old Master’s painting. Old Masters were artists who were fully trained and worked in Europe before the 1800’s. I did some research on the internet and found that I liked the paintings of Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) and that they fulfilled the brief with textiles as the focal point and distinctions between different colours. Sandro Botticelli was and Italian painter who was part of the Florentine School under Lorenzo de’ Medici. Botticelli is known as an Early Renaissance painter. I also had to research where I could buy a copy of his painting and which ones were available at an affordable amount. I bought a copy of this painting called The Virgin and Child and Five Angles from a well known auction site.
The original work of art is located in the Musee du Louvre in Paris. It is oil on canvas and was painted by Botticelli around 1470.
For this exercise I brought together all the bits of ribbon, embroidery thread, wool that I identified were possibly the same colours as in the image. I have a large collection of (junk as my husband calls it!) all these items stored in plastic boxes in my work room. It did take quite a lot of time identifying all the different colours and tones in the picture which is possibly not the best quality but was the best available to me.
The yarn wrap on the left side is the first one that I completed and I worked from the top of the image selecting the different colours and proportions I thought appropriate as I worked. I have used a selection of different threads, yarns, ribbons and fabrics.
The yarn wrap on the right side I have worked using the same materials but have wrapped in the order of light to dark.
Here is a list of the threads, yarns and ribbons etc that I have used in these two wraps. All these items have been taken from my collection some have been purchased many years ago or inherited and some I have bought more recently. The ribbons are also repurposed from packaging or those infuriating bits that are sewn into clothing to prevent them falling off the hangers which I cut out before wearing. Sorry the list is long…
28 – Bergere de France – acrylic yarn (no shade number – pistachio green)
29 – Crochet cotton – white
30 – Anchor Stranded Cotton – shade 306
31 – Felt (very pale blue)
For my third wrap I have selected a small section of the image and knotted threads together to match the colours of this section and their rough proportions to each other. I have then experimented with rapping the lengths of coloured yarns randomly or laying the threads down side by side.
Left hand photo is of the different coloured yarns knotted together before wrapping. Right hand photo is this selection of yarns wrapped unevenly.
Further experiments with wrapping the left hand photo is the result of starting the wrapping from the opposite end of the joined threads. In the middle photo I have wrapped lengthways and the right hand photo I have squashed the threads together.
I also experimented with laying the threads side by side as I have in my original wrapping exercise.
This exercise produced interesting results and even with small amounts of thread you can see how different colours work together and their relationship. Whether you wrap in a random manner or lay the threads down side by side, each wrap produces different colour combinations.
For this exercise I have used a sample of hessian fabric that has an open weave. I have used the same fabric in exercise 3.1 where I had to identify the colours in the sample.
Here we are required to extend a neutral piece of fabric in an imaginative and playful way, taking consideration of the texture and colour tones. This was quite a challenge and whether I have produced what was expected I really don’t know! My rendering of this exercise is whimsical to say the least but other than producing a painting of hairy fibres in a mesh pattern, I had no other ideas! I was pleased with the result which is definitely playful and original.
On Wednesday 10th May I spent a day with Susan Rhodes at her workshop in Wivenhoe, Essex exploring Glazig embroidery. I had previously met Susan though EHA (Essex Handicraft Association) where she had come to talk to us about Glazig and Sorbello embroidery and I had completed a small piece of Glazig embroidery but wanted to explore it further. Susan very kindly let me join her group of embroiders for the day where she talked about the history of this embroidery and we spent most of the day making a sampler of the different types of stitches used to create this colourful embroidery.
Glazig comes from the Breton region of France from the 19th century and was used to decorate the traditional clothing worn for family occasions. Each area within Brittany developed their own style which would identify where in Brittany the wearer was from.
Traditionally Glazig embroidery is worked in bands in bright colours with a limited range of stitches. When you work the stitches correctly you notice that they are economic on the wrong side of the fabric so making the most of the thread on the decorative side. The threads traditionally used are silk on a red or dark background on a woollen base fabric. The motifs used are stylised floral, geometric shapes and folk art.
For our sampler we have used Cotton Perle no 8 on a piece of red polyester satin ribbon with a black woollen mix backing fabric. We also used a product called ‘Multifuse’, a very fine fusible mesh similar to lightweight interfacing to fix the ribbon to the backing fabric. This fusible mesh is not readily available in the UK, I understand that it is an American product. It gives the ribbon stability and prevents it puckering up, and you can see the difference between my two samples, in the first sample I didn’t use an interfacing and it has slightly puckered.
Stitches from top left: Point Laouig (yellow/red), Double chain stitch (blue) with whip stitch (red), Point Echelle (green) with whip stitch (red) and running stitch and chain stitch (yellow), Point Kamm (multi-coloured), Point de reprise (red/white), Point Feston (yellow).
There are lots of examples of Glazig style embroidery on Pinterest, in particular the new, modern approach to this and many other traditional embroidery styles.
I have used traditional motifs in my design alongside a more contemporary colour scheme and traditional stitches, worked on a soft cotton ground fabric which is tacked to a calico backing. I don’t use a hoop or frame, I quite enjoy the freedom of stitching without one.